Vitamin D Deficiency — Could You Have It?
December 29, 2017
If winter in Minnesota is causing you to feel more tired than usual, it could be likely that you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Aptly named as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight.
Essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from the diet, when it’s lacking, vitamin D deficiency can cause bone pain and muscle weakness. Most people don’t realize that they are deficient, because symptoms are generally subtle. Additional symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:
- Frequent illness
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Bone and back pain
- Impaired wound healing
- Bone loss
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
Common risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include:
- Having dark skin
- Being elderly
- Being overweight or obese
- Not eating much fish or drinking milk
- Living far from the equator where there is little sun year-round
- Staying indoors
The most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body is a simple blood test. Treatment for one of the most common nutrient deficiencies involves getting more vitamin D through diet and supplements. Sunshine is the best way to get vitamin D because it is produced out of the cholesterol in the skin when it’s exposed to the sun. If you decide to get your vitamin D through sunshine, take extra precautions to not burn your skin. Sunburns can cause premature aging of the skin and raises your risk of skin cancer.