Several studies have proven that vitamin D deficiency causes depression and affects mood, as we find the patient suffers from sadness, isolation and lack of appetite, due to the association of vitamin D receptors in the brain.
Researchers also believe that vitamin D is an important factor for brain function, and insufficient dietary level may play a role in depression.
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble vitamins, and the body obtains vitamin D primarily from sunlight to maintain bone health and strength, maintain cell growth in various organs of the body, health of the immune system, and maintain a balanced ratio of elements. Phosphorous and calcium in the body, while its deficiency leads to some serious consequences on the bones, in addition to the effect of the deficiency on the brain, the heart, increasing rates of obesity, and depression, as it has been observed that people who suffer from depression usually suffer from a lack of vitamin D.
Psychological symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Over the past ten years, science has proven that vitamin D is one of the steroid hormones that plays a key role in the growth and balance of the brain and the functions of the nervous system because it affects the production and release of some neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
Given the significant role that vitamin D plays in brain and nerve functions, a deficiency in the level of this vitamin negatively affects a person’s mental and psychological health. Among the most famous symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are the following:
Several studies conducted on a large group of people indicated an increased risk of depression in people with vitamin D deficiency than others, in addition to a close link between the severity of symptoms of the disease and the level of vitamin D in the body.
Another study also identified vitamin D receptors in the same areas of the brain associated with depression in participants with depression, and researchers believe the reason for this relationship is the presence of receptors for this vitamin on many brain cells associated with depression. It should be noted here that depression has many health symptoms, including:
▪️ Sleep disturbances and anxiety.
▪️ Fatigue and loss of energy.
▪️ Many physical problems such as: stomach pain, headache.
▪️ Weight disorders, loss of appetite.
▪️ Extreme sadness, despair, and a sense of helplessness.
▪️ Thinking of suicide and death.
2. Seasonal affective disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is associated with seasons in which there is less sunlight, such as autumn and winter. This disorder is accompanied by some symptoms, such as: mood swings, decreased general activity, and excessive sleep.
Some researchers have linked these symptoms to a lack of vitamin D in the body, as the sun is the first source of this vitamin.
Schizophrenia is one of the mental disorders that incur high costs for the health care system, and these disorders are accompanied by a number of symptoms, such as: hallucinations, delusion, and the inability to think properly.
Researchers have found a significant decrease in the level of vitamin D in patients with schizophrenia, in addition to the improvement of vitamin D supplementation in some patients with this disease.
4. Multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease that has a significant impact on the central nervous system, although the main cause of this disease is not known, but there are some suggestions that vitamin D deficiency could be one of the factors that increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis.
Other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
We previously mentioned the most prominent psychological symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, and now it is necessary to note the other most important symptoms that may be associated with a deficiency of this vitamin, which are the following:
▪️ Constant feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
▪️ Bone and joint pain.
▪️ hair loss.
▪️ Muscle pain.
How to treat vitamin D deficiency.
The best ways to treat vitamin D deficiency are all of the following:
▪️ Exposure to the sun and spending time outside the house.
▪️ Eat food rich in vitamin D.
▪️ Doing sports, especially walking.
▪️ Maintaining an ideal body weight.
▪️ Healthy, uninterrupted sleep.
▪️ Take supplements rich in vitamin D and prescribed by your doctor.
It should be noted here that increasing the intake of vitamin D above the normal limit may also lead to many symptoms, so you should consult a doctor and not take nutritional supplements that contain vitamin D in abundance without a medical need.
Treating depression caused by vitamin D deficiency.
Depression cases are usually treated either through psychotherapy sessions or by taking antidepressants, or both, depending on the nature and severity of symptoms associated with depression. While treating depression related to a lack of vitamin D levels requires working to increase its levels in the body by eating foods rich or fortified with vitamin D, and taking nutritional supplements that contain vitamin D, in addition to increasing the period of exposure to sunlight, especially during the period between ten o’clock. In the morning and three in the afternoon for 15 minutes three times a week to allow the body to manufacture vitamin D naturally in response to exposure to ultraviolet rays in the sun.
It is also possible through the following points to relieve symptoms experienced by people with depression:
1. Joining support groups, people who suffer from depression are advised to join groups that include people who also suffer from depression in order to communicate with each other in various ways so that they encourage each other to reach treatment and get rid of the symptoms they suffer from.
2. Doing sports activities. Regular exercise can contribute to reducing the severity of symptoms associated with depression, because exercise increases the level of endorphins and reduces the secretion of chemicals from the immune system that worsen depression. It is recommended to start exercising for 30 minutes three times a week and then increase the number of days and time spent in such activities as needed.
3. Adherence to a regular sleep schedule, people with depression suffer from a disorder in the sleep process, so it is always recommended to adjust the hours of sleep and wake up according to a schedule determined by the person in proportion to his situation and lifestyle, and review this schedule constantly and write down the hours of sleep and wake up to track the degree of commitment.
4. Connecting with family members and friends Family members and friends can provide strength and support to people with depression and help them with their treatment journey. It is also desirable for a person with depression to identify the things that he would like to do for these people to help him overcome this stage.
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