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Blood Tests for Depression


Soror
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What all should we get tested to rule out any physical causes contributing to depression?

I wanted to check:

-d (not enough time outdoors and I know that I have trouble making d from sunlight)

-b12

-thyroid (runs in both sides of family)

What am I missing? 

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The TPH2 gene helps convert/make 5HTP, so a defect in that would dispose you to lower 5HTP, resulting in lower serotoin and possibly melatonin. But I'm not sure they do blood tests for that. You can also see the D issue in your genes too, because it would be VDR (vitamin D receptor). 

My doc didn't want to run b12 specifically because he said he could *infer* it from some of the other numbers. It turned out to be true in my case. I paid for it privately and it was fine. Just saying your doc may or may not run it because they can make a good guess from your other labs. I forget which one, but he was kind of savvy and knew. 

Yes yes on the thyroid!! Are you having symptoms? You want more than a TSH btw. You want the Free T3, Free T4, and antibodies if he'll run them. Some docs kinda slow walk things, sigh. My doc is a TSH guy so it's pulling teeth to get more. You can pay for them privately if you want. 

Any anxiety? B6 also affects anxiety, but when I started it (actually P5P, a different form of b6) my thyroid went up just a dab, which would of course affect mood too. 

Do your glasses have a blue light coating? Eye docs are pushing these so much (and transitions, which also coats) and I think (not a lot of data just anecdotes) that it's connected for some people. The eyes process sun, not just the skin, my understanding. So when I sunbathe, I don't wear my glasses. I want my eyes to have at least some time (30 minutes, whatever) where they're taking in and processing light as we were meant to. My dh changed out some of the glass doors in our house to coated windows, and my mood has not been as good. We really need sunlight! 

This is more in the weeds, way in the weeds, but if you have genes that cause you to have high methyls, for me the high methyls cause a funk that could be called depression. You would sort that out better with genetics I guess. Normally I have my mix pretty good (MTHFR and COMT defects) and keep them down/controlled enough I'm fine. However right now I'm taking ibuprofen to tamp down inflammation from the covid vax, and my mood is nasty. (dark, spiraling) So you won't get labs to sort out what part methylation issues are contributing, but genetics would tell you.

I hope you get it figured out and get a mix that works! I use to have nasty, constant depression when I was living under high tension power lines. Usually now I'm pretty upbeat, with my chemistry mix a lot better, thyroid up, and away from the power lines and things that were stressing my body. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out. I think you're right on to want the physical explanations. Meds are fine too, but there can be treatable explanations.

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Most importantly is a genetic test as to which anti-depressant will work for you if no other physical cause comes about.  My dd2 had one and we figured out why none of the anti-depressants worked and why some gave  her and her brother suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts (those were stopped immediately).   She has genes from both sides of the family in that only one class of drugs works for her-- the tryptillines - which are a cheap, old-style medication. One from that class was the one that worked best for me too.

Oh and in looking at my genes= through Promothease, I see that I am a fast metabolizers of a slew of medications.

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Iron panel! You have to claim fatigue as a symptom for your insurance to cover this, so do that 🙂

Not just checking for anemia, but full iron panel. Many women are not yet anemic, but are low on ferritin, and that can cause fatigue, brain fog, and depression type symptoms. 

also, a celiac panel - MANY patients with celiac present with neuropsychiatric symptoms, not GI symptoms. but you may have to claim some tummy troubles to get it run. (or you can get a test off the internet for under $100)

If you have any joint pain, also a panel to check for autoimmune/inflammation. Like with celiac, many AI diseases can cause depression. 

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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

Iron panel! You have to claim fatigue as a symptom for your insurance to cover this, so do that 🙂

Not just checking for anemia, but full iron panel. Many women are not yet anemic, but are low on ferritin, and that can cause fatigue, brain fog, and depression type symptoms. 

also, a celiac panel - MANY patients with celiac present with neuropsychiatric symptoms, not GI symptoms. but you may have to claim some tummy troubles to get it run. (or you can get a test off the internet for under $100)

If you have any joint pain, also a panel to check for autoimmune/inflammation. Like with celiac, many AI diseases can cause depression. 

I'm suspicious of Celiac anyway but I could not get this kid to say they have GI symptoms as they sure don't want it to be true. They had issues when they were younger that drastically improved when we all went GF. I kept the whole family GF for a decade. I did genetic testing at the time which showed genes from both sides but then later realized that I needed more tests and would have to put them on gluten to get those done so we didn't do it. Once they went to school staying GF was not happening so everyone but me went back on. A few months later dd3 started having massive tummy issues, she ended up tested for Celiac blood panel- negative and endoscopy showed fine but after they could give us no other explanation she we went back GF and hasn't had tummy issues. Kid in question never had cavities - last year ended up with 3 root canals. Teeth issues are related to Celiac too. I had a friendly dr who I could have got the blood test done through but then they moved off and we had to switch dr's. I'm hoping he doesn't give me too much of a fight on it. I really would like to know for sure. 

