You might think you're getting enough vitamin D through your diet or by exposure to sunlight, but chances are you may still need more.
Vitamin D deficiency is an increasingly common problem which often goes undiagnosed.
We know vitamin D has many beneficial effects on bone and muscle health. But did you know that a deficiency of this vitamin has also been associated with other problems, especially as we age? Some of these include higher incidents of falling, increased pain, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer and memory disturbances.
Having adequate levels of vitamin D is important to your overall health. The only way to know if you are deficient is to see your doctor for a simple blood test, as this will decide if a simple over-the-counter supplement or prescription replacement is needed.
Vitamin D is Important For Good Health
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is present in some foods or by exposure to sunlight, as well as supplements. The vitamin can accomplish many great things when present in the body such as calcium absorption. It is also needed for bone and cell growth.
Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency
Though vitamin D is commonly heard of, an estimated one billion people in the world are vitamin D deficient, and the number keeps growing. So what exactly happens when your vitamin D levels are low? Here are some common symptoms that many encounter:
- Bones may begin to weaken and thin
- Loss of muscle strength
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
- Impaired wound healing
As we age, more problems may occur as a result of being deficient of vitamin D. Higher incidents of falling, increased pain, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, memory disturbances and cancer are just a few serious effects that can result in older patients with the deficiency.
Boost Your Levels of Vitamin D
Here’s what you can do to boost your vitamin D levels and reverse the effects of deficiency:
- Increase your intake of vitamin D-rich foods
- Salmon, egg yolks and milk are some of the most popular food products you can add into your diet to improve low vitamin D levels.
- Take a vitamin D supplement
- Supplements are extremely common and often the go-to solution for vitamin D deficiency. Supplements exist in two forms: D2 and D3. D3, which comes from animals, may be better at increasing and maintaining standard levels in the body compared to D2.
- Spend more time outside
- The sun is actually one of the best sources for this vitamin. Spending more time in the sun with exposed skin can increase your Vitamin D levels, also. But don’t forget your sunscreen!
If you believe you have a vitamin D deficiency, schedule an appointment with your doctor today. And if you’re interested in learning how to get more vitamins and minerals into your diet, our “Healthy Eating Guide” can help.