Posts Tagged ‘fatigue; SAD; vitamin D deficiency; serotonin; tired;’

Research keeps unearthing one find after another that cites vitamin D deficiency as a major culprit in disease development.  New studies show that vitamin D is important to proper brain development, and that a lack of this vitamin may be a contributing factor in causing schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and depression.  Calcium and magnesium deficiencies often accompany vitamin D deficiency and are associated with seizures in infants and degenerative neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s in adults.

The good news is that vitamin D:

  • Relieves the symptoms of seasonal depression;
  • Plays a critical role in slowing or preventing many types of arthritis;
  • Reduces the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes;
  • Improves the release of insulin and response of muscle and liver to insulin, which means that normal levels of vitamin D may help prevent diabetes;
  • Helps the development of healthy immune system during childhood; and
  • Plays a key role in regulating cell growth and differentiation which may prevent cancer.

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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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