We’ve touted the benefits of vitamin D and for good reason. Vitamin D is necessary for optimal wellness. You can drink milk fortified with vitamin D; you can take a vitamin D supplement; and if you spend a few minutes in the sun each day without sunscreen, your body will naturally produce enough vitamin D to keep you healthy.
On the other hand, it’s possible to mistake vitamin D deficiency for unrelated health issues. Here are five warning signs that your body may be deficient in this essential nutriment:
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to chronic infections. Vitamin D is often used for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. When you’re supplementing your diet with vitamin C during the autumn and winter months, consider adding vitamin D as well. Research shows that infections – such as influenza and other respiratory infections – rise during the winter months when we are not exposed to the sun; therefore, it’s essential that we add the daily recommended allowance of vitamin D to our diets to stay healthy.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause depression. Individuals who have been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder often get depressed during months when they are not exposed to sunshine. Vitamin D deficiency may intensify depression in people who are prone to seasonal sadness. That’s why it’s important to keep the sunshine vitamin at a healthy level in your body as a preemptive strike to the fall and winter blues.
Vitamin D deficiency causes bone pain. You’ve probably heard that vitamin D builds strong bones, but did you know that vitamin D deficiency can be a contributing factor to bone pain? It’s true. By sustaining healthy D levels, you can maintain healthy teeth and bones and reduce or eliminate bone pain.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to chronic sweating. If your forehead sweats excessively, you may have a vitamin D deficiency. For many individuals, this condition can be quite embarrassing. There may be several causes for chronic sweating; therefore, a diagnostic evaluation is necessary to determine whether your condition is linked to a vitamin deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency zaps your energy. Individuals who are diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency complain of low energy and muscle fatigue. Long-term vitamin D supplementation has been shown to increase energy and decrease muscle fatigue.
It’s important to note that it can take several months to correct a vitamin D deficiency. That’s why it essential to maintain optimal levels on a regular basis. The daily recommended allowance for individuals up to the age of 70 is 600 IU (International Units). After the age of 70, 800 IU is recommended.
In addition to sun exposure and supplements, you can get vitamin D from tuna canned in water, sardines canned in oil, cheese, egg yolks, milk, yogurt, beef liver, and cod liver oil. (Please note that cod liver oil in rich in vitamin A and can be toxic at high levels.)
Vitamin D deficiency can cause a multitude of health issues – many of which are not mentioned here. The MAP can help you to identify if you have a vitamin D deficiency and suggest nutritional supplements and other lifestyle changes to help you reach and maintain optimal levels of the sunshine vitamin.