How To Figure Out If You Have A Deficiency And What To Do About It
Before we go any further, one important note we want to reiterate: This all isnt to say overhauling your diet or taking vitamin supplements on your own will completely cure any mood-related symptoms. Other interventions like talk therapy and medication are the best-known ways to improve mental health issues.
You should look at nutrition as an important adjunctive treatment to maintain health and prevent relapse, or use lower doses of pharmaceutical interventions, Kraker said.
There are several physical signs that can clue you into whether theres a potential deficiency brewing, Beurkens said. These can include frequent headaches, GI symptoms , weak nails, dry skin or eczema, hair loss and many others.
High stress levels also often accompany … symptoms and can negatively impact nutrient levels, Beurkens added.
Similarly, adjusting to a new set of life stressors can impact how you take care of yourself and deplete nutrient stores in the process say, a recent move has you eating differently, a new job has upended your go-to lunch habits, or a newly diagnosed autoimmune condition has you adjusting to a whole new way of functioning.
Getting a comprehensive workup of your nutritional status can be helpful in getting to the root cause of whats going on.
Physical and mental health are interconnected, so nutrition should always be a part of the discussion when mental health symptoms are raised as a concern, Beurkens said. Unfortunately, this rarely happens.
Can Vitamin D Supplements Cause Anxiety
- After getting inside your body, vitamin D will need to be transformed, transported and activated. All these steps require magnesium and will deplete your reserves of this mineral.
- In the long term, taking too much vitamin D without also supplementing with magnesium can lower your magnesium levels and this will have a negative effect over your nervous system.
- Because of how it promotes calcium absorption from food and calcium release from the bones into the blood, long-term high-dose vitamin D supplementation can cause your calcium blood levels to rise too much. This, in turn, will further increase your magnesium needs and negatively affect your nervous system.
- This is especially true if you are following a high-dose vitamin D protocol, like the Coimbra Protocol.
- Vitamin D has a great potential to help you deal with stress and contribute to a less anxious life. But, if you want to reap this benefit you need to make sure you keep supplementing with magnesium while also making sure your calcium levels are kept within their normal range.
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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Which Vitamins Get Depleted During Stress
As you saw, your body mainly uses vitamins B and C during stress.
Vitamin C is extremely important here because your adrenal glands need it to produce stress hormones in optimal amounts.
- A quick tip: If youre stressed often, try taking 500mg of vitamin C every couple of hours, along with 1-2 capsules of vitamin B complex per day. Or even better, you can take a whole food multivitamin.
What Vitamins Are Good For Anxiety
If you experience chronic anxiety or acute bouts of nervousness , considering vitamins for anxiety and stress, in addition to other treatment options, is a good decision. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor before starting supplements, especially if youre taking other medications.
If you were wondering how to treat anxiety with vitamins, some of the best vitamins for anxiety include both water-soluble vitamins that dissolve quickly in the body, as well as fat-soluble vitamins that circulate through the bloodstream and are stored by the body when not in use.
Vitamins alone wont cure your anxiety, but they may help bolster your health and mood overall. A review of 24 studies suggests that herbal and vitamin supplementation can be a beneficial and effective therapy for treating anxiety. Especially when taken in addition to other forms of treatment, like therapy for anxiety, medication, and self-help techniques, vitamins might be an integral component of your overall treatment plan for dealing with anxiety. Read on to learn more.
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Gum Disease And Tooth Loss
Because vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, it’s essential for healthy teeth and gums, says the National Library of Medicine.
When vitamin D levels are unregulated, it weakens your teeth, making you susceptible to cavities, fractures, and decay. A 2020 study in the journal Oral Diseases looked at over 4200 US adults and found that vitamin D levels are significantly associated with the occurrence of cavities.
Additionally, a 2020 study published in the Journal of Periodontal Research found lower vitamin D levels are linked with an increased risk of periodontitis, possibly because of its connection to the immune system. Vitamin D seems to positively impact inflammation and mineralization effects on the tissue surrounding your teeth.
Can Stress Cause A Vitamin D Deficiency
Yes, stress can cause a vitamin D deficiency. This is because when you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can interfere with the absorption of vitamin D and other nutrients.
If you’re constantly stressed, it’s important to take steps to manage your stress so that it doesn’t impact your health. There are a number of ways to do this, such as yoga, meditation, and exercise. You can also talk to your doctor about ways to manage your stress.
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Final Thoughts On The Connection From Panic Attacks To Vitamin Deficiencies
Between unhealthy eating, environmental toxins, depleted soil, stress, and genetic mutations, getting adequate nutrition is virtually impossible in the modern world. Nutrient deficiencies are all too common, and mood imbalances such as panic disorder can occur as a result.
