How do you know if you have vitamin D deficiency?
What are the tell-tell signs of Vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D is extremely important to our everyday well-being. Vitamin D is actually strictly not a vitamin itself, it actually behaves more like a hormone. Did you know, that every single cell in your body has a receptor for it?
Vitamin D is produced naturally when your body is exposed to sunlight. You can also find it in certain foods such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products such as yoghurt and egg yolks; however more often than not it is very difficult to obtain the adequate amount in food alone. Because of this, vitamin D deficiency is common. Approximately, 1 billion people in the world have Vitamin D deficiency.
So how do you know that you are vitamin D deficient? What are the key signs you need to look out for?
- How often are you getting sick or feeling under the weather? Vitamin D’s most important role is to support your immune system so you can fight infections. If you get sick quite often, the lack of Vitamin D can be a contributing factor.
- Are you feeling tired or exhausted on a daily basis? This sign often gets overlooked in our busy daily lives; however ignoring the feelings of fatigue can have a detrimental effect on your over-all physical and mental wellbeing.
- How often do you complain of having back pain? As you may know, vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and maintain the optimum bone health. A recent study done in the US found that those with a deficiency are more likely to suffer from back pain which can limit their daily activities.
- Are you feeling blue? Depression and low mood has been linked to low vitamin D levels, and effective supplementation saw significant improvement in mood.
- Is your hair falling out? Moderate to light hair loss is often associated with stress and poor diet. However, when hair loss is severe it is good to check your vitamin D levels. One successful study has shown that topical application of vitamin D was found to successfully treat hair loss in a young boy who had a severe defect I vitamin D receptors.
- Are your muscles hurting? There is some evidence that shows that vitamin D deficiency may be a potential cause of muscle pain in children and adults. This might be due to the interaction between the vitamin and pain-sensing nerve cells.
- Do you have darker skin? Your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen, so the more pigment you have, the harder kit is for your body to produce the adequate levels of vitamin D.
Correcting vitamin D deficiency is easy. You can do it by altering your diet, adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet and spending a few more glorious minutes in the sun. But remember always to stay safe!