Depression is more than just a mental disorder. It influences just about every system of the body. Here's how depression may be affecting your physical health.

The hormonal impact of depression

Any time you experience hormonal shifts, depression is a potential side effect. Many people first notice depression during postpartum, menopause, puberty, thyroid treatment or when using exogenous hormones (through birth control pills or steroids, for example). The relationship goes both ways: hormone changes can cause depression, and depression can lead to hormonal shifts.

Insulin resistance and elevated cortisol levels are commonly seen in individuals with depression. Some of these hormones' side effects include visceral fat gain (carrying more weight in the midsection), prediabetes or diabetes and high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Insulin and cortisol help regulate our energy levels and stress response. Dysregulation can lead to feelings of