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):
  • Copper Toxicity
  • Anorexia/Starvation Tendency
  • Caffeine Intoxication
  • Dehydration
  • Gluten Sensitivity
  • ADHD
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hyperthyroidism

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:
morning sickness
major joint pain/swelling/stiffness
sub-optimal water consumption
dizziness when standing up
severe hallucinations
rotten egg burps
constant thirst
regular postprandial somnolence
elevated ferritin levels
angry/hostile disposition
frequent meal-related bloating
being easily excitable
... and more than 120 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
Anorexia/Starvation Tendency 98% Confirm
Hemochromatosis 22% Unlikely
Dehydration 22% Unlikely
Caffeine Intoxication 5% Ruled out
ADHD 0% Ruled out
Hyperthyroidism 0% Ruled out
Copper Toxicity 0% Ruled out
Gluten Sensitivity 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.

Dehydration

Many bodily functions – including brain function – are affected by dehydration due to the resulting mineral imbalances.  One study of dehydration and mood in 25 young women found that those who were just 1% dehydrated reported irritability and changes in mood. [The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 142, Issue 2, 1 February 2012, pp.382-8]

Depression

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.

Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease

Irritability is one of the most common symptoms amongst children with gluten sensitivity.

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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