Vitamin D Deficiency: Symptoms Treatments Causes And More
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Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has many important functions throughout your body .
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D functions like a hormone. Many cells in your body have a receptor for it.
Your body makes it from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
Its also found in certain foods such as fatty fish and fortified dairy products, though its very difficult to get enough from your diet alone.
The Endocrine Society recommends that most adults get 1,5002,000 IUs of vitamin D daily (
According to one review, 41.6% of adults in the United States are deficient. This number goes up to 69.2% in Hispanic adults and 82.1% in African American adults (
Here are some signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
Are You At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Did you know that according to national surveys taken out across the UK, approximately 1 in 5 of the population has low vitamin D levels?
It isnt surprising really when you think about it. Our bodies can only make vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight, which may be possible in summer for some people, but becomes difficult for everyone during the darker winter months.
You can also get vitamin D from animal produce like meat, fish dairy and eggs, which are either naturally high in vitamin D or have been fortified with vitamin D .
Other foods like breakfast cereals, fruit juices, faux meat, plant milks are often fortified . Wild mushrooms and those grown under a UV light are also great sources of vitamin D2.
People who do not get outside much, have dark skin, like to cover up, or do not eat animal products are naturally at more of a risk of vitamin D deficiency.
This is why the government now advise that everybody should think about taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly in the Autumn and Winter months.
Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Depression And Fatigue
Getting enough, but not too much, is important for your health. It may be possible to prevent some cancers with the help of vitamins D and D3. Muscle weakness, pain, fatigue and depression are some of the symptoms of a deficiency in vitamins D and D3.
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Can Low Vitamin D Be Causing All Of My Anxiety
I found out the other day after getting some blood work done that my Vitamin D is low at 20 , when it should be above 50. The doctor prescribed me 50,000 iu of Vit D2 once a week for 6 months, and I ordered some Vit D 5000 iu which I will take daily along with Magnesium Citrate.
My question is, has anyone experienced decreased levels of anxiety by improving their levels of vitamin D? Or maybe their anxiety going away all together? I was also prescribed Lexapro, but I would really like to avoid this medicine if at all possible. I am hoping that by increasing my Vitamin D to a healthy level, my anxiety will reduce to a much more tolerable level that I can handle on my own without the use of prescription drugs. I am a 22 year old male.
A Solution Involves More Than Nutrition
Anxiety is a complex condition that can be affected by numerous lifestyle factors. Taking steps to identify any possible nutritional deficiencies by visiting your doctor is a good place to start, but its important to consider other areas of your life that could contribute as well. Having a balanced diet that contains a wide range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals can help to prevent and relieve anxiety. Looking at easily available food sources rather than supplementing is often the best way to go as, sadly, supplementing alone just wont cut it. Try to eat fresh, raw produce wherever possible as overcooking and over processed foods lose some of their original nutritional value.
If you feel like you need an extra bit of support our helpful herbs are also at hand. Our AvenaCalm remedy contains the herb Avena Sativa to help soothe your anxiety and worries. If you feel overwhelmed dont forget that you can always reach out and talk things through with friends, family and loved ones.
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How Social Distancing During The Covid
Most people get the vitamin D they need thanks to the sunlight. We know that when sun hits the skin, theres a synthesis that causes your body to produce the vitamin, says Dr. Penckofer. Also, some foods, like eggs and salmon, contain vitamin D, according to the Cleveland Clinic, but a supplement can help increase your levels further.
But with so many of us stuck inside because of social distancing, we likely arent getting the typical sun exposure we otherwise would this time of year. And that, potentially, could mean low levels of vitamin D and a low mood, says Penckofer.
In fact, joint guidelines from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the Endocrine Society, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the European Calcified Tissue Society, the National Osteoporosis Foundation, and the International Osteoporosis Foundation recommend considering vitamin D supplementation during the pandemic. This is because more people are spending time indoors, potentially increasing the risk of deficiency. “For those unable to spend at least 15 to 30 minutes with direct sun exposure each day,” they wrote in their July 9, 2020, statement, “the easiest way to acquire vitamin D is through food supplemented with vitamin D or vitamin D nutritional supplements.”
Read on to discover how your potentially low levels of vitamin D might be bringing you down and what you can do about it.
How Vitamin D Depletes Your Magnesium Reserves And How You Can Counteract That
Magnesium is involved in at least 300 chemical reactions inside your body. Some of these involve vitamin D.
For example, vitamin D needs to be transformed, transported and activated. All these steps require magnesium and this will deplete your reserves.
Because of this, if you have been supplementing with vitamin D without also nourishing your body with sufficient magnesium, you may end up deficient.
Worse yet, vitamin D can cause your calcium blood levels to rise.
This is especially true if you are undergoing any form of high-dose vitamin D therapy.
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Different Sources Of Vitamin D
The natural source of Vitamin D is sun exposure. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, then you will get an adequate Vitamin D supply. You can get the maximum sun exposure during the summers. However, the Vitamin D supply is comparatively less in the winter season. Apart from this, there are many other food items that help to supply the vitamin D. The following are some of the major sources of Vitamin D.
