Vitamin D is an important vitamin that plays a vital role in our healthy being. Also, you might be knowing that it is a vitamin that we get from nature, that is right from the sun. People after the age of thirty are more likely to get Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is vital for strong bones as this vitamin helps the body absorb the calcium from our diet thereby strengthening the bones. Hence, if you have crossed the age of thirty, it is better to get your Vitamin D levels checked without delay. Lack of this vitamin can lead to serious health issues and is the cause of various diseases like Scurvy, Rickets, Hair Loss, Cancer etc.
Test to identify Vitamin D deficiency
The best way to check your vitamin D levels is by taking the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test. This test will help the doctor analyze the vitamin D in your body and thus advise you whether the levels are low or high. This test can be done by a blood test. The normal level should be between 20 ng/mL and 50 ng/mL.
What causes Vitamin D deficiency?
Signs of Vitamin D deficiency
We often tend to ignore the small signs our body shows us may be due to the busy and hectic lifestyle. However, we will have to pay for this in the long run. Vitamin D as explained above is a vital one for the proper functioning of our body. However, lower levels of vitamin D can lead to various health concerns. Hence we should get our vitamin D levels checked and also pay attention to the symptoms our body shows us. We should also keep in mind that not all the people would experience the symptoms or it might take years for the body to start showing the symptoms. Let us check in detail what are the major signs one might have in case of vitamin D deficiency. However, do not self-diagnose as these symptoms can also be due to other health issues.
Fatigue and Tiredness Fatigue and tiredness can be due to various factors. However, it is one of the symptoms of lower vitamin D levels as well. Vitamin D is vital for boosting our energy and helping the muscles work efficiently. When there is a deficiency, our energy levels go down and will feel fatigued and tired. Also, we will start getting muscle pain which will refrain us from being energetic. People also experience anxiety, depression or change in mood due to lack of this vitamin.
Bone Pain Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium from the food we eat which helps in strengthening the born. As your vitamin D level goes down, the body will find it difficult to absorb calcium which leads to thinning of bones or brittle bones. This leads to frequent bone fractures as well. Not only bone but some people do get back pain also due to lack of vitamin D. Severe vitamin D deficiency leads to osteomalacia.
Hair Loss If you have severe and unusual hair fall, go get it checked right away. Hair fall can be due to vitamin D deficiency. Hair follicles need to be stimulated to promote hair growth and that function is done by vitamin D. Deficiency of this vitamin can also lead to patchy hair loss. So do not wait to get your vitamin levels checked as you know how difficult it is to regrow the hair and to get it back to its old condition.
Getting sick often Having a cold or flu once in a year is good but if you tend to get these diseases quite often, then there is something to be worried about. People with vitamin D do often fall sick and will have respiratory tract infections too. This is because vitamin D helps in boosting the immunity power. Hence it is recommended to consult a doctor if you often fall ill.
Headache Not having proper vitamin D is related to various health problems. One such issue is having chronic and regular headaches. You might take a pain killer or apply a balm to get rid off the headache. However, it might not help always and you still get that irritating headache. If that is the case it could be because you have a lower level vitamin D.
How do we get Vitamin D?
There are three ways to get vitamin D. Two of them are natural ways and one through taking supplements. Let us look at them in detail.
Exposure to sunlight: Now as most of us are engaged in office jobs and refrain ourselves to indoor activities and shopping malls, we lack exposure to sunlight or the exposure is limited. This will lead to a deficiency in Vitamin D and will, in turn, affect our health. The people who live in colder countries are also prone to vitamin D deficiency. By making sure we get an ample amount of sunlight we can slowly increase our vitamin D. Try to have a walk in the morning hours of the day in the sun to boost your Vitamin D.
Taking a proper diet: Mostly, people who are vegetarian, eggetarian or vegan are likely to have vitamin D deficiency as most of the natural sources of vitamin D are derived from animal-based products. This includes certain fishes like Salmon, Mackerel, Tuna etc, egg yolk, mushrooms, beef liver and so on. By making sure that you get enough vitamin D through your diet, you can lead a healthy life. If you are against animal products, try to include fortified non-dairy foods that have vitamin D content.
Through dietary supplements: Another and the last option if you have Vitamin D deficiency is to consult a doctor and get vitamin D supplements. Too much intake of vitamin D supplements is not recommended. Hence intake should be as per the prescription of the doctor and never try to be your own doctor. That might do more harm than good. Injections and tablets are available as supplements. Depending upon the level of deficiency, the doctor will advise the best solution.
Like any other vitamin and nutrient, vitamin D is also essential in leading a healthy life. It is not something to be ignored. Hence, proper checking at the right time is required to identify and rectify the health issues. If it is diagnosed at an early stage, we can avoid taking supplements and can increase the vitamin D level by changing our lifestyle. This can be done by taking simple steps such as increasing our exposure to sunlight and adjusting our diet. However, we should also note that too much vitamin D is also not good.