Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is one of the most underrated vitamins our body needs.
Why? Well, for starters, few people know the risks that come from vitamin D deficiency.
More importantly, do you know that one-third of adults in the US is vitamin D deficient?
Another reason why people underrate the value of vitamin D is they think all you need is 10 minutes on the sun, and you’re covered.
Truth be told, the best way to produce vitamin D is by exposing yourself to the sun and sun rays.
Vitamin D is also one of the compounds of fish oil, egg yolks, and dairy products.
Now, what I have learned is that vitamin D deficiency has some common symptoms, similar to some of the common diseases and illnesses.
What is troublesome is that before 2000, doctors rarely had the technology to measure it.
However, with the development of technology, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has managed to collect data, and the results show that 32% of adults and children in the US have vitamin D deficiency.
As I mentioned previously, few people understand the risks that deficiency carries.
Bone pain and muscle weakness are the common risks, but there are also risks of cognitive impairment, asthma in children, cancer and increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.
One of the reasons why people experience the symptoms is their limited exposure to sunlight, a diet low in fish, dairy products, and egg yolks.
A word of notice for my friends with dark skin, you just have to spend much more time exposed to the sun to get vitamin D, as the melanin pigment in dark skin reduces the ability of your skin to absorb vitamin D.
Now, onto the symptoms you cannot ignore.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
Bone pain and muscle weakness are the common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
If you are feeling fatigued, and your bones ache, chances are, your vitamin D levels in your body are low.
Your bones ache as a result and causing a defect in the process of absorbing calcium.
As you know, calcium is one of the most important minerals for your bone health, and deficiency of vitamin D causes a defect in the process of putting calcium into the collagen matrix.
Vitamin D deficiency will not cause osteoporosis, those are different symptoms, but your bones will ache.
Among the first symptoms is a sweaty head.
If you have given birth, you probably remember that the physician asked you several times during the first months of childbirth whether your newborn has a sweaty head.
The reason is simple, sweaty head and excessive sweating are one of the first and earliest symptoms.
Celiac sensitivity, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, inflammatory bowel diseases, all of these gut conditions are closely related to vitamin D deficiency.
The reason is vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.
To put it simpler, when you have a gastrointestinal condition that can hamper your ability to absorb fat, you are actually absorbing less vitamin D.
Feeling blue is the early symptom of depression, a condition that is closely related to vitamin D deficiency.
In a study conducted in 2006, the results showed that people with the deficiency are 11 times more prone to depression.
The study included 80 elderly participants and was looking at the mental health of the patients.
The reason why vitamin D affects depression and mental health is that exposure to the sun not only allows your body to absorb more vitamin D but also more serotonin, a hormone in the brain that is linked with mood elevation.