Vitamin D is an essential energy source for the human body; it is also known as the ‘sunshine nutrient.’ Moreover, it is a fat-soluble nutrient. Vitamin D is necessary to keep the bones strong and healthy, helps in the growth of cells, and benefits the immune system.
The primary source through which our body absorbs vitamin D is sun exposure. But along with the sun, some dietary elements and food sources also contribute to providing the vitamin.
Vitamin D has been linked to lower inflammation and the body’s regulation of immune function and glucose metabolism. It also has been concluded that vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of developing certain forms of cancer and cardiovascular issues. Similarly, the connection between vitamin D and depression also remains unclear.
The deficiency of this vitamin can result in many health issues. Though, vitamin D deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t absorb the suggested levels. The lack of vitamin D can lead to making your bone fragile and thin. The health problems associated with the deficiency of vitamin D include the following-
- Bone softening
- Low bone density
- Rickets in children
- Heart disease
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:
When a person lacks vitamin D deficiency, you may experience the below symptoms-
- Bone ache
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Muscle and joints pain and weakness
What is Depression?
Major depressive disorder is a treatable medical condition that is a global health issue. It harms an individual’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviour. Depression can alter people of all age groups, whether teens, adults or older adults. However, the reason behind it can vary from person to person.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the popular cause of disability globally and ranks fourth on the global list of diseases.
However, the symptoms of depression can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending upon the intensity. But people with depression can experience the following common signs and symptoms-
- Loss of interest in activities which they appreciated
- Having difficulty in completing any task assign to them
- Isolate themselves
- Sleeping and eating problems
- Experiencing suicidal thoughts
What are some causes of depression?
The outbreak of depression generally occurs in late adolescence or early adulthood, and research indicates that depression runs in families.
The family angle comes when close relatives like parents or siblings coping with depression have a high chance of developing depression in themselves. In addition to this, genetics and environmental factors also equally contribute to the illness.
Moreover, women are likely to develop depression as compared to men. But the reason behind their depression includes hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation; menopause increases the risk of depression. It is said that women will experience depression once in their lifetime.
The connection between Vitamin D and Depression:
Vitamin D and depression are related to each other, but increasing serum levels of this element in people does not restrict its symptoms. People of similar age groups, such as the elderly and young people with chronic diseases, are prone to depression and Vitamin D deficiency.
Moreover, social withdrawal and lack of self-care may also cause depression to have a lower level of vitamin D than others. However, social interactions and a proper diet can improve depression signs and increase vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is necessary for healthy brain functioning, and insufficient nutrient levels may play a significant role in depression and other mental illnesses.
Diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency:
To examine vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will conduct a test to measure the amount of vitamin D in your blood. To diagnose depression, your doctor will ask some questions about your signs and symptoms. You may also be asked to complete a self-assessment. Depression cannot be diagnosed using any blood test.
The doctor might also ask you questions and perform a physical exam to conclude if you have depression. Moreover, there may be other exams and lab tests to rule out any other potential issues, as well as to examine whether your symptoms of depression may be related to vitamin D deficiency.
How to treat vitamin D deficiency?
A person can treat vitamin D deficiency and its signs by increasing the intake of essential nutrients. Followings are some of the ways to consume more vitamin D in your body:
- By taking the supplements of vitamin D
- By increasing exposure to the sun
- By intaking food sources that are rich in vitamin D
How to treat depression?
There are several ways to treat depression in different people. If you are worried about your adolescent depression, then you to find out the best teen treatment centers that help the teen overcome depression.
Other treatment options for depression include psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. However, if depression is related to a vitamin D deficiency, increasing the vitamin D intake can help to relieve your symptoms. You can seek professional help also.
Vitamin D plays a crucial section in maintaining your physical and mental health. However, insufficiency of this vitamin can result in numerous health issues, and it also shares a connection with a mental health problem such as depression. Above, we have discussed the relation between depression and vitamin D.