Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

What is it?

Depression is an affective disorder, being considered a multifactorial pathology with an estimated prevalence of 19% – that is, about 1 in 5 people present the problem at some point in life. In the pathological sense, it is a disease, with a series of evidences showing chemical changes in the brain of the depressed individual, especially with regard to neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine and, to a lesser extent, dopamine). Besides being related to the presence of sadness, pessimism and low self-esteem, which often appear to be combined with each other.

Diagnosis of depression

The diagnosis is clinical, made by a physician after complete collection of the patient’s history and a mental state examination. No specific laboratory tests are used to diagnose this condition. In addition, it is important to consider that there are some subtypes of depression, such as seasonal depression, bipolar depression, psychotic depression, dysthymy, among others.

How does depression work?

Some of the main symptoms according to the Ministry of Health include depressed mood, sadness most of the day for at least 2 weeks, reports loss of interest in day-to-day things and presents discouragement, tiredness, loss of energy. There may also be decreased concentration, attention, self-esteem and appetite, as well as a change in sleep. Thoughts such as ideas of guilt and uselessness, will or act of hurting or committing suicide, desoded and pessimistic visions of the future can be part of the picture. Sometimes, people with depression do not report these feelings and ideas, because they are prejudiced about this problem, but they report physical symptoms, such as feeling discomfort in the heartbeat, constipation, headaches, digestive difficulties.

When do you need to supplement?

Conventional treatment for depression is antidepressant medications combined with psychotherapy. These should not be left aside in a treatment, but it should also be taken into account that recent studies begin to show that probiotic supplementation already shows a significant effect on better depression conditions. Omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin D supplementation have also been an interesting alternative, but further studies are needed to confirm their effectiveness.


Reading suggestion: Depression
: how to identify symptoms and signs in the intestinal microbiota

Liu RT, Walsh RFL, Sheehan AE. Prebiotics and probiotics for depression and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 Jul;102:13-23. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.03.023. Epub 2019 Apr 17. PMID: 31004628;

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