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How Men's Depression Epidemic Can Be A Mineral Issue

How Men's Depression Epidemic Can Be A Mineral Issue

Did you know nearly 1 in 10 men experience depression but less than half of those men will ever seek treatment? Sadly, a whopping 75% of people who die by suicide globally are men, as this is a growing epidemic, particularly in younger generations. 

We could argue that this is due to the way of life that we are living in today's world. Everyone is feeling pressured to out put more than rest, but depression has been linked to many things from genetics to even mineral imbalances.

Since we're particular nerds here regarding minerals, we thought we'd share some insight on some patterns one can find on a hair test. Hopefully this piece today can educate on how one can support themselves through the process. 

Before we get into just how one can detect depression on a hair test, we would have to try and recognize symptoms, whether it be emotional or physical. 

Emotional symptoms of depression include:
Constant sadness or an empty feeling
Lacking excitement or emotion in stimulating activities
Losing interest in favorite activities or hobbies
Wanting to be alone 
Feeling worthless or guilty for no apparent reason

Physical symptoms of depression include:
Insomnia or restless sleep
Low energy, chronic fatigue
Low libido
Brain fog
Significant weight change, whether it be weight loss or weight gain
Change in appetite, whether it be extreme hunger or loss of it

Essentially, just based off of symptoms we can see here that the body is slowly closing in. Whether we look at it physically or emotionally, it is reverting into a space where it is trying to protect itself in the sense it doesn't out put too much energy into the world. When individuals are depressed, the loss of interest or darker thoughts come from an energy deficiency or a blockage, which we'll get into as we go through the minerals next.

High Calcium: Magnesium Ratio, or High Calcium level
Calcium is a heavy mineral- not a metal, let's not get that confused. Rather, it's a mineral that when found in excess in our tissues can feel a bit heavy on the system, almost like a sedative. Emotionally, too high of a calcium level in the hair can show up as someone who is tired, experiences brain fog, feeling very heavy and low. Physiologically though, calcium actually stabilizes cell membranes and increases the voltage at the focus of the nerve cells, meaning it influences our central nervous system. Magnesium on the other hand sensitizes many processes at the cellular level, and if there is too much calcium in relation to magnesium it creates what we would call a "calcium shell" around the cells and enzymatic reactions cannot occur since the "shell" is blocking the signal to the cell. This is why some individuals can start to feel their body slowing down because certain signals aren't being received. 

Low Zinc
Zinc is a mineral synonymous to testosterone, particularly in men. For women, it reflects their progesterone levels. When the tissue level of zinc is low in men we can see patterns of low libido, low energy, and even low immune system show up as symptoms. One particular thing to note here is that zinc is vital for thyroid health, and our thyroid hormones are what provide energy to every cell in our body. If low, this could be a direct correlation to depression.

Low selenium:
Connecting to the point above, like zinc, selenium is vital for thyroid health. Aside from our skeletal muscles, our thyroid is the most abundant place selenium is stored and necessary for thyroid production. It also is important for steroid hormones, such as testosterone and act as an antioxidant as a component of glutathione peroxidase, which is an enzyme that protects the system from oxidative stress. When selenium is used for the production of this enzyme, it delivers antioxidant properties to fight against free radicals and influences our immune response by selenoproteins, which are selenium containing proteins that help diminish chronic inflammation. Depression, in some cases, can show up in individuals who are dealing with systemic inflammation.

Copper toxicity: 
In relation to the low zinc levels, higher copper levels are then more prevalent and can come with its own set of symptoms. Women tend to suffer more with copper toxicity than men due to the usage of hormonal birth control, but copper toxicity can manifest itself if an individual is living in an environment where there is a lot of copper, on a vegetarian or vegan diet, using steroid drugs, has liver/gall bladder issues or adrenal issues. Symptoms of copper toxicity are usually linked to individuals who are very emotional, but feel frustrated, angry or experience mood swings. They're not common depressive symptoms, but because copper is a more feminine mineral, we can associate it with more emotional reactions. 

Nickel toxicity: 
Nickel toxicity is the most commonly known heavy metal that has been associated with signs of severe depression and suicidal ideation. It's important to note nickel might not always show up on a hair test immediately, especially if the individual is a slow oxidizer and the body doesn't have enough energy to remove metals out of the tissues. Sources of nickel include dental braces, tea, jewelry plated in nickel or hydrogenated oils. 

Other things to note are potential deficiencies or imbalances in minerals like manganese or chromium that affect one's carbohydrate metabolism and ability to use glucose efficiently. When the body cannot regulate blood sugar well, especially if blood sugar is chronically low, it can cause bouts of fatigue, anxiety and depression. 

Lastly, there are other heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and arsenic that can all affect mood too and cause someone to feeling depressed.

If this is something you're concerned about for yourself or a loved one, we highly recommend you order a hair test and book a consult with one of our nutritionists here to get to the root cause!

Barbara Madimenos
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach

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