Vitamin D is important to incorporate into your diet. According to the health resource website WebMD, vitamin D is essential for strong bones. Vitamin D deficiency can be associated with rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue doesn’t properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. But increasingly, research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health problems. What are the different signs and what can you do about it?
Signs of vitamin D deficiency
You’re getting sick more often than you normally would
According to Simply Health, a website devoted to natural health information, one of the key functions of vitamin D is keeping your immune system healthy. A strong immune system means you are better able to fight off infections and illnesses that are caused by viruses and bacteria. If you are deficient in vitamin D, your immune system is weakened, which means that you will become more susceptible to illnesses and infections. If you are contracting things like the flu, the common cold, strep throat or other infections and illnesses more frequently than you normally would, it could be because you are not getting enough vitamin D.
It doesn’t matter how much sleep you are getting, if you always feel like you are tired, that may show a vitamin D deficiency, states Simply Health. Low levels of vitamin D can cause severe fatigue, which in turn, can have negative effects on your overall health and your quality of life.
Back pain and bone pain
Vitamin D is an important vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium, states Facty Health. Without vitamin D, your body is not able to use the calcium you ingest to maintain strong bones. Studies have shown that insufficient vitamin D can cause pain in the back and leg bones, joints, and ribs. This may be due to gradual bone loss.
People who are overweight or obese may have low levels of vitamin D, according to Facty Health, a health website edited by medical experts. Fat cells will often absorb vitamin D instead of letting the vitamin work its function. Malabsorption may also cause obesity, so if you are overweight, it’s important to make sure that you have enough vitamin D to contribute to your body’s health.
If you are constantly forgetting things, you may be dealing with a lack of vitamin D. Low vitamin D is a risk factor for disorders such as dementia and cognitive impairment, especially in older adults. People who have dementia show a marked decrease in vitamin D.
Causes of vitamin D deficiency
There are different reasons on why the body can be deficient in Vitamin D, according to WebMD:
Your kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to its active form
As people age, their kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form, also increasing their risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Your exposure to sunlight is limited
The body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight, you may be at risk of deficiency if you are homebound.
Your digestive tract cannot adequately absorb vitamin D
Certain medical problems, including Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease, can affect your intestine’s ability to absorb vitamin D from the food you eat.
What can you do?
There are three different ways in which you can get your vitamin D back. According to the health website Medline Plus, you can get it through your skin, from your diet, and from supplements. Your body forms vitamin D naturally after exposure to sunlight. But too much sun exposure can lead to skin aging and skin cancer, so many people try to get their vitamin D from other sources. In your diet if you incorporate foods such as fish, cheese, and eggs it will increase your vitamin D efficiency.