Symptoms & causes of Vitamin D deficiency:
1. Your skin is of a darker tone
Individual with a dark skin tone are at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, because you may need as much as 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a person with pale skin! Your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen, so the more pigment you have, the more time you'll need to spend in the sun to make adequate amounts of vitamin D.
2. You feel generally "down"
The brain hormone associated with mood elevation Seratonin, increases with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure. In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly patients and found those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses. Though Vitamin D does not cure depression.
3. You're 50yrs or Older
As you get older your kidneys become less efficient at converting vitamin D into the form used by your body and older adults tend to spend more time indoors
4. You're overweight or Obese
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin, which means body fat acts as a "sink" by collecting it. If you're overweight or obese, you're likely going to need more vitamin D than a slimmer person.
5. Your bones ache
Many individuals who see their doctor for aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Whereas these are symptoms are classic signs of vitamin D deficiency.
6. Your head sweats
One of the first, classic signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. In fact, physicians used to ask new mothers about head sweating in their newborns for this very reason. Excessive sweating in newborns due to neuromuscular irritability is still described as a common, early symptom of vitamin D deficiency.
7. You experience some sort of gut trouble
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well.
Some effects of Vitamin D deficiency:
1) Erectile dysfunction
2) Elevated risk for coronary heart disease
3) Those with lower Vitamin D levels have a higher Parkinson’s risk
4) Studies show that individuals with the lowers levels of Vitoamin D had twice the incidence of dementia as those with healthy levels
5) While adults with hypertension tend to have a lower Vitamin D level, studies have not shown that supplementing Vitamin D is helpful in reducing blood pressure.
6) Children with asthma are twice as likely to be Vitamin D deficient as compared to those without asthma
7) Inflammatory bowel disease. The relationship between low D3 and Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis cuts both ways, as these individuals may not absorb Vitamin D as efficiently, and Vitamin D is known to reduce inflammation in these disorders.
8) Those diagnosed with schizophrenia are more likely to have low Vitamin D levels
9) A diagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. It is interesting how these disorders and Vitamin D deficiency share many symptoms.
10) Series of infections, or seasonal or yearly recurrences of viral respiratory infections, sore throat, and influenza.
11) Individuals with the lowest levels of Vitamin D had 11 X risk for depression over those with healthy levels.
Functions of vitamin D:
- Promoting calcium absorption
- Maintaining normal calcium and phosphate levels
- Promoting bone and cell growth
- Reducing inflammation
Best sources of vitamin D:
- Exposure to sunlight
- Tuna (fish)
- Fatty fish
- Eggs (with the yolk)
- Mushrooms (ideally grown under UV light)