Is Sugar Causing your Depression?

inflammation sugar

Depression is an impressionistic term that describes a collection of related but distinct mind-body processes. Despite the fact that modern psychiatry offers a one-size-fits-all treatment, research is focused on identifying drivers of different types of depressive syndromes. Thirty six percent of depressive syndromes are considered "atypical depression" which is characterized by features including carb craving, fatigue, bodily heaviness, and interpersonal sensitivity. In a paper entitled, Elevated IL-6 levels in patients with atypical depression but not in patients with typical depression, Rudolf et al supported past research that identified a connection between inflammation and metabolic derangement.

  • Depression, abdominal obesity, and blood sugar abnormalities are closely associated.
  • In this study, of the subjects with atypical depression, there was a finding of an elevated inflammatory marker, IL-6. IL-6 drives release of the stress hormone, cortisol.
  • This marker was correlated with HgA1C, insulin, CRP, body mass index, and waist girth.
  • This study does not address causation: whether overeating and obesity cause inflammation which causes depression OR whether inflammation causes behavioral change leading to obesity.

Carbohydrate craving and consumption may be the most important dietary issue to address in the setting of depression. Read some tips for breaking the habit, here!

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About Dr. Kelly Brogan

KELLY BROGAN, MD, is a holistic psychiatrist, author of the New York Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your OwnOwn Your Self, the children’s book, A Time For Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression. She is the founder of the online healing program Vital Mind Reset, and the membership community, Vital Life Project. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. Learn More