10 Surprising Effects Depression has on the Body from 10 Surprising Effects Depression has on the Body

10 Surprising Effects Depression has on the Body

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10 Surprising Effects Depression has on the Body

Contrary to what many people believe, depression is a physical illness as well as an emotional one. Individuals suffering from the disease may complain about headaches, chest pain, muscle aches, back pain, and an upset stomach.

*Related: The Difference Between Being Sad and Depressed

Approximately 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide. Many of them will experience anxiety, mood changes, difficulty concentrating, changing in their sleep patterns, and unexplained aches and pains.

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Insomnia

According to research, about 80 percent of people with depression have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Poor sleep leads to fatigue, which ultimately causes a decline in physical activity and sleep deprivation. Some of the common side effects of sleep deprivation include aging, weight gain, and forgetfulness.

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Weight Gain

People suffering depression often experience weight gain. This may be due to increased appetite and lack of physical activity, which may ultimately be caused by lack of motivation and energy. Research has found that these individuals usually gain weight in their abdominal region. This is linked to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

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Headaches

Patients who rarely get headaches may begin to experience them, while those who frequently suffer from migraine headaches will notice them getting worse. Studies have shown that people report their headaches worse in the morning and evening.

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It Can Change the Functioning of Your Brain

Depression may have a direct effect on your brain structure. According to Dr. Mercola, “recurring depressive episodes reduce the size of your hippocampus, a brain area involved in forming emotions and memory; a smaller hippocampus equates to a loss of emotional and behavioral function.”

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Muscle Aches and Pains

Back pain specifically is another physical sign of depression. Depressed individuals tend to focus less on a nutritious diet and exercise less. This ultimately causes stress on the body – pain in muscles and joints.

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Weaker Immune System

Depression may have a negative impact on your immune system. It makes you more susceptible to the common cold and makes it harder to get over a sickness because your body has a more difficult time fighting off infections.

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Digestive Problems

Depression is commonly associated with digestive issues. According to Dr. Mercola, “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammation in your gut.” Nausea, ulcers, colitis and Crohn’s Disease, may occur due to extra stress on the body.

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Heart Disease

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, depression is linked to heart disease because individuals who are depressed tend to exercise less and smoke more than those who are not.

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Thyroid Problems

Individuals who are depressed may have low thyroid levels, also known as hypothyroidism. This may cause trouble concentrating, fatigue, or oversleeping. If you are feeling depressed, see your doctor and get tested. “Studies show that if you have hypothyroidism and depression, things may improve with thyroid-replacement medications rather than relying on antidepressants,” webmd.com explains.

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Weight Loss

Loss of appetite and weight loss can be an early sign of depression. Many people stop eating. Studies have shown that sufferers may experience a change of 5 percent of body weight in a month.

10 Surprising Effects Depression has on the Body