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According to a recent report, older individuals with low serum vitamin D and high blood levels of parathyroid hormone may have a higher risk for depression.

Researchers from VU University Medical Center and Vrije University of Amsterdam recently published a population-based study evaluating the relationship between vitamin D, high blood levels of parathyroid hormone, and depression. The researchers studied the link between mood and blood levels, and depression was measured using participants (1,282 in total) self-reports.

Of the participants, 169 were diagnosed with minor depression, 26 with major depressive disorder, and 1,087 with no depression. The participants had an average blood vitamin D level of 21 ng/ml, and an average parathyroid hormone level of 3.6 pg/ml.

According to the researchers, the severity of depression was significantly associated with increased parathyroid hormone levels and decreased vitamin D levels. Those with depressive disorders, both major and minor, on average had 14% lower vitamin D levels compared with those who were not depressed. Moreover, parathyroid hormone levels were 5% higher among participants with minor depression, and a staggering 33% higher among those with major depressive disorder.

Depression is a fairly common symptom of parathyroid disease, and the relationship between parathyroid hormone levels and depression is therefore of particular interest to parathyroid experts. Low vitamin D and/or calcium intake may be adjusted by altering ones diet, but the depression might also be a symptom of parathyroid disease.

While feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life, it is important that you pay attention if a constant feeling of emptiness and despair overwhelms you over a longer period of time. In such cases, it may be a depression. Below are some common signs and symptoms of parathyroid disease-related depression:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in daily activities and hobbies
  • Appetite or significant weight changes
  • Sleep changes (insomnia or hypersomnia)
  • Irritability or restlessness (feeling agitated or on edge; low tolerance level)
  • Loss of energy (fatigued, sluggish, physically drained)
  • Self-loathing (strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt)
  • Concentration problems
  • Unexplained aches and pains

If you are suffering from depression, you may have parathyroid disease. Please discuss this possibility with your primary physician. To find out more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Larian today by calling 310-461-0300.