Vitamin D Deficiency aka Hypovitaminosis D
Vitamin D deficiency or hypovitaminosis D, is a term that defines vitamin D that’s below normal levels, and is a very common issue.
It is estimated that there are hundreds of millions of people worldwide who have significantly low levels of vitamin D in their blood.
These are everyday people just like you or me, that are walking around with lower than the required levels in their system, and they are totally unaware that they are in need of that vital top up.
This has a lot to do with the fact that there’s not a great deal of foods that contain this essential nutrient, so we have to get it mainly from sun exposure, which not everyone has regular access to.
There are a number of different symptoms that are associated with a lack of vitamin D in your diet; below are 6 of the more common ones that you should be looking out for.
But just before I continue, an important factor you need to take into consideration is, not all these symptoms actually mean you are vitamin D deficient.
There could also be another underlying condition that is causing the issue; in that case you should consult your medical practitioner.
But if no underlying medical condition is diagnosed for it, then a lack of vitamin D could be the cause.
We have all had that feeling before, being sluggish, can’t be bothered to do anything or just plain old worn out.
But while there may be a lot of reasons for this, such as you have been putting in extra work, or been on the go for hours on end with no rest, there could also be another reason for your tiredness or fatigue.
If you can’t put your finger on a good reason why you should be feeling that way, then it may be worth taking a look at your vitamin D levels.
Frequent Illnesses and Infections
If you find you are suddenly catching every cold or flu symptom that is going around, then there is a chance that this may be down to having low levels of vitamin D.
An important function that is attributed to vitamin D, is keeping our immune systems strong enough to be able to fight off viruses and bacteria that attack our bodies and cause illnesses.
But this is not a pill to be taken when we fall ill, that’s not it’s job, it’s role is to go and interact directly with the cells that have the responsibility of fighting infection before it occurs.
In other words, it is prevention rather than a cure.
Aching Bones and Joints
Being deficient in vitamin D has an effect on bone health which can result in symptoms such as an aching or throbbing feeling in your bones.
This is sometimes more noticeable in the areas of the knees and the back.
Studies have also shown that people, who were vitamin D deficient, were almost twice as likely to experience bone pains as those whose blood levels showed were within the normal range.
Research has shown that Vitamin D and its receptor are important for normal skeletal muscle development, and in optimizing muscle strength and performance.
There have been strong links found between muscle weakness in the older adult population and a deficiency in vitamin D.
Supplementation with various types of the vitamin in older adults showed a reduction in the risk of falls, and an improvement when they were tested for muscle performance.
Low Moods or Feeling Depressed
Referred to as one of the happy hormones, serotonin levels drop when there is a lack of sunshine exposure.
Serotonin is the main hormone that is utilised to stabilize our mood, along with feelings of happiness and well-being.
Our bodies need our stored vitamin D to be activated to effectively produce serotonin within the brain.
So if you are suffering from a low or irritable mood for no real reason, it could be a sign that you may have low levels of vitamin D.
Loss of Hair
Vitamin D contributes towards the formation of new hair follicles.
These are the small pores from which new hairs grow.
It also stimulates hair follicles to grow, so if the levels are really low, the hair could be affected.
New follicles may help the hair retain its thickness and stop existing hair from falling out too early.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to the autoimmune condition known as alopecia, which causes bald patches on the head as well as other areas of the body.
Many people think this this condition just affects women, but in actual fact men can experience it as well.
Vitamin D Deficiency Can be Fixed
So if you are showing signs of any of these symptoms and are concerned, don’t panic because they are easily rectified.
Talk to your doctor or health professional about it and even ask for a vitamin D test.
Plus can eat some of the foods which contain vitamin D such as mushrooms, egg yolks, oily fish, fortified foods, or take a supplement.
If you do take a supplement, remember to take it with a healthy fat, such as avocado or coconut oil, because this is a fat soluble vitamin, and this will help to increase its absorption into the body.
And, you can even get it using the natural method if it’s available to you, and that’s get yourself out for 20 minutes of sunshine each day.