If you often feel achy, tired, sick and moody, your body may be crying out for vitamin D. In today’s video, we’ll talk about the top 13 vitamin D deficiency symptoms, and how you can get optimal levels of this important nutrient.
As always, this video is educational, and does not construe medical advice; we are not doctors.
Vitamin D’s main role is to help the intestines absorb calcium, but it does a lot more. It ensures healthy cellular function, protects brain cells, supports the immune function, enhances detoxification, aids metabolic processes, and promotes heart health.
Since 2008, Vitamin D deficiency has been recognized as a worldwide pandemic.
So what causes low levels of vitamin D?
If you don’t spend enough time in the sun, eat a plant-only diet, have darker skin, have parathyroid disease, suffer from conditions that cause malabsorption including celiac disease and cystic fibrosis, or have liver and kidney disease, you could be deficient in Vitamin D.
In addition, exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in water bottles, plastics, cosmetics, pesticides, polluted air and water, is associated with lower vitamin D levels.
This nutrient deficiency has been linked to respiratory illness, osteoporosis, depression, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, prostate and breast cancer and ED.
Now, let’s get into the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency to watch out for.
Number 13. 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. To see our recommended high-absorption, plant-based vitamin D3 plus K2 supplement, see the link below.
Number 12. 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 of catching frequent infections.
Number 11. Muscle Pain. Muscle aches and weakness 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 10. Joint Pain and Bone Loss. Calcium, along with phosphorus and magnesium, are essential for the building and maintenance of strong bones, and vitamin D is needed in this process. Research shows that insufficient vitamin D can lead to pain in the spine, legs, joints, and ribs. Women, in particular, are susceptible to osteoporosis, in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, due to low vitamin D leading to low calcium stores. When vitamin D levels are too low, calcium absorption in the intestines is reduced, causing calcium levels in the blood to decrease. As a result, the parathyroid glands become more active, producing more parathyroid hormone (PTH), which causes calcium to leave the bones and weaken them.
Number 9. Being Overweight or Obese. 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. Studies have found that losing excess weight increases vitamin D levels, presumably by releasing vitamin D in fat tissues into the blood.
Number 8. 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 7. Feeling Depressed. 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 6. Impaired Memory. 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 5. Slow Wound Healing. 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 4. 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 3. 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 2. 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. Erectile Dysfunction. Low levels of vitamin D is linked 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.
Next, what are the best sources of Vitamin D?
Sun exposure is the best source 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. The only plant source of vitamin D, is mushrooms exposed to sun UV rays, such as Oyster, Shiitake and Reishi mushrooms. Research from 2013 has shown that sunlight-exposed mushrooms produce vitamin D2, D3 and D4. Fortified foods like soy, almond, and rice milk, orange juice and cereals may contain vitamin D, but the quantities are typically small, and is in a less bioavailable form.
So, what is the recommended intake of vitamin D?
In general, 1,000 to 2,000 IU should be enough to meet the needs of most people completely, with doses between 2,000 and 10,000 IU not necessarily providing more overall benefit, but not being harmful either. When it comes to calcium metabolism, vitamin D3 and K2 work in synergy; D3 gets calcium into your blood, and K2 sends it to the bones! If there is no K2 to activate the proteins that send calcium to the bones, some calcium may settle in soft tissues, and lead to calcification. For our recommended plant-based Vitamin D3 plus K2 supplement, see the link below.
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