Depression is a mental disorder that manifests as a lack of interest, pleasure, sleep, appetite, persistent sadness, and guilt. However, these symptoms may vary in terms of duration, mode of presentation, and intensity for the diverse depression types. A study in Europe indicated that depression is prevalent in women than in men. Therefore, the research suggests that hormonal variations influence depression since hormones directly activate, modulate, and inhibit the central nervous system (CNS).
Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH).
CRH regulates the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into circulation, causing the discharge of cortisol from the adrenal cortex. Cortisol stimulates adrenaline release and is referred to as the stress hormone. Anxiety and some depressive disorders occur in high cortisol production. Melancholic depression is consistent with high CRH levels present in your cerebrospinal fluid.
The Relationship between high cortisol levels and depression
Many patients record stressful situations as a trigger for depression and sleep disturbances. Cortisol can alter your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that is consistent with depressive states. Currently, research is underway to determine if CRH-selective inhibitors can diminish depressive symptoms. Researchers indicate that antidepressants modulate glucocorticoid receptors, apart from acting on cytokines and neurotransmitters.
Female hormones and depression
Women are at higher risk of developing depression since they have drastic hormonal variations during puberty, menopause, postpartum, and menstrual cycles. Sex hormones in women are considered responsible for depression because they control mood, mental status, and cognition. These hormones include progesterone and estrogen. Recent studies indicate estrogen plays a vital role in controlling feelings, motor skills, and cognitive functions.
If you are a girl at the inception of puberty, gonadal development results in the creation of sexual hormones. Therefore, your body will experience an abrupt change in the hormone levels, thereby predisposing you to mood disorders. Additionally, these hormonal changes influence an adolescent’s mental status by controlling serotonin levels. Adolescent girls undergo psychosocial tensions that increase the risk of developing depressive illness.
The impact of Serotonin on depression
Serotonin levels in your system control moods you might experience. Patients with mood disorders have lower levels of circulating serotonin. Furthermore, these patients respond better with serotonin drugs rather than noradrenergic therapy. You can thus elevate your moods by getting a prescription from your physician for serotonin medication.
Estrogen hormone controls cognition and mood and, thus, can alleviate your depression symptoms. The hormone increases the number of serotonin receptor type 2A in the brain, serotonin synthesis, and acts as an agonistic modulator of serotonin receptors. Furthermore, estrogen decreases monoamine oxidase degradation (MAO) and serotonin receptor type one binding. These actions culminate to produce an antidepressant effect.
Conversely, progesterone causes depression by increasing the activity of the Monoamine oxidase enzyme that is responsible for serotonin degradation. Serotonin levels decrease due to high MAO activity induced by progesterone. Progesterone receptors populate regions in your brain responsible for learning, behavior, and emotional reactions. However, progesterone stabilizes your moods and decreases mental functions, unlike estrogen.
Thyroid gland function and depression
Research on patients with thyroid dysfunction indicates a correlation of depression with hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition that arises from a low amount of circulating thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland function and serotoninergic system relationship decrease cortisol and prolactin response to serotonin receptors. Furthermore, the reduction in response diminishes the levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), which normalizes once levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone is administered.
In depressive conditions, the number of 5-HT-1A receptors increases. These receptors interrupt neuronal impulses flow by detecting serotonin and decreasing its release. Additionally, the 5-HT-1A receptors increase the uptake of 5-HT and hence, reducing its circulating levels. The administration of levothyroxine to a hypothyroid patient shows a reduction in the responsiveness of the 5-HT-1A receptors.
Additionally, administration of levothyroxine increases the release of serotonin hence alleviating depression symptoms. The enzymes involved in the metabolism of thyroid hormones affect the interaction of thyroid diseases and serotonin. Studies indicate that serotonin inhibits thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) since depressed patients have high levels of TRH and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
Research points out that T3 participates in the modulation of the noradrenergic nuclei. Noradrenaline plays a significant role in the deiodination and activation process of T3 to T4. Thyroxine concentrates in brain areas with the high noradrenergic transmission, hence, acts as the beta-adrenergic receptors. The modulation of these receptors results in antidepressant outcomes in patients and promotes quick recovery.
If you have been experiencing depression, possibly due to mood and hormonal fluctuations, we can provide you with solutions and assistance to improve your health status. Ready to get started, call us today at (205) 352-9141.