Feeling Anxious? Losing Hair? Could be a Vitamin Deficiency
Mother always said it but it isn’t true: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Yeah, right. We wish. Why is it you can eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and keep stress levels in check, and yet, every day you feel like crap? We thought it was aging or maybe perimenopause but the fact is, we’re part of a seriously large club here. In fact, recent studies have shown that approximately 40 per cent of Americans are deficient in key nutrients, such as vitamins C and D, calcium and magnesium, and these deficiencies can have a noticeable impact on how we feel physically and emotionally.
Does that mean our physical problems—such as anxiety, hair loss, migraines and fatigue—could be as solvable as taking a few vitamins? Say it is so. OK, we will. Read on.
The good news is that vitamin deficiencies can be corrected over time, and the associated symptoms can be reduced and even eliminated. Here’s how.
4 Body Problems That We Can Solve With Vitamins
I’m going bald!
Don’t freak out. Hair loss and thinning hair can be caused by vitamin deficiencies, with iron and vitamin D being the common culprits. To help treat the problem, replace these nutrients in proper doses along with vitamin C to aid with the iron absorption. Also, include biotin, a B vitamin, to help provide your body the proper building blocks.
My head is pounding!
Migraine attacks can be triggered by many factors, such as missing or delaying a meal or disrupting sleep patterns; however research has shown that people who get migraines can have better control when taking proper vitamins. Magnesium is a must. Cells and systems all over your body, including blood vessels in your brain that have a role in migraine headaches, need magnesium to function properly. Also, a daily dose of B2 has been shown to reduce migraine frequency, and, vitamin D may help prevent other types of headaches, such as tension headaches.
I’m a ball of nerves!
Anxiety can be treated with a wide variety of interventions, including vitamins that have anti-inflammatory properties. These include the omega-3s (typically as fish oil) and vitamin C. Also, B12 and folic acid, both of which have important roles in nerve function, can help reduce anxiety. And, magnesium helps regulate various channels that then allow our cells to perform as they should.
Peel me off the couch!
Fatigue and lack of energy affect many of us and leave us more tired than we should be. Feeling sluggish can be traced to many causes; however, one often overlooked cause is a lack of certain key nutrients. A classic cause of low energy is iron deficiency, particularly in women whose bodies are constantly shifting and changing. Replacing iron is essential, but too much can be dangerous, so talk with your doctor about your options. When iron replacement is done right, you should find your energy levels improve. Vitamin D also impacts energy levels, and if you’re lacking in iodine, your thyroid gland is unable do its job, leaving you fatigued. Lastly, magnesium (see a pattern here) is essential to just about every aspect of our bodily functions. Not surprisingly, then, being low can cause all sorts of problems, including fatigue.
Advice from the docs:
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but as physicians, we find even those who are always crunching on a Honey Crisp or Granny Smith can find a carefully chosen vitamin regimen may make all the difference in their health. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your symptoms, your vitamin levels and appropriate interventions that can help you feel your best.
Romy Block, MD, specializes in endocrinology and metabolism and Arielle Levitan, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine physician with a special interest in preventive medicine and women’s health. Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are the authors of the award-winning book The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health.