Mental health issues can impact your physical health, leading to symptoms such as chronic pain, fatigue, and inflammation. Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder can all cause physical symptoms that can lead to other health issues if left untreated. Functional medicine can help by addressing the root causes of symptoms and promoting whole-body healing, without relying on medication. Engaging in regular physical activity can also have a positive impact on mental health, reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Seek professional help if you’re experiencing physical symptoms related to mental health issues.
In this blog post we will examine:
- How mental health can impact your physical health
- The mental-physical health cycle
- How your body responds to depression
- How your body responds to anxiety
- How your body responds to bipolar disorder
- Functional medicine to treat your mind and body
- How does mental health affect physical activity?
- How does mental health affect social health?
- What’s the importance of physical and mental health?
- What’s the impact of mental illness on quality of life?
- How does mental and physical health interact?
- What is mental health?
- How can you improve mental health?
- What is mental illness?
How mental health can impact your physical health
You expect mental health issues to cloud your thoughts, affect your social life, and alter your moods and habits, but you may not know that depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and stress also directly impact your physical health.
And it’s easy to miss the connection, even for doctors. Chronic fatigue and pain can be attributed to a long list of physical conditions, and getting to the source is the only way to stop the symptoms for good.
That’s what we do here at The Real Gut Doctor. Dr. Jeffrey Mark, our quintuple (5x) board-certified physician, specializes in four critical areas of health care that enable him to conduct in-depth medical investigations from multiple angles to get to the root of your symptoms.
Masking pain and other symptoms with drugs keeps you dependent on medication, but Dr. Mark’s holistic approach seeks whole-body rejuvenation so you can achieve complete and comprehensive health. Dr. Mark is particularly skilled at resolving unexplained pain, especially when it’s related to mental health issues.
The mental-physical health cycle
If you’ve ever noticed that when you’re sick or injured, you become irritable, impatient, unable to concentrate, angry, or depressed, then you’ve already experienced one side of the physical-mental health connection. But it also works conversely.
If you’re depressed, anxious, stressed out, or dealing with mental illness, your body takes note and responds. If you have an existing injury or illness, struggling with emotional issues can exacerbate your symptoms. But mental illness can also attack a perfectly healthy body.
Regardless of whether the physical or mental source came first, the cycle can cause a debilitating combination of symptoms unless you find and treat the underlying problem.
How your body responds to depression
Depression, the ongoing feeling of sadness, disinterestedness, and hopelessness, impacts your whole life. It affects your personality, your job, your relationships, and yes, your body. Here are some of the physical effects that may come with depression:
- Physical fatigue
- Chronic pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Weight loss or gain
- Sexual dysfunction
These symptoms, in turn, can lead to another set of medical issues. For example, if your depression causes you to gain weight, you may develop heart disease or diabetes. If you sustain increased inflammation over a period of time, it can weaken your immune system. If your depression is keeping you awake at night, it can lead to hypertension.
How your body responds to anxiety
Feeling nervous about taking a test or watching your child drive for the first time are normal human reactions. And when you’re in danger, your body floods your system with adrenaline, putting you into fight-or-flight mode. It’s a temporary defense mechanism that keeps you alert and safe. Then when the danger is gone, your system returns to normal.
But if you live in a near-constant state of mental or emotional stress, your body can’t cope with the increased blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. Soon, your anxiety takes its toll on your body and shows up as:
- Pounding heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Upset stomach
- High blood pressure
- Muscle aches
- Chronic pain
These side effects of anxiety affect your body from head to toe. In particular, anxiety impacts your cardiovascular, immune, digestive, excretory, and respiratory systems.
How your body responds to bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder primarily affects your moods, causing severe swings from high to low. It may involve hallucinations, obsessions, delusions, extreme optimism or pessimism, aggression, and paranoia, but it doesn’t stop in your head. Bipolar disorder hits your body, too, with symptoms such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Low or high energy
- Rapid speech
- Excessive crying
- Appetite changes
- Increased blood pressure
Like depression and anxiety, the list of physical symptoms related to bipolar disease wears down your immunity and fatigues your body’s vital symptoms.
