Surprising Ways Depression Can Affect Your Physical Health

Posted March 7, 2022 by in Health + Fitness
Worried young woman covering face with hand

We tend to think of depression as being a wholly mental health issue. It makes us feel sad, anxious; like we don’t belong, and it is usually treated with antidepressants, so it is not surprising that we think of it as a problem that only affects our mental wellbeing, but we are wrong to do so.

Yes, depression is a mental illness, but it can also affect our physical body in a surprising number of ways too. So, let’s take a look at some of them now:

Unrecognizable female sitting with crossed legs in room on floor

Gut Health

What many people do not realize is that depression and gut health are strongly linked. The bacteria in your gut can have a significant impact on how well you feel and vice versa. If a person is depressed, they may have more bad bacteria than good, which means they may suffer from issues like nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

The good news is, it is possible to improve your gut biome by eating a healthy diet and potentially taking probiotic supplements, This will help your gut health and your mood.

A Lower Pain Threshold

Unfortunately for people suffering from depression, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that depressed people feel more pain than those individuals who are not suffering from mental health issues. Experts believe this could be due to a number of factors including poor sleep and higher levels of inactivity in people who are having a depressive episode, but more research is needed to really find out why pain seems less manageable when you are depressed.

Tooth Decay

For people who are suffering from depression are also more likely to suffer from tooth decay and require the help of a general dentist. This is probably because when you are depressed, even something as simple as brushing your teeth can seem almost impossible to achieve.

If you are suffering from depression, setting a timer to remind you to brush your teeth at a time when you are more likely to be able to do so, can really help.

Poor Temperature Regulation

If you have ever suffered from depression, you may have noticed that your body does not feel hot and cold temperatures in the same way as it once did. This is because depressed people have a more sluggish thermoregulation system, which means they tend to sweat less and are unable to enjoy the warmth of the dun or a hot cup of tea as much as people who are not suffering from depression may.

Blurred Vision

Depression can often leave people feeling fuzzy-headed, but research suggests that they may actually suffer from blurred vision too! One study found that depressed people not only had less contrast sensitivity but also that the more depressed they were the blurrier their vision was. It’s amazing what the mind can do.

As you can see, depression really is a mind-body issue, and if you notice any of these symptoms in your own life, it may be worth exploring the possibility of depression as well as any physical causes, with your doctor.