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Archive for August, 2010

Your brain is first in line to detect the early symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in the form of severe fatigue. Initially, you feel exhausted most of the time in late winter – the medical term for this is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

However, how do we know that we’re suffering from full-blown SAD as opposed to just feeling a little down, or blue? We can tell by two significant changes: reluctance to do any kind of physical activity, and a lack of enjoyment when we do things which used to please us.

A deflated attitude towards things is the first red flag (medical term: psychomotor retardation). The second re flag is a downward spiral in our general happiness level; the things we used to enjoy doing now simply sound like too much work (anhedonia) and in some people can go on for years.

Serotonin deficiency causes depression. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (brain messenger) that affects our sense of well-being and too little of it can make us feel depressed. We need sufficient serotonin to handle stress well effectively and to feel content.

Vitamin D deficiency affects our mood in a big way. The longer the winter, the more pronounced the seasonal variations in serotonin production.

Research tells us that a lack of Vitamin D makes us ache. Symptoms that point to vitamin D deficiency are muscle spasms, bone and joint pain. When Mayo Clinic researchers looked at vitamin D levels of patients who had unexplained widespread, long-term, musculoskeletal pain, they found that 90% had vitamin D deficiency. When these people took regular vitamin D and calcium supplements the result was a dramatic resolution of their pain, fatigue and muscle cramps.

Similarly, Dr Al Faraj at Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital, Saudi Arabia, discovered vitamin D deficiency in 83% of several hundred patients who had chronic back pain for more than six months without a diagnosis. When he normalised the vitamin D of those with low vitamin D levels, the back pain resolved in all of them.

Vitamin D is an overlooked and underestimated vitamin, and is implicated in a variety of disorders.

(This information has been taken from The Vitamin D Cure by James E. Dowd, MD)

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