Functional medicine to treat your mind and body
If you’re feeling the physical effects of a mental disorder, there’s no better place to seek treatment than The Real Gut Doctor. Dr. Mark is committed to addressing your whole body and mind together with the functional medicine approach because he understands that there are many factors affecting both.
Functional medicine treatments never throw drugs at your symptoms. Instead, Dr. Mark discovers the root causes of your symptoms and designs a custom treatment plan that prompts your body to heal itself so your conditions and their symptoms go away for good.
He may use Platelet concentrate therapy or biocellular therapy to trigger the regeneration of damaged or diseased tissues. Physical therapy, acupuncture, or even something as simple as a few lifestyle changes have also yielded amazing results.
Don’t suffer the physical consequences of mental health issues any longer. Call us at our San Ramon or Turlock office or request an appointment with Dr. Mark online today.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How does mental health affect physical activity?
Mental health can have a significant impact on physical activity. Research shows that people who experience mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and stress may be less likely to engage in regular physical activity.
This is partly because mental health conditions can affect motivation, energy levels, and mood, making it more difficult to initiate and sustain physical activity. Additionally, people with mental health conditions may have lower self-esteem or self-efficacy, which can make them feel less confident in their ability to engage in physical activity.
On the other hand, engaging in regular physical activity can have a positive impact on mental health. Exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, and improve overall mood and well-being. It can also increase energy levels, improve sleep quality, and boost self-esteem and self-efficacy.
Overall, mental health and physical activity are closely connected, and it’s important to address both aspects of health in order to achieve optimal well-being.
How does mental health affect social health?
Mental health can have a significant impact on social health. When someone is struggling with mental health issues, it can affect their ability to form and maintain healthy relationships with others.
For example, people with depression may isolate themselves from others, avoid social situations, or have difficulty communicating their thoughts and feelings. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, social withdrawal, and a lack of support from friends and family.
Similarly, people with anxiety may have difficulty with social situations, such as meeting new people or speaking in public. This can lead to avoidance behaviors, which can further exacerbate social isolation and feelings of loneliness.
Additionally, some mental health conditions can affect behavior and communication, making it difficult for individuals to form healthy relationships with others. For example, people with schizophrenia may experience delusions or hallucinations that can make it difficult to interact with others in a meaningful way.
On the other hand, strong social support can have a positive impact on mental health. Having supportive relationships with family, friends, and community members can provide a sense of belonging, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.
Overall, mental health and social health are closely connected, and it’s important to address both aspects of health in order to achieve optimal well-being.
What’s the importance of physical and mental health?
Physical and mental health are two aspects of overall health that are critical for leading a happy and fulfilling life. While physical health refers to the well-being of the body, mental health refers to the well-being of the mind. Both are interconnected, and one can have a significant impact on the other. Therefore, maintaining good physical and mental health is essential for overall well-being.
Physical health is the foundation of our daily activities. It is the state of our body, including our ability to perform physical tasks, fight off diseases and infections, and recover from injuries. Good physical health involves maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough rest. When we take care of our physical health, we feel energized and can engage in various activities without feeling exhausted or tired. Regular exercise also helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
On the other hand, mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It is just as important as physical health and has a significant impact on our overall well-being. Mental health involves our ability to cope with stress, manage emotions, and maintain healthy relationships. It is essential to manage stress because stress can lead to various mental and physical health problems like anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Therefore, taking care of our mental health is crucial for overall well-being.
Good physical and mental health can work together to promote overall well-being. When we take care of our physical health, we can reduce stress and promote positive emotions, leading to better mental health. In turn, when we take care of our mental health, we can promote better physical health by reducing the risk of chronic diseases caused by stress.
To maintain good physical and mental health, it is essential to adopt healthy habits. Eating a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is crucial for maintaining good physical health. Regular exercise like walking, jogging, or swimming can also help to maintain good physical health. Getting enough sleep and managing stress are crucial for maintaining good mental health. It is also essential to seek professional help if you are struggling with mental health problems like anxiety or depression.
In conclusion, physical and mental health are two critical aspects of overall well-being. Both are interconnected, and one can have a significant impact on the other. Therefore, taking care of our physical and mental health is crucial for leading a happy and fulfilling life. By adopting healthy habits and seeking professional help when needed, we can maintain good physical and mental health and promote overall well-being.
