It's Summer Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has powerful effects on several systems throughout the body.
Unlike most vitamins, vitamin D actually functions like a hormone, and every single cell in your body has a receptor for it.
Your body makes it from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
It's also found in certain foods such as fatty fish and fortified dairy products, although it's very difficult to get enough from diet alone.
The recommended daily intake is usually around 400-800 IU, but many experts say you should get even more than that.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common. It's estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood.
According to a 2011 study, 41.6% of adults in the US are deficient. This number goes up to 69.2% in Hispanics and 82.1% in African-Americans
These are common risk factors for vitamin D deficiency:
Having dark skin.
Being overweight or obese.
Not eating much fish or milk.
Living far from the equator where there is little sun year-round.
Always using sunscreen when going out.
People who live near the equator and get frequent sun exposure are less likely to be deficient, because their skin produces enough vitamin D to satisfy the body's needs.
Most people don't realize that they are deficient, because the symptoms are generally subtle. You may not notice them easily, even if they are having a significant negative effect on your quality of life.
Here are 8 signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
1. GETTING SICK OFTEN
One of vitamin D's most important roles is keeping your immune system strong so you're able to fight off the viruses and bacteria that cause illness. Vitamin D plays and important roles in immune function. One of the most common symptoms of deficiency is an increased risk of illness or infections.
2. FATIGUE AND TIREDNESS
Feeling tired can have many causes and vitamin D deficiency may be one of them.
Unfortunately, it's often overlooked as a potential cause.
3. BONE AND BACK PAIN
Vitamin D is involved in maintaining bone health through a number of mechanisms.
For one, it improves your body's absorption of calcium.
Bone pain and lower back pain may be signs of inadequate vitamin D levels in the blood.
A depressed mood may also be a sign of deficiency. Depression is associated with low vitamin D levels and some studies have found that supplementing improves mood.
5. IMPAIRED WOUND HEALING
Slow healing of wounds after surgery or injury may be a sign that vitamin D levels are too low.
It's also been suggested that vitamin D's role in controlling inflammation and fighting infection is important for proper healing. Inadequate vitamin D levels may lead to poor wound healing following surgery, injury or infection.
6. BONE LOSS
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in calcium absorption and bone metabolism.
Many older women who are diagnosed with bone loss believe they need to take more calcium. However, they may be deficient in vitamin D as well.
Low bone mineral density is an indication that calcium and other minerals have been lost from bone. This places older people, especially women, at an increased risk of fractures. A diagnosis of low bone mineral density may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Getting enough of this vitamin is important for preserving bone mass as you get older.
7. HAIR LOSS
Hair loss is often attributed to stress, which is certainly a common cause.
However, when hair loss is severe, it may be the result of a disease or nutrient deficiency. Hair loss may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency in female-pattern hair loss or the autoimmune condition alopecia areata.
8. MUSCLE PAIN
The causes of muscle pain are often difficult to pinpoint. The vitamin D receptor is present in nerve cells called nociceptors, which sense pain. There is a link between chronic pain and low blood levels of the vitamin, which may be due to the interaction between the vitamin and pain-sensing nerve cells.
CORRECTING A VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY CAN BE SIMPLE
Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common and most people are unaware of it.
That's because the symptoms are often subtle and non-specific, meaning that it's hard to know if they're caused by low vitamin D levels or something else.
If you think you may have a deficiency, then it's important that you speak to your doctor and get your blood levels measured.
Fortunately, a vitamin D deficiency is usually easy to fix. You can either increase your sun exposure, eat more vitamin D rich foods or simply take a supplement.
Fixing your deficiency is simple, easy and can have big benefits for your health.
When was the last time you had your Vitamin D levels checked? Now is a good time!