Signs You May Have a Vitamin D Deficiency
Approximately 36% of healthy young adults and approximately 57% of inpatients in the United States and Europe suffer from vitamin D deficiency – that’s a staggering figure! Vitamin D is essential to strong bones and also to optimal muscle function. It has also been connected to reduced risk of death from heart failure, various cancers, hypertension and diabetes. Yes, it’s that important.
Many of the people who are vitamin D deficient do not even know. You can always request lab testing from your doctor and this is a very good thing to do. I recently had very thorough lab work which checked everything from my thyroid function to kidney function, vitamins and minerals – and it really helps not only isolate potential issues but can also sometimes catch life threatening illnesses early!
Although we are warned against sun overexposure, the best way to get enough vitamin D is through sun exposure. How much sun you need a day depends on many factors such as age, skin color, time of the day, season, and…. the use of sunscreen. Yes, if you put sunscreen on it blocks the vitamin D production. 10 to 15 minutes of natural sun per day is considered optimal. You can even spread this out so as to reduce risk of overexposure.
It’s interesting to note that in some cultures (for example China) it is considered fashionable and chic for women to be pale, not tanned. In China women go to great lengths to preserve their alabaster complexions.
Aside from sunshine, the two other main sources of vitamin D are food and supplements. For those who – for whatever reason – wish not to expose their skin to the sun, vitamin D supplementation may be a good idea.
12 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
- Muscle and Bone Weakness:
Vitamin D is important for bones, muscles and teeth. Weakened bones, teeth, or muscles may be a sign that you are not getting enough of it.
- Feeling Blue or Sad:
Researchers have found that woman with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to be depressed or struggle with deep feelings of sadness.
- Great Pain Sensitivity:
People who struggle with chronic pains often have inadequate vitamin D levels.
- Chronic Gum Disease:
People with lower levels of vitamin D are more vulnerable for swelling, reddening, and bleeding of gums.
- High Blood Pressure:
Vitamin D is important for your heart too. When you don’t get enough of it, you’re blood pressure may rise.
- Fatigue and Sleepiness:
People with lower levels of vitamin D lack the energy during the day and may have a constant feeling of fatigue.
- Mood Swings:
Vitamin D plays a role in serotonin production. This “feel good hormone” has a major impact on our mood.
- Decreased Endurance:
Studies have shown that athletes with lower vitamin D levels preform less and have lower energy levels compared to other athletes.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, stored in our fat cells. People who are overweight or obese therefore need more vitamin D.
- Gut Issues:
People who struggle with fat absorption (ex. Crohn’s, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease), may have lower vitamin D levels as well.
- Head Sweater:
Excessive head sweating is a common, early sign of vitamin D deficiency.
Adequate vitamin D can reduce allergies. A study done on 6000 individuals showed that people with low vitamin D levels are more susceptible to allergies