Vitamin D is in the spotlight these days. An alarming number of us are low. Here is what you need to know!
It may interest you to know what no matter where you live, an estimated 30 to even 100% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. When we think of sources of vitamin D, we think of drinking milk and getting out in the sun. The funny thing is, those of us that do protect ourselves with sunscreen are not getting the benefits of vitamin D because the sunblock keeps our bodies from vitamin D absorption. So how do we get more vitamin D and what are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency? You'd be surprised. Here is what you need to know.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
The level of vitamin D we need depends on many factors, including age, weight, body fat percentage, where you live, color of skin, time of the year and sunblock use. Older people notably need more than younger people and if you live in a cold or northern climate, chances are you need more. There is a test you can ask your doctor or naturopath to perform so you know how much you need.
If you are low on vitamin D, you may be experiencing the following symptoms.
- Muscle aches or weakness
- Fatigue, joint pain or even chronic pain
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Muscle cramps
- Trouble with concentration
- Restlessness while sleeping
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Bladder issues
Diseases Associated with Low Vitamin D
- Infertility and PMS
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis
- Seasonal Affective Disorder and Depression
- Periodontal Disease
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Bursitis and Gout
- Autoimmune diseases
- Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
- Seventeen varieties of cancer, including breast, colon and prostate
- Parkinson's Disease
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
Sources of Vitamin D
- The Sun. Doctors seem to differ on sun exposure and this has to do with the type of practice they specialize in. I know my regular doctor told me when I was very low, to get out in the sun for 10 minutes every day without sunscreen. However, any dermatologist will tell you to use the sunscreen and opt for supplements.
- One tablespoon of cod liver oil equals 1,360 international units, which is a bit below the recommended dosage (2,000 IU). But all I can say, is "ick!"
- Three ounces of salmon amounts to about 800 IU. Just be sure you are getting good salmon and not the fish with mercury.
- Fortified milk and orange juice provides 100 IU.
- Mushrooms that are irradiated equals 400 IU.
- Vitamin D supplements exist on the market and your doctor can determine with a vitamin D test how much you need. The one that I have is in gel form, taken once a day and is 2,000 IU.
If you are unsure if you are low, visit a health care professional and get the test. We hope this information is helpful!