6

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Testing for Chronic Infections to treat Depression

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 14, 2012 at 12:06 AM

So Paul Jaminet keeps stressing that chronic infections play a much larger roll in our health than we realize. I've been "Paleo"(along with no dairy) for 9 months, exercise regularly, get plenty of sun and even meditate a few times a week but I can't shake my damn depression. If I do in fact have a chronic infection causing this, what kind of test would I ask my Doctor for?

I also have a lot of environmental allergies which I'm getting shots for. The symptoms involve chronic sinus congestion and post nasal drip. Just thought I should put that out there in case it's important. I've found that my sinus congestion has also exaserbated my Catathrenia (a form of sleep apnea) which has had a negative effect on my sleep quality. Thanks in advance!

Junto

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Yeah, this is a great one, your doctor would be happy to do this too. Nice easy blood test. You can also get your doctor to check your lymph nodes for swelling, and then monitor them yourself (some people, depending on physiology, can really feel them and use them to monitor infections).

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on March 20, 2012
at 04:59 PM

You could contact Paul via email on his blog and ask him directly. I'm sure he'd be happy to help you. He doesn't visit PH all that often so you'd have better luck going to find him over there.

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3 Answers

1
E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

on March 20, 2012
at 06:14 PM

I don't have a straight answer, but would suggest two articles to get started, if you haven't read them already:

(1) Emily Deans, "Depression: A Genetic Faustian Bargain with Infection?" http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2012/03/depression-genetic-faustian-bargain.html

This article will explain a theory about how inflammation is connected to depression (and how it could even be an evolutionary 'advantage,' interestingly).

[EDIT: Want to clarify that, as I understand it, Deans does not argue here that depression itself is an evolutionary advantage, but rather sort of a consequence/side effect of a 'trigger happy' immune system, which itself has survival value. Clear as mud? :)]

(2) Mark Sisson, "How to Tell If You???re Inflamed: Objective and Subjective Inflammatory Markers," http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-tell-if-youre-inflamed-objective-and-subjective-inflammatory-markers/#ixzz1pgKNowwe

This is just a summary of the biological nuts and bolts of ascertaining if you have systemic inflammation. (C-reactive protein tests, blood cell tests, etc...)

So maybe combining these two tools will get you a better understanding and tools to ascertain what's going on in your own body.

[EDIT: Okay, I saw this and it's too relevant to your personal situation not to include!: Bix, "Allergies, Inflammation and Depression," http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2012/03/allergies-inflammation-and-depression.html, interesting right?]

I've been 'paleo' for over a year and also have depression. I have seen improvement in my ability to manage my mood, but it has taken a long time and other factors are at play (more exercise, feeling better in and about my body, etc...). It would be interesting to track inflammation indicators alongside my own mood (though impossible to be totally scientific about it).

1
76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on March 20, 2012
at 03:39 PM

White blood cell counts would definitely be a good choice. Super low cholesterol could be indicative of a pathogen. I think I came across a comment somewhere that super high HDL (>100) could also be a sign of infection. C-reactive protein (CRP) and ferritin might be useful markers as well. You might want to get your vitamin D level checked too.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Yeah, this is a great one, your doctor would be happy to do this too. Nice easy blood test. You can also get your doctor to check your lymph nodes for swelling, and then monitor them yourself (some people, depending on physiology, can really feel them and use them to monitor infections).

0
0ead271762198cb1344fdc104b42bbbd

on March 20, 2012
at 02:57 PM

Hopefully someone can give you a better answer, but the blood count will give you some clues -- white blood cell count would be up, and the type of cells that have their count elevated is an indication. For example, an elevated eosinophil count is indicative of certain types of infections.

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