Do you feel tired and moody all the time? Is there pain in your back, muscles or joints? And, do you seem to come down with a cold or flu too often? All of these could be signs of vitamin D deficiency. So what causes vitamin D deficiency?
If you don’t spend enough time in the sun, eat a plant-only diet, have darker skin, have milk allergies or suffer from an underlying condition that affects malabsorption, you could be deficient in Vitamin D.
In addition, exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in water bottles, plastics, cosmetics, pesticides and heavy metals, is associated with lower vitamin D levels.
And vitamin D deficiency has been linked to respiratory infections, osteoporosis, depression, dementia, diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.
In today’s video, we’re going to talk about 14 signs of vitamin D deficiency, and the best ways to increase levels of this important nutrient. So if you’re ready, let’s get into it.
As always, this video is educational and does not construe medical advice, we are not doctors.
Number 14. You Feel Tired All The Time.
Low levels of vitamin D can make you feel tired and fatigued, even if you get a good night’s rest. Vitamin D keeps your body energized, promotes healing and is essential for a healthy immune system. Numerous research studies have shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and chronic fatigue. Supplementation with vitamin D3 helped to improve energy levels.
Number 13. You Are More Prone To Infections.
Vitamin D is critical for immune function. A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to an increased risk of developing colds, the flu, and other bacterial infections. Low levels also increase the likelihood that you will catch frequent infections. If this is your case, it would be wise for you to consult with a doctor about getting your vitamin D levels checked.
Number 12. You Have Muscle Pain.
Muscle pain can be caused by a deficiency in vitamin D. A study that looked at people suffering from chronic pain in the muscles found that 71% of them were deficient in this nutrient. Numerous other studies have shown that vitamin D3 supplements can reduce chronic pain for those who suffer from this deficiency.
Number 11. You Feel Pain In Your Back Or Joints.
Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption. Vitamin D is essential for your body to use calcium and other minerals like magnesium and phosphorus to maintain strong bones. Research shows that insufficient vitamin D can lead to pain in the spine, legs, joints, and ribs. This could be caused by gradual bone loss.
Number 10. You Are Overweight.
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with people who are overweight or obese. Vitamin D is absorbed by fat cells rather than used by your body to do its job. Obesity is often associated with low nutrient absorption, which includes vitamin D.
Number 9. You Have Increased Insulin Resistance.
Vitamin D is essential for insulin production and can be used to increase the body’s insulin sensitivity. Recent research has shown a correlation between higher vitamin D intake and insulin sensitivity. A lack of vitamin D may cause diabetes symptoms to worsen.
Number 8. You Feel Depressed.
Depression can be caused by low levels of vitamin D. Doctors discovered that depression is often linked to low levels of vitamin D, especially among older adults. A study found that 65 percent of people with depression also had low levels of vitamin D.
Number 7. You Keep Forgetting Things.
A lack of vitamin D could be causing you to forget things all the time. Low levels of vitamin D are a risk factor in cognitive decline and dementia, particularly among older adults. People with dementia have significantly lower levels of vitamin D.
Number 6. Your Wound Heals Slowly.
If you’re struggling with a wound that won’t heal, or are experiencing pain after surgery and aren’t sure why – then maybe the issue lies in vitamin D levels! This nutrient is crucial for rebuilding new skin, so having too little can result in wounds healing slower than they should.
Number 5. You Have Gastrointestinal Issues.
Vitamin D is absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which in turn increases the risk of developing colon cancer. Clostridium difficile infection is more common in people with IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Vitamin D supplementation can help reduce this risk, according to studies, as it helps in reducing inflammation throughout your body.
Number 4. You Have Thinning Hair.
One possible reason for hair thinning is a deficiency in vitamin D. People with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that can cause hair loss, seem to be at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D stimulates the hair follicles to grow, which maintains thickness and prevents your hair from falling out too soon!
Number 3. You Suffer From Bone Loss.
Calcium and phosphorus are essential for the building and maintenance of strong bones and vitamin D is needed in this process. Women, in particular, are more susceptible to osteoporosis, in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, due to vitamin D deficiency. To protect themselves against this risk, women should ensure they get enough vitamin D and consume calcium-rich foods after menopause. Children are also at risk of bone loss which can lead to diseases like rickets.
Number 2. You Have Poor Cardiovascular Health.
Although it isn’t clear why, low levels of vitamin D are linked to cardiovascular disease. Seniors and people with darker skin are more at risk for vitamin D deficiency and increased cardiovascular disease risk.
Number 1. You Have Erectile Dysfunction.
Low levels of vitamin D can lead to cardiovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease and erectile dysfunction. Increased inflammation affects blood circulation, which contributes to erection difficulties. Vitamin D’s ability to reduce inflammation in the body is helpful for mitigating these problems.
There you have it! The top 14 signs of vitamin D deficiency. Now, let’s talk about the best sources of Vitamin D.
When your body is exposed to sunlight (specifically ultraviolet B rays), the cholesterol in your skin cells start to produce vitamin D3. But your body can’t use this form of vitamin until it is further processed by your liver and kidneys.
There are two main forms of Vitamin D, D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3(cholecalciferol), which we get from food and supplements. Researchers have found vitamin D3 appears to more effectively raise your levels of active vitamin D than vitamin D2.
Foods that are rich in Vitamin D3 are animal sources and include cod liver oil, salmon, trout, herring, sardines, milk, beef liver, egg yolks, cheese and canned tuna.
Foods that are rich in Vitamin D2 are plant sources and include mushrooms exposed to sun UV rays, such as portobellos, morel, Shiitake, oyster, as well as fortified soy and almond and milk.
The recommended daily allowance is 400–800 IU (10–20 micrograms), but common supplemental doses range from 1,000–2,000 IU (25–50 micrograms) per day.
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And now, over to you: Are you getting enough Vitamin D? Which are your favorite vitamin D foods? If you are supplementing with vitamin D3, how much do you take?
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