- Cooked salmon
- Cod liver oil
- Canned tuna
- Whole milk
Why Vitamin D Actually Helps You Feel Calmer As Long As You Make Sure That Your Body Has Enough Magnesium Available
As it turns out, vitamin D helps your body regulate the chemicals involved in anxiety and depression, like adrenaline, serotonin, and even dopamine.
In Vitamin D and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Studies with and Without Biological Flaws, a group of researchers got together to make an analysis of the many scientific studies examining the relationship between vitamin D and depression.
What was their conclusion?
When these researchers focused on properly conducted studies, their conclusion was:
“Meta-analysis of studies without biological flaws demonstrates that improving Vitamin D levels improves depression ” and:
“the effect size of Vitamin D demonstrated in our meta-analysis may be comparable with that of anti-depressant medication. Should these results be verified by future research, these findings may have important clinical and public health implications.”
“Improving Vitamin D levels improves depression.”
What dose of vitamin D did they use?
In fact, vitamin D besides being potentially as effective at treating depression as some antidepressants, it can even enhance the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine.
It’s as if, without enough vitamin D, your body would get confused, finding it troublesome to properly regulate the production of these hormones and neurotransmitters.
This means that, as long as you provide your body with enough magnesium, vitamin D will help your nervous system work better.
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Could Magnesium Help
Magnesium deficiency has been known to cause anxiety. As a result, its supplementation has been carefully purposed as having the potential to help.
Similarly, in 2013, when a group of Spanish researchers from the University of Navarra reviewed the studies evaluating the role of magnesium in depression they concluded:
Magnesium seems to be effective in the treatment of depression but data are scarce and incongruous. Disturbance in magnesium metabolism might be related to depression. Oral magnesium supplementation may prevent depression and might be used as an adjunctive therapy. However, more interventional and prospective studies are needed in order to further evaluate the benefits of magnesium intake and supplementation for depression.
Did you notice the careful wording?
This is intentional, and youll find it in most research papers.
For example, in Dietary magnesium and calcium intake and risk of depression in the general population: A meta-analysis, a group of researchers got together to make an analysis of the many scientific studies examining the relationship between these two minerals and depression.
What Is Vitamin D
Despite its name, vitamin D is a type of hormone, not a vitamin, according to the Hormone Health Network.
Vitamin D is associated with many key health functions. For instance, vitamin D helps with calcium absorption, which leads to bone health, according to the Mayo Clinic. Vitamin D also plays a role in the immune system and brain cell activity, per the Mayo Clinic.
The key is to get the right amount of this vitamin: Too much vitamin D, and you can experience kidney stones, decreased appetite and weakness, per the Mayo Clinic. But low levels of vitamin D can lead to aching bones and muscle weakness, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Foods, particularly fatty fish like mackerel and fortified foods like milk, can be a source of vitamin D, but up to 90 percent of the sunshine vitamin is absorbed through exposure to the sun, according to a June 2019 article published in StatPearls.
Getting vitamin D from the sun isn’t always an easy task: weather conditions, such as dreary gray days, prevent a person from absorbing vitamin D from sunshine, per the Office of Dietary Supplements . Older people and people with darker skin lower the amount of vitamin D your skin makes, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
And, because windows get in the way of vitamin D absorption, people who are housebound or don’t get outside a lot can be deficient in this vitamin.
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Does Low Iron Cause Anxiety And Depression
Mental Health Consequences Anemia, or iron deficiency, can cause a variety of psychological symptoms, including anxiety, anger, sadness, and a decline in cognitive functions . /span>
Iron is needed for the production of red blood cells. Without enough red blood cells, oxygen delivery to body tissues is impaired, causing stress on other parts of the immune system. This, in turn, can lead to anxiety over possible illness or injury, as well as depression.
People who are anemic may have darker skin because less-effective red blood cells require more of the protein component called hemoglobin to transport oxygen. Darker skin also indicates that you are losing blood, so it is important not to cut yourself or otherwise injure your skin during exercise or other activities where bleeding is likely to be harmful.
Symptoms of iron deficiency include headache, irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, muscle cramping, and sore muscles. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common complications of iron deficiency. About 20 percent of people with iron deficiency suffer from severe anxiety another 10 percent experience mild anxiety. Other studies have shown an association between low iron levels and panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression, contact your doctor to determine the cause.
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 youre feeling anxious, its worth getting your vitamin D levels checked by a doctor. Its important to note that anxiety can also be caused by many other factors, including stress, genetics, and medical conditions. If youre feeling anxious, its 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, its important to talk to a doctor. Vitamin D supplements are available over the counter, but its important to talk to a doctor before taking any supplements.
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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.
How Vitamin D Status Diet And Lifestyle Habits And Mood Are Interconnected
Mood, diet and lifestyle habits, and vitamin D status are all closely connected. Low vitamin D may trigger low mood, making it more difficult to sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly, says Choukri. Yet, she adds, These difficulties may be due to the mood itself rather than vitamin D.
On the flip side, research suggests that not getting enough sleep, having a poor-quality diet, and inactivity can contribute to low mood independently, regardless of vitamin D status.
Heres a closer look at the relationship among vitamin D status, these habits, and mood and health.
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