Depression is a serious mental health issue in the United States today. In fact, it affects an estimated 17.3 million adults throughout the country.
Depression is very common, but there’s still a lot about it that researchers don’t understand.
Some new studies have come out recently, though, that suggest the cause of depression could have to do with exposure to biotoxins.
Never heard of biotoxins before? Not sure how it feels to be exposed to them?
Read on to learn more about what biotoxin illness is and how it can contribute to depression and other symptoms.
Before we get into some more specific details on biotoxins and the role they may play in depression, it’s important to note that this article cannot serve as a substitute to an appointment with a trained medical professional. It’s meant to provide general information only.
If you’re suffering from depression or another health issue, seek the support of a medical doctor to get the specific care you need.
What are Biotoxins?
A biotoxin is a toxic substance that has a biological origin. This means they’re made by a living organism.
There are many different forms of biotoxins that exist in nature, including the following:
- Mycotoxins (these are made by various fungi)
- Zootoxins (these are made by animals)
- Phytotoxins (these are made by plants)
Biotoxins can be broken down even further based on the effects they have. For example:
- Necrotoxins cause cell death and tissue destruction
- Neurotoxins affect the function of the nervous system
- Haemotoxins target the red blood cells
- Cytotoxins are toxic at the cellular level
Many biotoxins present threats to human health, as well as the health of animals.
What is Biotoxin Illness?
Biotoxin illness (sometimes referred to as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) occurs when you’re exposed to biotoxins. It’s characterized by both acute and chronic inflammatory responses throughout the body (including the brain).
There are many biotoxins that can cause this illness. Fungi, bacteria, and mycobacteria are some of the most common and problematic biotoxins, though.
Symptoms of Biotoxin Illness
People who develop this illness can experience a myriad of symptoms. It’s not always easy to spot this illness because it mimics a variety of other health problems.
The following are some of the most well-known signs and symptoms associated with this condition:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Respiratory issues (persistent coughing, sneezy, asthma symptoms, etc.)
- Skin problems (eczema, rashes, itching, etc.)
- Muscle pain and cramps
- Difficulty focusing
Some people may also feel disoriented or dizzy if they’re struggling with biotoxicity.
Biotoxins and Depression
In addition to the symptoms listed above, some people also experience severe feelings of depression when they’re exposed to biotoxins at length.
This might be because biotoxins can have an impact on the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain and the balance of hormones throughout the body.
Biotoxins and Neurotransmitters
Biotoxins can compromise neurotransmitters and prevent them from functioning properly in the brain.
Biotoxins are especially damaging to the neurotransmitters associated with a positive mood. This includes the following:
If you have disruptions in the balance or function of these neurons, you’re going to be more likely to suffer from depression, as well as other issues like fatigue, headaches, and chronic pain.
Biotoxins and Hormones
Biotoxin exposure can also lead to hormone imbalance. Hormone imbalances, in turn, can result in feelings of depression.
Biotoxins can cause hormone imbalances by affecting the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (also known as the HPA axis).
When the HPA axis is not working correctly, your body may produce and become resistant to cortisol. This puts you in a highly stressed out, inflamed state and may make you more prone to a variety of illnesses and health problems.
Treating Biotoxin Illnesses
Once a person is diagnosed with biotoxicity, they can begin seeking treatment to improve their symptoms. The following are some treatments options one can try if they’re suffering from depression or other symptoms of biotoxicity:
The first step is to get tested. Your doctor can perform a variety of blood and urine tests to figure out what’s going on in your body and determine whether biotoxin exposure is playing a role.
You should also have your home tested for mold and other biotoxins.
The next step is to get rid of the mold. Work with a professional cleanup company to get rid of mold, fungus, or other biotoxins that are present in your home.
You’ll also need to work to detoxify yourself and get rid of the mold or other biotoxins in your body.
According to this article by BioDesign Wellness, there are a variety of lifestyle changes that can help when it comes to improving depression and other symptoms of biotoxicity.
You should also work with a healthcare practitioner, though. They can give you supplements and a specific protocol to follow that will yield the greatest benefits.
Preventing Biotoxin Illnesses
It’s not always easy to prevent biotoxicity. There are a few steps you can take to prevent the growth of mold and fungus inside your home and other places where you spend a lot of time, though, including the following:
- Address leaks and plumbing problems as soon as you notice them
- Use detergent and water to remove mold from all hard surfaces
- Discard ceiling tiles, carpet, and other porous materials if they develop mold
- Don’t paint or caulk over moldy surfaces
- Clean and repair your rain gutters on a regular basis
- Clean air conditioner drip pans often
- Maintain a 30-50 percent level of indoor humidity (higher than this can contribute to mold growth)
It helps to utilize an air purifier and air sanitizer in your home, too. These can be very effective at keeping out airborne pollutants, mold, and germs.
Start Managing Your Depression Today
Now that you know more about what a biotoxin illness is, are you curious about whether your depressive symptoms are stemming from this type of issue?
If you suspect biotoxins are contributing to your symptoms, it’s important to reach out to a doctor right away. They can perform the necessary tests so you can get to the bottom of your depression and start feeling better.
Do you want to learn more about improving your mental health and managing symptoms of depression?
If so, check out the Health section of our site today for more information and advice.