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Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It is all about how a person feels, thinks, and behaves. Mental health also helps determine how a person handles stress, relates to others, and makes healthy choices for themselves.

Living with a mental health disorder can make it difficult to perform even the most basic tasks, such as simply rolling out of bed and getting ready for the day. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental health disorder.

Causes and Risk Factors for Mental Health Disorder

Mental health disorders may be caused by several factors, including:

  • Childhood abuse, trauma or neglect
  • Social isolation
  • Social disadvantage
  • Severe or long-term stress
  • Unemployment or losing a job
  • Having a long-term physical health condition

Traditional Treatments for Mental Health Disorders

Psychiatric Medications

Psychiatric medications are among the most popular treatments for mental disorders. There are countless forms of medications that work to control the most troubling symptoms, helping people return to their normal functioning. The major options often include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-Anxiety Medications
  • Stimulants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Mood Stabilizers

While medications are an effective treatment for some individuals, it can be difficult to predict who will respond to what medication. In some cases, psychiatric medication may be short-term. However, in other cases, medication may be a life-long commitment.

Lifestyle Changes

In some instances, committing to a healthy lifestyle can actively work to boost one’s mental health. Healthy lifestyle changes may include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Practicing mindful breathing
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Consuming a healthy diet
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Adopting a Keto

How Ketosis Treats Mental Health Disorders

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that allows your body to burn fat for fuel. During ketosis, your body produces ketones from your fat stores, which can be used for energy when there are no more carbohydrates left to burn. Although you always produce a small amount of ketones, you can dramatically increase your ketones (and the fat you burn) by reducing the calories you eat, fasting, reducing carbohydrates in your diet, or increasing your activity with exercise.

When practiced regularly, entering ketosis has countless benefits, including weight loss, decreased inflammation and improved mental clarity. Maintaining a state of ketosis can even help improve mental health.

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter in the brain that has the primary role of improving mood, increasing relaxation, and alleviating pain. Low levels of GABA have been linked to anxiety and mood disorders. Research has shown that being in a state of ketosis may increase the production of GABA, therefore helping reduce symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

Another study found that maintaining ketosis for prolonged periods of time may reduce intracellular sodium and calcium levels, which is similar to how some mood-stabilizing treatments work for type II bipolar disorder.

The ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate acts as an antioxidant and protects against oxidative stress through direct and indirect mechanisms, which may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress associated with depression.

A 2018 study on Parkinson’s demonstrated that Parkinson’s patients on a ketogenic diet showed greater improvements in their non-motor symptoms than the high-carbohydrate diet group.

A 2019 study supported that a ketogenic diet may present a novel therapeutic approach to treating schizophrenia through restoring brain energy metabolism.

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