Meta-analysis results show anemia during pregnancy and after pregnancy significantly increases the risk of postpartum depression.
Children born to mothers who had any history of anemia while pregnant are at increased risk (OR 1.45) of developing schizophrenia.
The symptoms of depression are a lot like the symptoms of anemia except individuals who are depressed have normal hemoglobin levels. As the word ‘hemoglobin’ suggests hemoglobin contains heme. Not all iron proteins are heme proteins. My idea is that there can be difficulties is iron-sulfur proteins though heme proteins, such as hemoglobin, are functioning appropriately. Would iron supplementation be enough to treat depression? Probably not though iron supplements could be of assistance. The mechanisms that dysregulate iron-sulfur proteins could also dysregulate other biological processes whereby other supplements would be required.
Individuals taking iron supplements in more than RDA amounts should have anemias panel done. An anemia panel can be ordered on line for $89. Also a CBC test (complete blood count) should be done to check that hemoglobin levels are not too high.A metabolic panel should be obtained. A CBC test costs $28 at Walk-in-Lab. The Treatment could be quickly effective as what is being addressed is iron-sulfur proteins not hemoglobin, which takes weeks to rise to normal levels.
Why are there more women who are depressed than men? Women have monthly blood loss from menstruation whereby more women than men have difficulties with iron metabolism in terms of both heme proteins and iron-sulfur proteins.
See the Treatment page on what supplements to avoid.
Iron-sulfur proteins can be dysregulated even when hemoglobin levels are normal. Iron deficiency anemia is a huge problem worldwide. I think problems with iron metabolism are much more widespread that overt incidences of anemia would suggest. When taking iron get tested. Walk-in-Lab has as anemia panel for $89.