Are You Vitamin D Deficient?

By Dr. Amy Jackson, Health Solutions NC

This past decade, folks are more likely than ever to have been diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency at their annual physical exam. This is partly due to the National Academy of Medicine’s increase in the recommended amount of Vitamin D levels in 2010, and partly due to people getting less sun exposure as Americans are making efforts on multiple fronts to ensure their overall optimal health. Because symptoms are often subtle, it can be hard to know whether a problem surfaces due to low vitamin D levels or because of something more serious. Common risk factors include having dark skin, being elderly, being overweight, not eating much milk or fish, living far from the equator where there is little sun, always using sunscreen, and staying indoors.

Since Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin responsible for calcium absorption, it plays a role in muscular function and the immune system. Active research studies suggest that correct vitamin D levels might help prevent colon, prostate, and breast cancers.

The easiest way to discover a deficiency is to get your blood levels measured. Fixing your deficiency is simple and can have big benefits for your health.

Vitamin D can be obtained through eating more Vitamin D rich foods, increasing sun exposure or by simply taking a supplement (but remember, not all supplements are created equal – reports as recently as April 2017 have cast a shadow on vitamin supplements sold in major chain stores!).

The amount of Vitamin D that your skin makes depends on such factors as the season, cloud cover, and time of day (the sun’s rays are most powerful between 10am and 3pm). One recommendation is for everyone to spend 10-15 minutes outside every day without sunscreen in order for your body to make optimal levels of Vitamin D; after 15 minutes of sun exposure it is recommended that you apply non-toxic sunscreen. The Environmental Working Group has an extensive list of non-toxic sunscreens listed at www.ewg.org.   

 If you are interested in a free consultation about your health concerns, give Health Solutions NC a call at 919.780.1551.

Common signs of a deficiency
may also include:

•  Getting sick or infected often
•  Fatigue, tiredness, light-headedness
•  Bone and back pain

•  Depression
•  Impaired wound healing
•  Bone loss and increased risk of fracture
•  Hair loss
•  Muscle aches and weakness, twitching