Vitamin D is a very important vitamin your body needs. Unlike other vitamins, it seems that Vitamin D acts more like a hormone, made by your body when you expose it to sunlight. It can also be found in certain foods, such as dairy products or fatty fish, although sunlight is generally the main way humans get it.
Vitamin D deficiencies seem to be somewhat common. It’s estimated that around a quarter of Australians have a mild form of it.
Risk Factors for Vitamin D Deficiencies
You may be at risk of developing a Vitamin D deficiency if:
- You have darker skin
- You are overweight or obese
- You don’t eat enough fish or dairy
- You’re older
- You avoid sun exposure
- You have Celiac disease
- You’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer
All these factors can increase the risk of not having stuffing Vitamin D levels in your system. Most people will not notice they have a deficiency because the symptoms are usually quite subtle at first, and only become apparent when the health conditions get worse.
Living with a low amount of Vitamin D increases the risk of developing several health problems, such as:
- Loss of bone density
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis
Signs You Might Have Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D can play a role in promoting healthy levels of calcium and phosphate in the body, which improve bone health, dental health, and even muscle health.
It’s important to seek medical advice if you suspect you have a Vitamin D deficiency. Your doctor will order a blood test to see your current Vitamin D levels and suggest a treatment plan that would be optimal for you, such as taking a Vitamin D supplement, increasing exposure to sunlight, and even adding multiple sources of Vitamin D foods to your diet.
Here are some common symptoms of not having enough Vitamin D in your system:
- Being sick often
Vitamin D plays a big role in keeping the immune system working properly to fight infections and diseases. If you are prone to getting sick often, especially by catching colds or the flu, low levels of Vitamin D could be an explanation.
- Feeling tired
Fatigue can have several explanations, and Vitamin D is certainly one of them. Low levels of this vitamin can have a direct impact on your energy levels.
- Bone pain
Since Vitamin D helps promote bone health, lack of it can commonly cause issues when it comes to your bones. You can experience lower back pain, in particular, though the pain is not exclusive to this area.
- Muscle pain and weakness
Muscle weakness is rather common in older adults especially, but one reason why they experience it is also that they have a higher risk of being Vitamin D deficient.
To Sump up
Living with low levels of Vitamin D can cause a myriad of health conditions especially for older adults. It’s important to pay attention to what your body is telling you, and seek medical advice to check your Vitamin D levels.
Even if you don’t spot the signs, certain lifestyle changes such as adding more fish and dairy to your diet, and increasing your exposure to sunlight can be enough to ensure your body gets enough of this vitamin.