What’s the impact of mental illness on quality of life?
Mental illness can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. Mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia can affect a person’s mood, thoughts, and behavior, making it difficult for them to function in their daily lives.
People with mental illnesses may experience a range of symptoms, including feelings of sadness, hopelessness, irritability, and anxiety, as well as difficulty concentrating, sleeping, and performing daily tasks. These symptoms can make it challenging for individuals to maintain relationships, hold down a job, and engage in social activities, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
In addition to the emotional and social impacts of mental illness, it can also have physical effects on the body. For example, chronic stress and anxiety can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems.
It’s important to seek professional help if you are experiencing symptoms of mental illness, as early intervention and treatment can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Therapy, medication, and other forms of support can help individuals with mental illness to manage their symptoms, maintain relationships, and engage in meaningful activities, leading to a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
How does mental and physical health interact?
Mental and physical health are interconnected and can influence each other in many ways.
Firstly, physical health can have a direct impact on mental health. Chronic physical illnesses, pain, and disabilities can all contribute to feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. Physical health problems can also limit an individual’s ability to engage in activities they enjoy, leading to feelings of isolation and frustration. In contrast, good physical health can lead to improved mental health outcomes, as exercise and other physical activities can release endorphins and improve mood.
Conversely, mental health can also have an impact on physical health. Chronic stress, anxiety, and depression can all contribute to physical health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and weakened immune function. Additionally, individuals with mental health conditions may engage in unhealthy behaviors such as substance abuse or poor nutrition, which can further exacerbate physical health problems.
It’s important to take care of both physical and mental health to promote overall well-being and prevent the development of chronic diseases and mental health conditions. Regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and stress-reducing activities such as meditation and mindfulness can all contribute to better physical and mental health outcomes. Additionally, seeking professional help for mental health concerns can help individuals manage symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
What is mental health?
Mental health refers to a person’s overall emotional and psychological well-being. It encompasses how we feel about ourselves, how we relate to others, and how we handle the challenges and stressors of life.
Good mental health is characterized by the ability to cope with the normal stresses of life, to form and maintain positive relationships, and to feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Mental health problems can manifest in a variety of ways, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and substance abuse, among others.
Mental health is important for many aspects of our lives, including our ability to work, maintain relationships, and enjoy leisure activities. Good mental health is essential for overall well-being and can help us to manage stress, make positive choices, and achieve our goals.
It’s important to take care of our mental health by seeking help when needed, engaging in self-care activities such as exercise and meditation, and maintaining positive social connections. Mental health problems can be managed with appropriate treatment, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
How can you improve mental health?
There are many ways to improve mental health, including:
- Exercise: Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood, and increase overall well-being.
- Nutrition: A healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can improve mental health by providing necessary nutrients and reducing inflammation in the body.
- Sleep: Getting enough sleep is important for mental health, as lack of sleep can contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
- Social support: Maintaining positive social connections and seeking support from friends and family can help improve mental health and reduce stress.
- Mindfulness and meditation: Practices such as mindfulness and meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall well-being.
- Therapy: Seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor can help individuals manage symptoms of mental illness and improve overall mental health.
- Medication: In some cases, medication may be necessary to manage symptoms of mental illness and improve overall mental health.
It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and taking care of our mental health is essential for overall well-being.
What is mental illness?
Mental illness refers to a range of conditions that affect an individual’s emotional and psychological well-being, causing disturbances in mood, behavior, and thought processes. Mental illnesses can have a variety of causes, including genetics, environmental factors, and life experiences.
Examples of mental illnesses include depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders. These conditions can cause significant distress and impairment in daily functioning, including difficulty with work, relationships, and self-care.
Mental illness can also have physical effects on the body, including changes in sleep patterns, appetite, and energy levels. People with mental illness may also be at increased risk of developing chronic physical health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
It’s important to seek professional help if you are experiencing symptoms of mental illness, as early intervention and treatment can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Treatment may involve therapy, medication, and other forms of support, depending on the individual’s specific needs and the nature of their mental illness.