How To Increase Vitamin D And Decrease Anxiety
While vitamin D itself is unlikely to be causing your anxiety, that doesn’t mean it can’t, and the activities that you do to help increase vitamin D are valuable for your anxiety anyway. Getting outside will help you get what vitamin D you can, although there are also nutritional supplements available. Getting more sunlight by going outside more often can reduce the symptom of anxiety associated with SAD , and it can also give you a chance to reduce your anxiety by way of activities such as the following:
- Exposure Therapy Exposure therapy is recommended by some therapists as a way of overcoming your anxiety. If you have social phobia and are nervous around other people, for example, casually taking a walk outside in a park or at a zoo is a great way to exposure yourself to your fears in a safe and controlled environment, thereby teaching your brain over time that excessive fear responses in these situations are unnecessary.
- Creating a Routine Making going outside into a comforting routine helps to relieve anxiety by providing yourself with a positive event in your day that is reliable, predictable and stable. Anxiety can make you feel like your life or your surroundings are out of your control. You can impose control on your life in a positive way by setting a time for yourself to head out the door for 30 minutes or more and walking around the block, which can be something you do in evening or in the mornings, or going on regular walks or hikes on weekends.
Vitamins And Minerals That Help Reduce Social Anxiety
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Mental Art + Design / Stocksy United
What is the relationship between vitamins and anxiety? Vitamins and minerals play a key role in maintaining good physical and mental health. While you may think mostly about the physical health benefits of vitamins and minerals, deficiencies in these important parts of your diet could actually worsen your social anxiety.
Below is a list of vitamins and minerals with some relationship to anxiety, and the foods that you should consume to ensure you are not deficient.
Can Low Iron Levels Cause Anxiety
Iron is essential in the production of hemoglobin, a protein that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues and muscles. So when you have low levels of iron, less oxygen gets to your cells, keeping them from functioning properly and often leading to fatigue , weakness, and even anxiety and depression.
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Can Vitamin D Cause Anxiety Symptoms
There is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency can cause anxiety symptoms. A study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience found that people with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have anxiety disorders. Another study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, found that vitamin D supplementation could reduce anxiety levels.
If you’re feeling anxious, it’s worth getting your vitamin D levels checked by a doctor. It’s important to note that anxiety can also be caused by many other factors, including stress, genetics, and medical conditions. If you’re feeling anxious, it’s important to talk to a doctor to rule out any other possible causes.
Vitamin D deficiency can also cause other health problems, such as depression, osteoporosis, and heart disease. If you think you might be vitamin D deficient, it’s important to talk to a doctor. Vitamin D supplements are available over the counter, but it’s important to talk to a doctor before taking any supplements.
Vitamin D And Depression
Many scientists have posed the question does vitamin D help with depression? The scientific community responded with a mixed answer. Like most scientific hypotheses, some argued that there wasnt a strong enough link while others said it was.
A group of researchers analyzed 61 peer-reviewed articles on vitamin D and depression. Ultimately, they saw that there is a negative correlation between this vitamin and depression. In other words, people with low levels of vitamin D had a higher risk of clinical depression. While this doesnt mean it can cure clinical depression, it could potentially help, especially in certain sub-groups.
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How Much Vitamin D Per Day Do I Need
The NHS recommends around 10 micrograms a day.
It is recommended to take supplements containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during autumn and winter, and throughout the year for those who are not often outdoors.
Taking more than 100 micrograms a day could be harmful to your health. This applies to adults, children, the elderly, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.6
The Connection Between Low Vitamin D And Low Mood According To Scientific Research
Researchers have been studying the link between vitamin D and mood for decades, though questions remain. People who have low vitamin D are more likely to feel less positive at this point we may not fully understand the connection and mechanisms, but the evidence of an association is certainly there, says , a senior lecturer at Ara Institute of Canterbury in New Zealand, who researches vitamin D.
Heres what experts do know: Both low vitamin D and depression have been connected to inflammation, so it is likely that the underlying reason has to do with inflammation, says Dr. Chourki.
Vitamin D also affects the serotonin pathway, Penckofer says. This hormone does everything from regulate mood to sleep, and appetite to motor skills, just to name handful of functions, according to Stanford University. Vitamin D is important for helping the enzyme that makes serotonin when levels are low, you arent making as much serotonin, adds James Greenblatt, MD, chief medical officer at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, Massachusetts, and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.
Seasonal Affective Disorder And Anxiety
Seasonal affective disorder , once considered its unique disorder, has been renamed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a type of depression. It is now referred to as a specification only, i.e., depression with seasonal pattern.
People who experience seasonally patterned depression are known to show symptoms that include feelings of anxiety, and other symptoms that are reminiscent of those related to anxiety, such as irritability, antisocial behavior, insomnia, reduced sex drive, decreased appetite and weight loss. Some of these symptoms, like insomnia, may also contribute to the development of anxiety.
Your anxiety, therefore, can depend on how much sun you are exposed to if you are an individual who is particularly strongly affected by seasonal shifts.
Signs That Indicate That You May Have Vitamin
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When was the last time you saw the mild sunrays in morning? Or waited for few minutes while your skin soaked in the sunlight at dawn.
Are you feeling depressed? Are you always hungry? Are you facing anxiety issues? Have you put on extra belly fat?
If yes to all the above, then your body might be deficient in Vitamin-D.
Vitamin-D deficiency is quite common, and yet most people are not aware when they suffer from it.
Thats because the symptoms are often subtle and non-specific, meaning that its hard to know if theyre caused by low Vitamin-D levels or something else.
Mild sunlight in morning is the best source of Vitamin-D. Other sources of Vitamin-D are cheese, egg yolks, soymilk, fatty fish, salmon, tuna, mackerel, mushrooms. If your daily exposure to sunlight is limited because you wake up at later hour, if you stay indoors for long duration, live in northern latitudes or have an occupation that prevents sun exposure you may be at risk of Vitamin-D deficiency.
