Experts estimate that around one-third of people in the United States have a vitamin deficiency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 40% of adults in the United States have symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder. There’s some possibility that the two statistics could be linked.
One of the reasons that Adam Learner, LAc and the outstanding team of professionals at Family Acupuncture and Wellness often order blood work is because so many people have vitamin deficiencies. We practice functional medicine, which is a method of care that involves identifying the root cause of an illness or condition and treating you from a whole-body perspective. Often, this includes identifying and supplementing vitamin deficiencies.
Given the fact that the CDC estimates more than 40% of us are dealing with anxiety and depression, we believe that it’s a serious problem for our society. The two conditions are often mentioned together, but they are separate.
If you have an anxiety disorder, you may find yourself plagued by constant, ongoing worry. You may not even have a reason to feel worried, but still be unable to control the feelings. Anxiety can be stressful and can result in physical problems like high blood pressure or chronic headaches.
Everyone feels down or blue sometimes, but if that feeling persists for more than two weeks, you may have depression. If you have no interest in activities you usually enjoy, or you feel hopeless or sad for an extended period of time, you should discuss your symptoms with a provider.
Ideally, a balanced and nutritious diet provides all the vitamins you need to be healthy. However, for some people, that’s not how things work. You may not have access to some foods you need, or your preferences may prevent you from getting the vitamins you need. In some cases, even eating an appropriate amount of foods containing necessary vitamins isn’t enough to maintain healthy levels.
To be optimally healthy, you need a certain level of 13 different vitamins, including eight different types of B vitamins. Many conditions are associated with vitamin deficiencies, and though scientists don’t always fully understand the cause and effect relationship, the association is clear. One such association exists between vitamin deficiencies and mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.
At this point, you may be wondering how you know what supplements you need to take. The best way to find out is to work with a practitioner who understands how vitamin deficiencies can affect your overall health. Blood work to understand your current vitamin levels is necessary, so you need a practitioner who can order labs and who understands the results in the context of your health and your issues.
Another important thing to remember when you’re considering vitamin supplements is that the industry is largely unregulated. It can be difficult to know whether a brand of supplements contains what it should, and equally importantly, doesn’t contain what it shouldn’t.
If you’d like to learn more about how vitamin deficiencies can affect your mental and physical health, schedule an appointment at Family Acupuncture and Wellness. We can help you understand which, if any, supplements you need, as well as recommend brands you can trust.