What is Mental Health and What Causes It

by Greg Newson February 01, 2017

What is Mental Health and What Causes It

Mental Health is one of the most common health complaints affecting our modern day society.

The Australian Government has stated that everyone in Australia will be affected by depression in their lifetime, either their own or by someone else’s. It has been estimated that in America, 1 in 4 adults are affected by mental health disorders. Even more alarming is the fact that one in ten children suffer from a mental disorder.

Unfortunately over the years mental health has had an incorrect stigma or stereotype attached to it causing people to feel ashamed or embarrassed by their mental health problem. With the increasing demand for this type of healthcare in our society today we really need to be open about this health issue and encourage those suffering from mental health issues to seek help. 

Natural Medicine has a lot to offer in terms of healthcare for mental health issues and offers hope for sufferers without the use of drugs and their associated side-effects. With the aid of pathology testing a correct diagnosis can be made and a personalised treatment plan developed to rectify any imbalances required to improve your health.

What causes mental health problems?

Mental health problems are not ‘in the mind’ and there are many issues that may contribute to your mental health illness.

Some of the more common causes are;

Alcohol Artificial sweeteners
Candida Chronic constipation
Diabetes Digestive problems
Drugs Dysbiosis
Food allergies Heavy metal toxicity
Leaky gut syndrome Medications
Menopause Nutrient dead diet (junk food)
Nutrient deficiencies Obesity
Pain Poor liver function
Pyroluria Stress

What these issues or complaints may do is contribute to an imbalance in your neurotransmitters (brain chemicals). The neurotransmitter imbalances that most commonly contribute to mental health problems are serotonin, glutamate, gaba, dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline.

What role do neurotransmitters play in my health?

Each neurotransmitter has a unique role in preventing mental illness. Adequate serotonin levels are required by your body for regulation of anger, appetite, body temperature, mood, sexuality and sleep. Serotonin is commonly known as your ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter.

Dopamine is a precursor for noradrenaline and adrenaline and is involved in the regulation of your pleasure and reward senses, memory, motor control (movement), sleep, mood, attention and learning.

Noradrenalin and adrenaline are most well known for their involvement in your ‘fight and flight’ response in which they increase your heart rate, trigger the release of glucose from energy stores and increase blood flow to your skeletal muscle. As neurotransmitters, noradrenaline and adrenaline are required for attention, arousal and alertness.

Glutamate is your body's major excitatory neurotransmitter and is involved in alertness, concentration, learning, attention span, improve memory and reducing alcohol craving.

GABA is your body's major relaxing neurotransmitter and helps reduce anxiety, panic attacks, hypertension, stress, secretes digestive enzymes, facilitates a good night sleep, prevents epileptic seizures, reduces alcohol cravings and helps improve depression, Tourette's Syndrome and ADHD symptoms.

What health issues are caused by imbalances in neurotransmitters?

There are many health issues that you may suffer from that are caused by neurotransmitter imbalances. Interestingly not all imbalances in neurotransmitters result in mental health illness as is shown below.

Some commonly seen health issues caused by neurotransmitter imbalances are;

ADD/ADHD Aggression
Alcoholism Alzheimer’s disease
Anxiety Autism
Depression Eating disorders
Hypertension (high blood pressure) Insomnia
Irritable bowel syndrome Migraines
Panic attacks Parkinson’s disease
Post natal depression Schizophrenia
Suicide Tourette’s syndrome
Violence Vitiligo

What can be done to rebalance neurotransmitters?

Imbalances in neurotransmitters can be determined by a Mental Health Test, which measures Serotonin, Dopamine, Glutamate, GABA, Noradrenaline and Adrenaline in the urine. This test requires the first morning urine sample which is sent away to pathology for analysis. From the results any imbalances in these neurotransmitters can then be rebalanced by various nutritional supplements and foods.




Greg Newson
Greg Newson

Author

Greg Newson is a qualified Naturopath, Herbalist, Nutritionist and Health Enthusiast who is passionate about wellness and dedicated in educating people of the enormous potential of natural medicine.



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