Your Usual Level Of Irritability

What Causes Irritability?

Irritability can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'life-threatening'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose irritability, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "irritability" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Nutritional Deficiency
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Aspartame/Neotame Side-Effects
  • Copper Toxicity
  • Overtraining
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences
  • Phosphorus Deficiency

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
shortness of breath when at rest
short-term memory failure
high serum iron
bowel movement changes
severe right lumbar pain
severe sexual abuse during childhood
low TIBC
edema of the hands
specific muscle weakness
elevated liver enzymes
cocaine use
regular nightmares
... and more than 70 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of irritability:
Cause Probability Status
Aspartame/Neotame Side-Effects 93% Confirm
Overtraining 24% Unlikely
Nutritional Deficiency 14% Unlikely
Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences 4% Ruled out
Hemochromatosis 4% Ruled out
Phosphorus Deficiency 4% Ruled out
Copper Toxicity 0% Ruled out
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Emotional Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about your usual level of irritability:
How easily do you become irritated? This is not the same as angry. For example, are you easily annoyed by unwanted noise, other people, or things not going as planned?
Possible responses:
→ I rarely get irritated, never seriously
→ I occasionally get mildly irritated
→ I suppose I am about average / don't know
→ I often get irritated, occasionally very irritated
→ I frequently get very irritated
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate very low irritability, low irritability, being easily irritated or being very easily irritated, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Calming / Stretching Exercise Need

Many people who practice yoga say they experience a reduction of nervousness and irritability.


A depressive person's irritability is often directed at those closest to them, namely as family and friends.  This alienating of loved ones and family disruption in itself can lead to higher risk of suicidal thoughts.

Effects of a Low Carbohydrate Diet

Not only may diets such as the Atkins Diet impair mental functioning, they may impair emotional functioning as well.  Researchers at MIT are afraid the Atkins Diet is likely to make many people – especially women – irritable and depressed. [MIT News, 20 February 2004]

Magnesium Requirement

Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include fatigue, anorexia, irritability, insomnia, and muscle tremors or twitching.

... and also rule out issues such as:
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