Vitamin D – also known as the sunshine vitamin – plays a significant role in many of your body’s functions. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is shown to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorus which are critical for bone health. Roughly 40-80% of the world’s population suffers from vitamin D deficiency. How is that if we can absorb this vitamin from the sun? In many northern populations – even if you’re outside – you’re not producing vitamin D when your sunshine is limited for 5+months of the year. What is the effect of this loss and what can you do about it? We’ll explain.
14 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
What does vitamin D deficiency cause? The body can show many signs of low vitamin D levels but some common ones to look out for are: • Fatigue • Weakened immune system • Depression • Anxiety • Weakness • Osteoporosis • Weakened bones • Inflammation • Swelling • Skin conditions • Heart disease • High blood pressure • Insomnia • Autoimmune disease Continued low levels mean you risk weakened bones, higher susceptibility to infections and viruses, mental health and cognitive declines, high blood pressure, susceptibility to some cancers, hormone imbalances and mood disorders. It’s clear that Vitamin D is critical to your overall health. So, how can you be sure you’re getting enough and what should you do if you aren’t?
What Foods Are High in Vitamin D?
In the nutrition world experts encourage getting your vitamins and minerals from food sources first and supplementation second. Unfortunately, with Vitamin D there are not great food sources, and it can be extremely difficult to keep your blood level up with food alone. Foods that do contain small amounts of vitamin D include: • Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and cod liver oil • Egg yolks • Cheese • Beef liver Some foods are fortified with D such as orange juices, milk and some cereals but to keep levels up, we recommended a medical grade supplement daily. We also recommend you get your blood level of vitamin D checked before starting a supplement so we can dose appropriately. At Odom Health and Wellness, we can draw your labs, check your vitamin D level and start your supplement with the proper dosage.
Experience The Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a vital role in many processes in our body. Without sufficient levels your body may show symptoms that you didn’t know could be linked to vitamin D. Food sources are not enough to keep levels up so taking a supplement is necessary. If you would like to get your levels checked call Odom Health and Wellness and set up an appt today.
Common Vitamin D Questions
Vitamin D can be confusing. It’s an important but elusive nutrient. We’ve created this short FAQ to answer some of the more common questions we get about vitamin D.
Does vitamin D deficiency cause hair loss?
It can. Keratinocytes – a type of protein your body uses to grow skin, nails and hair – absorbs vitamin D. When your vitamin levels are low, it can be difficult for your body to regulate hair growth. There are many other causes of hair loss, but if vitamin D deficiency is causing yours, supplements can help.
Can Vitamin D cause constipation?
A 2019 study found a strong correlation between chronic constipation and vitamin D deficiency. If you experience issues with constipation, you should have your vitamin levels checked and supplement as recommended by your doctor.
Can you get vitamin D through a window?
Unfortunately, no. Glass blocks the UV rays that carry vitamin D to your body. While it may feel good to sit by that sunny window all day, you still need to get your vitamin D outside, in food or via supplement.
When is the best time to take vitamin D?
Vitamin D has been shown to affect your melatonin levels and make sleep more difficult, so most professionals recommend you take it in the morning with breakfast. It’s best absorbed with fatty foods, but you don’t necessarily need a big meal. Whole milk or yogurt is enough to get things working.
How Much Vitamin D should you take?
The recommended dose ranges between 1,000-4,000IU daily. Taking too much can affect your heart and kidneys and may make you feel nauseous, weak or disoriented. The best way to know how much is right for you is to have a personalized consultation where your levels are measured.
Is Vitamin D a hormone?
Yes, it is. It helps regulate calcium and phosphorous in your blood. Your skin produces it using sunlight or your body absorbs it through foods and supplements.
Schedule Your Vitamin D Consult Today
If you’re concerned about your vitamin D levels, schedule a consultation with Odom Health and Wellness today. Our team would love to help you balance your intake to maximize the benefits of this important substance.
Call us to learn more about the benefits of taking vitamin D supplements.