TAG | depressive symptoms
According to a recent study published in the journal Chronic Illness, women with celiac disease are more likely to report stress, depression and disordered eating, even if they are following a gluten-free diet.
The researchers found that women adhering to a gluten-free diet did experience greater vitality, lower stress, decreased depressive symptoms, and greater overall emotional health than those women not following the diet, but even so, they still experienced more stress, depression, and body dissatisfaction when compared to the general population.
Eating gluten-free, even in today’s world of readily available gluten-free fare, is a big adjustment, even when you have been eating gluten-free for years. Food becomes a central focus, rather than an afterthought. Everyday meal planning is required to be sure you have access to the right foods. Shopping at multiple grocery stores becomes the norm. Eating gluten-free creates a whole new way of life. This has the possibility of becoming stressful—and even alienating, depending on the company you keep.
But eating gluten-free—especially in those with celiac, but even in those who are gluten sensitive—is also a ticket to freedom for many people. Freedom from constant digestive issues with seemingly no solution, freedom from wondering, “What the heck is wrong with me?” and freedom from a downward health spiral that itself can cause more stress, dis-ease, and depression.
If you have celiac and you tend to get down about it, take a moment to think about what a gluten-free diet has given you, rather than what it has taken away. Sometimes a shift in perspective is all you need.
A new study published this month in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that insufficient levels of vitamin D may contribute to higher rates of depression among older adults. More than 900 men and women age 65 or older participated in the six-year study, and results indicated that those with vitamin D insufficiency experienced increased depressive symptoms over time.
The human body produces vitamin D as a result of exposure to sunlight, but it can also be obtained by eating certain foods—including foods and supplements fortified with the nutrient. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is necessary for healthy bones, skin and teeth, but further evidence reveals that vitamin D helps to increase levels of serotonin in the body. As a result, it may help improve mood and prevent the onset of depression.
According to experts, vitamin D insufficiency is common among seniors, so daily supplementation may help provide beneficial mood support. Because fish-derived Omega-3 fats have also been linked to improved mood, a natural daily Omega-3 supplement that includes added vitamin D may be an ideal choice. Omega-3 essential fatty acids such as EPA and DHA have also been shown to promote healthy heart, brain, digestive and immune function.