It is estimated that a stunning one billion people suffer from vitamin D deficiencies worldwide, making it one of the most prevalent health issues around the globe. Many have heard of a vitamin D deficiency, but few actually understand what it is, why it is dangerous, and how to combat it. Today on the Vitruvian blog we dig into what vitamin D deficiency is, how it affects the body, and we share some tips on how to make sure you don’t experience one.
What is Vitamin D
Commonly nicknamed the sunshine vitamin because our skin naturally synthesizes it from cholesterol in response to sunlight, vitamin D is a critical nutrient for maintaining bone health throughout the body.
Vitamin D is key to proper cognitive and immune response functioning. It is what allows the body to intake and absorb calcium, the primary constituent element of bone. Vitamin D also contains anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties and aids immune health, muscle function, and brain cell activity.
Why do Some People Lack Vitamin D?
Because Vitamin D is naturally found in only a select few foods, most humans rely on sun exposure to produce it in their bodies. Anywhere from 50% to 90% of all vitamin D in the body is created by sun exposure. Of course, the amount of vitamin D that a given individual’s skin will create depends on a variety of factors, such as time of day, time of year, global latitude, and skin sensitivity.
For some, this means that the production of vitamin D may be entirely absent at certain points of the year, especially during winter months. Older adults who don’t spend as much time outdoors are particularly prone to vitamin D deficiencies. Other risk factors include obesity, dark skin, diets that exclude fish and dairy, and ingestion of certain medications that hinder vitamin D absorption.
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include:
- Bone pain
- Muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps
- Mood changes, like depression.
In addition to the ailments listed above, vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to the following illnesses:
- Various cancers
How to Treat a Vitamin D Deficiency
The first step to regulating a vitamin D deficiency is getting a proper diagnosis. Your doctor will be able to order a blood test to measure your levels of vitamin D and determine whether they are lower than they should be. From here, you might consider a regimen that involves a subtle increase in exposure to sunlight as well as a diet of foods rich in vitamin D, such as fish, eggs, cheese, and fortified grains, and the use of superior vitamin D supplements.
Live Better with Vitruvian Wellness Center
Located in West Springfield, MA, Vitruvian Wellness center is here to help guide you on the path to recovery and wellness, naturally. The services of Dr. Morin can assist patients in rediscovering a body defined by optimal health and wellness each and every day.If you want to start living everyday pain-free and in optimal health, contact us to schedule an appointment today! You can also glance at our catalogue of vitamins and supplements for purchase HERE.