Identifying your deficiencies and investigating the root cause behind them is key to achieving true health. Measures such as dietary changes, gut healing, gene testing, and supplementation can fill the gaps and improve nutrient status.
As it turns out, you may be able to reduce the panic attacks with proper nutrition.
Impact Of Vitamin D Deficiency On Mental Health
The body needs Vitamin D at the proper level for it to function as it should.
How Vitamin D Works In The Body
Your muscles, heart, brain, and immune system have vitamin D receptors. The body transports the vitamin to the kidneys and liver, where it converts into an active hormone. In this form, it assists the body in absorbing calcium.
Your body acquires vitamin D through sun exposure. Certain foods and supplements can also be sources of vitamin D. Dark-skinned people have a high level of melanin.
Itâs the component that determines coloring in the human and animal world. This pigmentation prevents the skin from absorbing vitamin D correctly.
How Vitamin D Deficiency Leads to Mental Health Effects
- Low bone density
- Excessive weight loss or gain
- Trouble sleepingââ
If you experience any of these symptoms similar to depression, have your vitamin D levels checked. Your doctor will do a test to determine the level of the vitamin in your blood.
For depression diagnosis, you may have to complete a self-assessment test. A blood test can’t diagnose depression but may test other conditions that cause depressive symptoms.
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Vitamin D And History
Vitamin D is not believed to affect anxiety directly. Though it may be correlated with higher anxiety levels, there are likely reasons beyond the vitamin itself – reasons that will be discussed later in this article.
Historically, seeing the sun was often a cause for celebration and happiness. Sun meant food could grow, and that warmer weather was coming. Conversely, not seeing the sun often meant food was becoming scarcer and that important members of your village, tribe, or family, not to mention yourself, were at risk of dying from the cold. People became less active, and some cultures even took to hibernating like bears during the colder seasons. It is no wonder that cultures across the world, from the ancient Egyptians to the Mayans to the Greeks, once worshipped the sun as a god.
Today, it is believed that ancestral memory – which is, in some ways, short-term evolution – may play a role in why vitamin D and spending time outdoors makes people feel better. Just as humans feel an instinctive revulsion towards bitter flavors due to our ancestral association of bitterness with poisonous foods, the human body may have an instinctive awareness of its need for sunlight.
Who Suffers From Depression
Whether youre feeling a little blue or are unable to get out of bed in the morning, youre not alone. Depression is a major public health issue worldwide, impacting more than 264 million people, according to the World Health Organization.
In the U.S., the statistics are just as staggering. The governments National Institute of Mental Health says that more than 17 million U.S. adultsover 7% of all adultshad at least one major depressive episode in 2017. For adult women, the prevalence of major depressive episode was nearly 9% versus just over 5% for men. Those individuals in the 18-25 age range experienced the highest level of a major depressive episode.
And thats not even taking into account mild or moderate depression.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites these 2019 statistics from the National Health Interview Survey:
And those statistics are prior to COVID-19. According to one study published in September 2020 in JAMA, depression symptoms in the U.S. tripled during COVID-19 compared to prior to the pandemic.
A new report from Mental Health America , a community-based non-profit organization, claims over 47 million American adults experience mental illness, ranging from mild to serious, with 57% of those adults not receiving treatment.
Here are few more key findings from the MHA report.
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How Can You Get Enough Vitamin D In The Winter
During winter, many people spend more time indoors, and it gets dark earlier in the day.
Additionally, people are more bundled up when theyre outside, so less skin is exposed to the sunlight. This can lead to inadequate vitamin D levels through the winter for some people.
This may also be one factor that plays into seasonal affective disorder , a type of depression that typically occurs only during the winter months .
However, there are several ways to get more vitamin D during the winter:
- Supplements. Taking a vitamin D supplement throughout the winter can help maintain your blood vitamin D levels even if you get less sun exposure.
- Vitamin D foods. You can also choose more vitamin D-rich foods during the winter, such as vitamin-D fortified dairy or plant-based milk, fish like trout or salmon, or UV-exposed mushrooms (
Which Vitamin Deficiencies Can Cause Dizziness
Frequent bouts of dizziness and lightheadedness may indicate vitamin B12 deficiency. You may feel a swaying sensation when you get up too quickly from a seated position. You may also feel dizzy when going up or down stairs, this can also be dangerous.
What are the signs of a lack of vitamin D?
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include muscle weakness, pain, fatigue and depression Can you ever have too much vitamin D?
