Numerous researches have been done in order to find out if vitamin D and depression are connected to each other. Scientists have found that long-term vitamin D deficiency can result in depression.
Vitamin D is very important for normal functioning of the human body. There are two major forms of vitamin D: D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 is naturally produced in the skin of animals and human beings. It is also found in foods like animal meat, dairy products, egg yolk and fish oil. Vitamin D3 supplements are considered more effective than D2 supplements, and most people use D3 to prevent vitamin D deficiency or to treat this condition.
As we said, vitamin D3 is contained in some animal-derived foods. However, you cannot rely on these foods only; to get enough vitamin D, you need to expose your skin to sunrays. Twenty or twenty-five minutes, 3-4 times a week will be enough for your body to produce sufficient amounts of vitamin D. If you live in a country with cold weather conditions, you may lack vitamin D. The best way to prevent vitamin D levels from getting too low is to use supplements. Visit your doctor and have your vitamin D levels measured.
Dark-skinned population can be at risk of getting deficient in vitamin D. Dark skin needs to be exposed to sunrays for at least half an hour (or longer), but this can be difficult for people who live in cold climates. Therefore, vitamin D supplements are necessary in such cases.
Vitamin D Deficiency
What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency is common, but most people do not know they are deficient in vitamin D, which is why this condition often remains undiagnosed. In the beginning, vitamin D deficiency is asymptomatic. The symptoms will occur when vitamin D levels get extremely low.
The most common symptoms include:
● Pain in muscles
● Bone fractures
● Rickets (in children)
● Osteomalacia (in adults)
● In severe cases, vitamin D deficiency can lead to immune system weakening, which will make the body vulnerable to all kinds of infections.
● People who already have problems with high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and diabetes, can start having difficulties with controlling these problems. Vitamin D deficiency can make these diseases much worse.
● In children with asthma, vitamin D deficiency can make this condition worse.
● Vitamin D deficiency seems to be related to obesity. It is not clear whether low vitamin D levels lead to obesity or obesity makes a person prone to vitamin D deficiency, but it is certain that there is a connection between these two problems.
● In people with long-term deficiency, depression is likely to occur.
Vitamin D Deficiency and Depression
Severe vitamin D deficiency may result in depression. This symptom is quite non-specific, and people usually fail to relate it to vitamin D deficiency. In most cases, people just start treating depression, without treating its true cause. Some people can experience other symptoms, besides depression. In such cases, it is easier to recognize vitamin D deficiency, because other symptoms are present.
Low energy levels and depression usually start together. However, these symptoms can be caused by some other condition. If you feel tired and weak, and you cannot find any logical explanation, it will be wise to visit your doctor and take a blood test. Blood tests can tell nearly everything about your health, and if there are any problems, these tests will reveal them.
Vitamin D levels usually get lower during the winter because there is not enough sunlight outside and our skin cannot produce vitamin D. That is why most people experience decrease in energy levels during the winter months, and this can be accompanied by depression. To prevent this, visit your doctor and see what you can do to keep your vitamin D levels normal.