Anyone that has been in pain for any length of time knows that it can be very hard if not impossible to be in a good mood. Researchers may be uncovering why and provide clues on how to correct it. 

Inflammation, Pain and Neurotransmision

Researchers have shown that inflammation can cause numerous nutritional imbalances, including a tissue specific depletion of pyridoxal-5-phsophate (a form of vitamin B6) that can lead to numerous neurotransmitter imbalances. The result can be disease-like symptoms related to the nutritional deficiency, including symptoms like depression, anxiety, insomnia and more pain.

How to Find out if Inflammation is Affecting Neurotransmitter Function

Recent research has shown that measuring plasma levels of pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP) may hold a clue to the impact that inflammation has on neurotransmitter function. They showed that low plasma concentrations of pyridoxal-5-phosphate were inversely related to major markers of inflammation (like CRP). Therefore, if a person’s plasma PLP levels are low and they are in chronic pain, there is a high likelihood that it’s due to inflammation and that the low PLP levels are leading to or exacerbating neurotransmitter dysfunction that can lead to a whole host of symptoms, including a chronically bad mood.

The fix is to find a provider that can help you correct not only the underlying causes of your pain – which is the long-term goal – but also the resulting neurotransmitter and nutritional imbalances, so that you can feel better during that process.

  1. Chiang EP, Smith DE, Selhub J, et al. Inflammation causes tissue-specific depletion of vitamin B6. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2005.
  2. Friso S, et al. Low circulating vitamin B6 is associated with elevation of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein independently of plasma homocysteine levels. Circ 2001, 103:2788-2791.
  3. Chiang EP, Bagley PJ, Selhub J, et al. Abnormal vitamin B6 status is associated with severity of symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Am J Med. 2003, 114: 283-287.