If you consume too much vitamin D-3 from supplements over time, you may develop high levels of calcium in your blood. Although it does not directly lead to dizziness, hypercalcemia can cause dehydration, resulting in 3 dizziness. If you recently started taking D-3 and feel dizzy, its probably not due to hypercalcemia 3
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Tooth Decay In Infants And Toddlers
Vitamin D is crucial both to our dental health and the formation of our teeth in the first placeyet another reason taking prenatal vitamins is so important. A 2014 study in Pediatrics measured the blood levels of vitamin D in pregnant women, then checked the teeth of their babies at 1 year old. Researchers found that mothers of children with weak enamel and tooth decay had significantly lower vitamin D levels during pregnancy compared to moms of children with healthy teeth.
Spend More Time Outside
Every person has vitamin D receptor cells. These receptors convert cholesterol in the skin after its exposed to the ultraviolet B rays from the sun. In turn, it produces vitamin D3. Too much sun can damage skin and lead to cancer. Yet, its still important to get regular amounts of sunlight.
Some medical professionals recommend getting around 15-30 minutes of direct sunlight each day . People with darker skin will need to spend more time in the sun than those with pale complexions. Apply sunscreen right after to avoid a sunburn or serious health complications in the future.
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Common Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin
- Depression and anxiety
Body produces serotonin from the body chemical melatonin, melatonin is produced in response to sunlight, the more exposure to sunlight results in more melatonin thus more serotonin.
Too little of serotonin leads one to feel cranky, irritable, depressed, anxious.
- Muscle pain, bone pain, low bone density
Due to vitamin-D deficiency, there will be inadequate absorption of calcium in the body, vitamin-D helps in absorption of calcium. In case of inadequate Vitamin-D in body low bone mineral density can occur which results in chronic muscular pain, pain in joints, osteoporosis.
- Hair loss
Stress, anxiety, depression, low immunity gradually causes hair loss. As all the above are signs of vitamin-D deficiency. Calcium, vitamins and minerals are major building components of hair and skin and nutritional deficiencies do affect their vitality.
65% of Indians have Vitamin-D deficiency! Get yourself and your family checked up for Vitamin-D. Click here to know more
- Unexplained infertility
It is observed that the vitamin-D deficient women have less chances of getting conceived.
- Poor wound healing
Its also been suggested that vitamin-Ds role in controlling inflammation and fighting infection which is important for proper healing.
- Poor immune function, increased risk of illness or infections
- Constant feeling of fatigue and tired are the signs of low vitamin-D
Wishing you a very happy and healthy life. Take care.
Does Vitamin D Help With Depression
Evidence suggests that vitamin D can help with depression, despite how some scientists feel. To clarify, most scientists refute the link between this vitamin and depression because there isnt enough research on it. However, some studies show promising results.
For example, one study found that some of the brain receptors are associated with vitamin D and depression. It went on to say that vitamin D may act on cells and stimulate cell growth. In theory, a vitamin D deficiency can limit this behavior and stunt cell growth. This might stunt brain function as a whole.
The Cambridge University Press lists a journal that aimed to find a link between vitamin D and depression. The meta-analysis and review found that people with depression seemed to have low levels of vitamin D. They concluded that depression is more likely to surface in people with vitamin D deficiencies than people with normal or high levels.
So, does vitamin D help with depression? Evidence shows that people struggling with depression have low levels of vitamin D. It might help, although there is limited research. Either way, its an essential nutrient for the following reasons:
- Helps with bone health
- It can prevent multiple sclerosis
- Helps the body regular blood sugar levels
Its evident that vitamin D is crucial to overall health. Bad physical health can lead to bad mental health. Its important to get enough vitamin D to promote a healthy body and mind.
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Other Reasons That Low Vitamin D And Anxiety Are Linked
The other reasons that low levels of vitamin D may relate to anxiety have nothing to do with the vitamin at all. Instead, they have to do with lifestyles. There is a considerable amount of evidence that those that don’t exercise are more likely to develop anxiety. A lot of exercise takes place outdoors, so those that aren’t exercising will also show low vitamin D levels. It’s not the vitamin D that’s causing it – rather, it’s the failure of the individual to adequately stay active.
Similarly, spending time with friends in a relaxing environment also affects anxiety. Many people with anxiety either don’t spend time with their friends or stay indoors only and fail to get many new experiences. This may also contribute to both anxiety and vitamin d deficiency independently.
Treating Vitamin D Deficiency
The best way to treat vitamin D deficiency is to:
- Increase your exposure to the sun
- Increase your intake of food fortified with vitamin D
- Take supplements
Your doctor may also give you antidepressants to treat depression. You can take them separately or with dietary supplements. Join a support group, exercise regularly and practice proper sleeping habits.
Preventing Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is as vital for mental health as it’s essential for physical health. There is sufficient research to show that not having enough of the vitamin can lead to depression-like symptoms. People with depression have higher chances of having vitamin D deficiency. Prevent this from happening by adding food rich in Vitamin D to your diet and getting adequate sun exposure.
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