Depression and your Liver Health

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on

Depression and your Liver Health

When we think of depression we understand that it is associated with mental health.  This makes us think that there is a dysfunction within the brain and yes the pharmaceutical drugs that were designed to assist with mood disorders such as depression are made of chemicals which function to directly modulate the serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and/or histamine neurotransmitter systems in the brain depending on what they are targeting. This leads us to believe that the problem is in the brain, BUT, what if I told you that it's not just a problem in the brain and that it also includes other areas of the body such as gut and liver.

Quite often I see patients, both adults and children, who are experiencing gut issues such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea or an aching tummy as well as chronic pain. During my assessment I can see quite clearly and quickly that it isn't always about the gut. How? you might ask.  It is part of our training in our Bachelor degree, we are trained to ask the right questions and connect the symptoms to different problems. This is also why part of my consultation involves holistic life coaching. I have had over 20 years working with adults and children on life strategies.  By helping my patients understand how this is affecting their health and giving strategies to alleviate the problems we are able to work through life issues and the body can then begin to repair instead of being in a stressed state.  Whilst simultaneously using natural medicine herbs and nutrients to help the body on this journey as well as guidance on food choices and recipes to help metabolic waste elimination.  Change your mind, change what you put in your body and you can change your life.

Many diseases can be connected to a problem in the body's ability to remove metabolic waste. Our bodies are perfectly designed to break down everything that goes in, use what it can and then eliminate the waste.  The problem begins when there is not enough fuel to drive the machine and far too much waste that needs to be eliminated. 


Nutrient deficiencies + excess metabolic waste = dis-ease in the body

So how do we connect the liver?

The liver is responsible for detoxifying. It plays a vital role in removing toxins out of the blood. If the liver isn’t functioning effectively then it will struggle to detox. There are a few toxins that have been connected to depression such as pesticides, prescription medications and heavy metals such as mercury (amalgam fillings), lead (old paint), cadmium (smoking) and aluminium.

There are many research papers linking heavy metal toxicity to depression. If there is a continuous exposure to chemicals such as these and the liver is not functioning to its full potential then it will be unable to completely rid them from the body. Therefore increasing the severity of depression and anxiety.

Signs and symptoms of heavy metal toxicity include:

* Depression symptoms,

* Confusion,

* Feeling tired all the time,

* Hair loss,

* Irritability,

* Dizziness,

* Muscle aches and pains,

* Hormonal disturbances,

* High blood pressure,

* Insomnia,

* Gastrointestinal problems,

* Metallic taste in mouth and

* Memory loss or 'brain fog'.

Signs and symptoms that the liver needs a little extra care include:

* Abdominal bloating,

* Pain over the area of the liver,

* Excessive abdominal fat, pot belly,

* Difficulty digesting fatty foods,

* Gall bladder has been removed,

* Reflux,

* Acne/rosacea or itchy skin,

* Inability to lose weight

For more information on the liver, in particular fatty liver disease have a read here by clicking on the photo below.


What can be done?

As a Naturopath I am able to request blood tests if needed to assess the function of the liver. Once the results come in from the lab I am able to analyse them and explain the findings.

When analysing the results of pathology testing there are certain calculations that can be made to let us know that even though the results might be within the reference range we can see in which direction we need to focus eg if it is the food or alcohol or acidity or dehydration. They tell us where we need to pay attention and II always will explain these findings to you. It is much easier to repair and reverse prior to these numbers going outside the reference range rather than the wait and see approach.

It is often very obvious to me during the first consultation that the liver needs some work.  It is at this point that we can start a treatment plan which will begin with repair work to the gastrointestinal system to help eliminate toxic overload and diet and lifestyle guidance to nourish the body.  

For adults it is often the case that people want to detox their body and start drinking special juices for a week to do this.  


Please hear me when I say, this can be dangerous!!!

It can be dangerous for a few reasons but mainly due to this. If the digestive system has been under alot of stress from life in general as well as food and alcohol, then flushing out the liver is going to make you feel very sick PLUS your body will re-uptake the toxins that you are trying to detox making the situation worse.

Your body needs to be supported throughout the process with the right nutrients and repair needs to be completed prior to elimination of toxins.

Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body. Major areas for improvement include gut, thyroid, kidney, skin and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers.  As well as lower blood pressure and see relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you leave the house.

Melissa Callaghan BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath

Appointments can be made for in our clinic as well as through our video chat software. I help people all over the country and post their products out to them. I can help you too.

To book an appointment click here 

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Come on over and join my Facebook Group.
Would love everyone to come along and join the group.
Here is the link to join: 


Also read Toxins and Detox 

and The pain depression connection

and Heavy Metal Toxicity


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