Vitamin D is a very important nutrient that takes part in several processes in the body. This nutrient has a role in the muscle, nervous and the immune systems. It also helps the process of absorbing calcium which is essential for bone strength. The bad news is that about 1 billion people in the world have a deficiency in this vitamin. This is because there are very few foods that contain this vitamin naturally. Although the body can produce this vitamin itself when exposed to sunlight, that’s still not enough.
There are few factors that can put you at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Such as for being overweight, having dark skin, not eating enough fish and milk, being elderly and of course, if you’re not exposed to sunlight enough.
The lack of this vitamin can have a lot of negative effects on the quality of life. Here are the signs that you may have low levels of vitamin D if you have noticed any of these signs you should ask for professional advice.
1. Frequent sickness or infections
One of the tasks that vitamin D has is to keep the immune system strong, so can keep you away from any bacteria or viruses that provoke illness. If you are becoming sick too often maybe the low level of this vitamin is the reason for that.
2. Extreme fatigue
If you feel sleepy and tired all the time might be a sign that you have a lack of vitamin D. Taking supplements may help you boost the level of energy.
3. Bone and back pain
Vitamin D takes part in the maintaining of bone health because it helps the body to absorb calcium. Furthermore, the reason for lower back pain or bone pain might be the deficiency of this vitamin in the blood.
Studies have shown that depression is related to the lack of vitamin D and that taking supplements of this vitamin can improve the mood of those who suffer from mental illness.
5. Problems healing wounds
If you have any wounds from surgery, injury or infection and the process of healing is too slow it might be a sign that you have low levels of Vitamin D.
6. Bone loss
Losing the calcium and other minerals from the bones and low bone mineral density can indicate a vitamin D deficiency. If there isn’t a sufficient amount of this nutrient, the risk of fractures and osteoporosis will be increased, especially to older people.
7. Hair loss
Although more researches need to be done to understand better the correlation, hair loss in women has been related to insufficient amounts of vitamin D. The low levels of this nutrient are linked to alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease characterized by severe hair loss, and may increase the development of the disease.
8. Muscle pain
Researchers have found a correlation between the chronic muscle pain and deficiency of vitamin D. This might be because of the interaction between this vitamin and pain-sensing nerve cell called nociceptors.
Most people are not even aware that have a deficiency in this nutrient and the reason is that often the symptoms are subtle and it’s really difficult to determine the cause behind them. If you have any doubts, the best way to find out is to have your blood levels measured.
The good news is that Vitamin D deficiency is easy to be fixed. If you don’t want to bake in the sun you can start taking supplements or eat more foods that are rich in this vitamin, for example, mushrooms, egg yolks, fatty fish, some shellfish and fortified foods (soy products, milk, orange juice, cereals, and oatmeal).