Western medicine chops your body up into compartments and views them separately.
We view your body as a masterpiece in which each compartment is integrated with the others.
As such, a ‘problem’ in one part of your body can lead to symptoms in other parts.
This is how a stomach infection can cause depression (and fatigue, and many other symptoms distant from your gut!)
Depression affects millions of people and the treatment nearly always comes down to taking antidepressants.
But depression is not an antidepressant deficiency.
H. pylori is a bacterium that lives in the stomach. It is best known as the ulcer-causing bug, but it doesn’t always cause digestive symptoms.
One thing it can do, however, is drastically reduce the amount of stomach acid produced when you eat food.
Stomach acid is needed for proper digestion – it burns up the lumps of food you swallow to set free proteins, minerals and other nutrients so your body can absorb them.
Among these nutrients are vitamin B12 and iron.
Now, if you look at the medical literature it is perfectly clear that H. pylori causes iron deficiency and B12 deficiency by damaging the stomach lining.
You see, as well as reducing stomach acid levels in many people, H. pylori may also lower intrinsic factor levels (a substance needed for B12 absorption).
If you go online to any medical website and search “iron deficiency” or “B12 deficiency” you’ll find a list of symptoms looking something like this:
Vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Fatigue, lack of energy, or light headedness when standing up or with exertion
- Loss of appetite
- Pale skin
- Problems concentrating
- Shortness of breath, mostly during exercise
- Swollen, red tongue or bleeding gums
- Confusion or change in mental status (dementia) in severe cases
- Loss of balance
- Numbness and tingling of hands and feet
- General fatigue
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
- Strange cravings to eat items that aren’t food, such as dirt, ice, or clay
- A tingling or crawling feeling in the legs
- Tongue swelling or soreness
- Cold hands and feet
- Fast or irregular heartbeat / palpitations
- Brittle nails
- Mouth sores
- Spoon shaped nails
B12 and iron normal on blood tests?
Unfortunately, when docs test for B12 and iron levels in your blood, the results are frequently misleading.
“Normal” ranges for blood test markers are ridiculously wide.
For example, the normal range for serum B12 in the UK is typically something like 200-800.
Are you kidding?
Do we really expect someone with a B12 level at 201 to feel as energised and bright as someone at 799?
Yet both are considered “normal”.
The same goes for iron.
Time and time again, I see client blood tests that have not been interpreted accurately enough, that miss key nutritional imbalances.
In the case of depression, B12, iron or other nutrients like magnesium and folate are massively important, yet they’re simply not properly assessed.
Instead, patients are placed on anti-depressants in cases where dietary changes and carefully directed supplements would rapidly resolve the issue.
Back to H. pylori and depression
I’ve seen people’s mood improve very quickly when they found which bacteria, parasites and fungi were overgrowing in their digestive systems and took steps to remove these invaders.
It’s not just depression: anxiety, irritability and other mood/behavioural symptoms respond well, too.
These results are typically amplified when careful analysis of nutritional status was also done and the appropriate supplements used.
With depression it’s typically B12, folate (B9), B6, and iron, but there are other important nutrients such as 5-HTP, tyrosine, carnitine and Co-Q10.
BUT, you have to be able to absorb your nutrients in the long run if you want sustained results and that’s why it’s so important to optimise digestive function.
Can we help at all?
Having been on a roller coaster of depression and anxiety when I had H. pylori, I know how frustrating it can be to not feel like your true self.
If you’d like some assistance in figuring out the real reasons for your mood symptoms, please get in touch.
You can either book a full case review and consultation, or arrange a no-hassle, no obligation 15-20min chat to get acquainted and ask burning questions.
Just click here to learn how.