Hunger Can Cause Long-term Mood Disorders Such As Depression And Anxiety

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Hunger Can Cause Long-term Mood Disorders Such As Depression And Anxiety
Hunger Can Cause Long-term Mood Disorders Such As Depression And Anxiety

Video: Hunger Can Cause Long-term Mood Disorders Such As Depression And Anxiety

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Hunger can cause long-term mood disorders such as depression and anxiety

The sudden drop in glucose levels that occurs when we feel hungry can affect our mood. What's more, the impact could be long-term, according to a study by scientists at the University of Guelph.

Hunger can cause long-term mood disorders such as depression and anxiety
Hunger can cause long-term mood disorders such as depression and anxiety

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The sudden drop in glucose levels that occurs when we feel hungry can affect our mood. What's more, the impact could be long-term, according to a study by scientists at the University of Guelph.

“We found evidence that changes in glucose levels can have a lasting effect on mood,” said Francesco Leri, professor at the Faculty of Psychology. “I was skeptical when people told me that they get rude if they don't eat, but now I believe it. Hypoglycemia is a strong physiological and psychological stressor."

"When people think about negative emotions and stress, they think about psychological factors, not metabolic factors," said Thomas Horman, Ph.D., who led the study. "But we found that poor eating behavior can have such consequences."

The study, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, examined the effect of a sudden drop in glucose on emotional behavior in rats. Rats were injected with a glucose metabolism blocker, causing them to experience hypoglycemia, and then placed in a specific chamber. Then, after a while, they were injected with water and placed in another chamber.

When choosing which chamber to enter, the animals actively avoided the chamber where they were experiencing hypoglycemia. This type of behavior is an expression of stress and anxiety, unwillingness to go through a stressful experience.

In the blood of rats after hypoglycemia, the researchers found significant levels of corticosterone, indicative of physiological stress.

Injections of a glucose metabolism blocker produced lethargy, which resolved after taking antidepressants. Thus, the behavior changed, although the muscles were still not receiving glucose. This supports the idea that animals experienced stress and depressed mood during hypoglycemia.

The findings could be useful for treating people with depression and anxiety, according to Horman: “The factors that lead to the development of depression and anxiety may differ from one person to another. Knowing that nutrition is a factor, we can incorporate eating habits into possible treatments.”

These findings also provide insight into the relationship between depression and diseases such as obesity, diabetes, bulimia, and anorexia. The researchers plan to determine whether chronic, long-term hypoglycemia is a risk factor for depressive behavior.

“Bad mood and poor nutrition can become a vicious circle - if a person is not eating well, they may experience a mood dip, and this low mood can make them not want to eat. If someone is constantly skipping meals and constantly experiencing this stressor, the response can affect the emotional state at a more permanent level,”concluded Horman.

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