2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

The TPH2 gene helps convert/make 5HTP, so a defect in that would dispose you to lower 5HTP, resulting in lower serotoin and possibly melatonin. But I'm not sure they do blood tests for that. You can also see the D issue in your genes too, because it would be VDR (vitamin D receptor). 

My doc didn't want to run b12 specifically because he said he could *infer* it from some of the other numbers. It turned out to be true in my case. I paid for it privately and it was fine. Just saying your doc may or may not run it because they can make a good guess from your other labs. I forget which one, but he was kind of savvy and knew. 

Yes yes on the thyroid!! Are you having symptoms? You want more than a TSH btw. You want the Free T3, Free T4, and antibodies if he'll run them. Some docs kinda slow walk things, sigh. My doc is a TSH guy so it's pulling teeth to get more. You can pay for them privately if you want. 

Any anxiety? B6 also affects anxiety, but when I started it (actually P5P, a different form of b6) my thyroid went up just a dab, which would of course affect mood too. 

Do your glasses have a blue light coating? Eye docs are pushing these so much (and transitions, which also coats) and I think (not a lot of data just anecdotes) that it's connected for some people. The eyes process sun, not just the skin, my understanding. So when I sunbathe, I don't wear my glasses. I want my eyes to have at least some time (30 minutes, whatever) where they're taking in and processing light as we were meant to. My dh changed out some of the glass doors in our house to coated windows, and my mood has not been as good. We really need sunlight! 

This is more in the weeds, way in the weeds, but if you have genes that cause you to have high methyls, for me the high methyls cause a funk that could be called depression. You would sort that out better with genetics I guess. Normally I have my mix pretty good (MTHFR and COMT defects) and keep them down/controlled enough I'm fine. However right now I'm taking ibuprofen to tamp down inflammation from the covid vax, and my mood is nasty. (dark, spiraling) So you won't get labs to sort out what part methylation issues are contributing, but genetics would tell you.

I hope you get it figured out and get a mix that works! I use to have nasty, constant depression when I was living under high tension power lines. Usually now I'm pretty upbeat, with my chemistry mix a lot better, thyroid up, and away from the power lines and things that were stressing my body. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out. I think you're right on to want the physical explanations. Meds are fine too, but there can be treatable explanations.

This is for a kid. He doesn't have specific thyroid symptoms that I'm aware of but considering the family history (I have thyroid disease and both my Mom,Grandma, numerous aunts, MIL, and SIL have thyroid disease) I think it prudent to keep an eye on it. Since I have thyroid disease I'm familiar with all the labs but at this point would be happy with just a TSH to start as a screening tool. I am not depressed, stressed at times but not depressed. 

1 hour ago, TravelingChris said:

Most importantly is a genetic test as to which anti-depressant will work for you if no other physical cause comes about.  My dd2 had one and we figured out why none of the anti-depressants worked and why some gave  her and her brother suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts (those were stopped immediately).   She has genes from both sides of the family in that only one class of drugs works for her-- the tryptillines - which are a cheap, old-style medication. One from that class was the one that worked best for me too.

Oh and in looking at my genes= through Promothease, I see that I am a fast metabolizers of a slew of medications.

I will ask about that thanks. I've wondered about those tests.

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5 hours ago, Soror said:

What all should we get tested to rule out any physical causes contributing to depression?

I wanted to check:

-d (not enough time outdoors and I know that I have trouble making d from sunlight)

-b12

-thyroid (runs in both sides of family)

What am I missing? 

I asked for a panel to assess my fatigue and the dr’s office had a preset panel they liked to test. It’s very common to be low in D. I upped my D3 with supplements but later learned you should take K with D. My new order of vitamins coming has both. Might want to try: 

Vitamin D3 + K2 (MK7) Supplement - MenaQ7 - Calcium and Vitamin D3 5000 IU Max Absorption - Teeth and Bone Strength, Heart Health, Immune System Support - 60 Veggie Capsules – ForestLeaf https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FDBFSZZ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_GVZFTP5A3P8EGD4D44Z7

I also take B12 gummies but that didn’t show up as a deficiency. 

They will probably prescribe you a really small dose. I ignored their suggestion of 2000 IU and take 5000-10,000/day. When I got retested I was in the significant range but on the low side. So I’d say aim higher at first. I don’t think it will hurt. 

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If you know you have autoimmune issues in the genes, I would also look at just general inflammatory markers. Cr-p and such. D3, B12, CBC and thyroid are the general basics, but in the things that have gone down in our family we totally see a correlation between inflammatory markers and depression. IMO, I think this is why fish oil is so helpful for a subset of kids with ADD and autism and it became a general recommendation. 

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If you do end up taking meds, you might consider asking your provider to run GeneSight DNA analysis, which helps to guide medication selection. Many providers are using it now.

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Waiting for labs now- celiac, iron, thyroid, b, d. Wanted to rule these out before pursuing tests for meds. The doctor gave me no hassle when I asked to run these. Wish I'd known would have saved me the stress of worrying about that.

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