If you think you may have a deficiency, its important that you speak to your doctor and get your blood levels measured.
Fortunately, a vitamin D deficiency is usually easy to fix.
You can either increase your sun exposure during morning, eat more Vitamin-D-rich foods, such as fish or fortified dairy products. You can also find a variety of Vitamin-D supplements. Vitamin-D supplements should be taken by advice of a doctor.
Common signs and symptoms of Vitamin-D deficiency
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How To Get More Sun Exposure
- Go for a short walk outside of the office at peak sunshine times, usually from 12am-2pm.
- Maximize your time outside on your days off.
- Particularly in the summer, maximize your time outside as in the winter your body tends to get its Vitamin D from food. Around ten minutes of sun exposure, a day should be enough before applying sun cream.
- Take off your jumper or jacket when its beautiful and warm for a couple of minutes, let your skin soak in the sun. But dont leave it too long, you dont want to be freezing if its the middle of winter!
- Try exercising outside! Dont head over to the gym, go for a run around the park or even give gardening a go.
What Does The New Study On Vitamin D And Depression Tell Us
Earlier in this blog, we referenced a new study published in June in Nutrients that sought to determine whether the relationship between depression and Vitamin D is moderated or mediated by inflammation.
In other words, the researchers were hoping to determine the mechanisms by which Vitamin D might impact inflammation and in turn modify depression.
The study was conducted out of Germany, using a community sample of over 7,100 adults from the LIFE-Adult Study for whom depressive symptoms were assessed by using the German version of the CES-D scale and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D D) levels and three inflammatory markers .
A quick translation: the CES-D scale stands for the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, a self-report depression scale for research in the general population to assess depression.
Serum levels of Vitamin D refer to blood levels of the nutrient.
Some background: The three markers selected have been previously linked to inflammation , and depression itself is linked to systematic inflammation .
Further, Vitamin D has been found to play an important role in modulating the immune/inflammation system and previous studies have also found that low Vitamin D levels are associated with increased inflammation. It is important to note that while a causative effect on the influence of Vitamin D on inflammation continues to be explored, that kind of relationship has not yet been determined.
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Can You Rely On A Vitamin D Test Kit
At-home tests are convenient when it is difficult to attend a surgery appointment, but the following should be considered:11
- User error. This is a possibility with at-home tests and can affect results. Make sure you follow guidance closely.
- Understanding results. A test can show you are deficient, but without the support of a nutritionist or doctor it can be difficult to interpret what your results mean for you. For example, in the context of your age, gender and other personal factors. You will also need to seek further advice on the best course of action to take.
Prioritize Consumption Of Nutrient
- Fatty fish, grass-fed or pasture-raised meat, organ meats, spirulina, wild mushrooms, and bee pollen
- Grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, flax and chia oils
- Leafy greens, root vegetables, any of the aforementioned animal proteins, fresh and dried fruits, avocados
- Dark leafy greens, seaweed, figs, wild-caught fish, avocado, bananas
- High-quality animal proteins and bee pollen
- Oysters, wild-caught fish, lamb, grass-fed beef
- Grass-fed beef, shellfish, organ meats, dark leafy greens
- Turkey, organ meats, grass-fed beef, garlic, spinach, bananas, Brazil nuts
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Researchers Reveal 8 Vitamin Deficiencies Linked To Panic Attacks
Do you struggle with panic attacks, a type of anxiety?
Besides depression, anxiety is the most prevalent mental illness in America. In fact, it affects approximately 40 million adults! While therapy and psychiatric medication absolutely have their place, exploring deeper root causes can sometimes be the missing piece necessary for healing.
Most people are unaware that mood imbalances and nutrition are closely related. A deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals can contribute to anxiety and panic disorder, with a variety of potential root causes that could be responsible.
Signs And Symptoms Ofanxiety
Stress signals to the body that it must take action. Its great for life-threatening situations but can lead to physical and mental issues if it gets out of hand. People with anxiety disorders feel a level of stress that isnt proportional to the situation at hand.
There are different types of anxiety. Some may feel anxious in a social setting whereas others will feel it constantly for no reason. They all share common symptoms.
Signs of anxiety are:
- Fortified milk
- Fortified cereal
There are many types of food fortified with vitamin D. Examples include juices, pasta, and even margarine. Making a conscious effort to choose fortified food can help with a vitamin D deficiency and anxiety as well as depression.
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Does Low Iron And Vitamin D Make You Tired
Iron deficiency anemia can occur when there is a shortage of iron. This occurs when the body’s blood contains insufficient red blood cells or hemoglobin. Fatigue is one of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. Other symptoms include weakness, irritability, anxiety, headache, and depression. Low levels of vitamin D may also cause or contribute to fatigue. Some studies show that approximately 35% of people with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis have low serum levels of vitamin D. There is some evidence that taking supplements of vitamin D may help reduce fatigue.
What About Vitamin D Deficiency And Anxiety
Anxiety can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, such as feeling tense or having a sense of panic as well as physical symptoms like rapid breathing and an increased heart rate, according to the Mayo Clinic.
There’s not a lot of research into a potential relationship between vitamin D and anxiety.
One study compared the amount of calcidiol in small groups of adults with depression, anxiety symptoms and a symptom-free control group. It found lower levels of calcidiol in the study participants with anxiety disorders than in the control group, according to the results published in Physiological Research in June 2015.
Taking vitamin D supplements was effective at improving anxiety symptoms in patients with depression and low vitamin D levels, according to a September 2020 study published in Brain and Behavior.
But as the study authors note, additional studies are needed in this area to validate these findings.
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