(HealthyResearch.com) – Low vitamin D levels affect an estimated 1 billion people worldwide, and the risk of deficiency increases with age. Vitamin D is a vital nutrient, and you can suffer a number of serious effects if you aren’t getting enough. So, how do you know if you’re deficient, and what can you do about it if you are?
7 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Vitamin D
Concerned about your vitamin D levels? Here are 7 signs to watch out for:
- You can’t sleep. Studies have shown this deficiency may contribute to sleep disorders. Consider getting your blood level checked if you’ve been suffering from insomnia or some other form of disordered sleeping.
- You’re depressed. You’re at a significantly higher risk of developing depression if you aren’t getting enough vitamin D. The correlation is so strong that supplementation could improve the quality of life for people at risk for numerous mental health disorders.
- You can’t think straight. Having trouble concentrating? You might need more vitamin D in your diet. Studies have shown its importance in maintaining proper brain function; chronic deficiencies may even contribute to the development of vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- You can’t get a grip on your weight. Researchers are still uncertain whether vitamin D deficiency contributes to obesity or excess body weight can make deficiencies more common, but the connection between the two is there. Regardless, people who are severely overweight should get their vitamin D levels tested.
- You have chronic inflammation. Low vitamin D levels could contribute to numerous inflammatory diseases including atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- You’ve suffered bone loss. Even with adequate calcium intake, you’re at higher risk of osteoporosis-related bone fractures if you’re deficient in vitamin D. It’s especially important for people with low bone density to ensure they’re getting enough of this essential vitamin.
- You’re constantly tired. If you feel run down with no other possible explanation, it’s possible that a vitamin D deficiency could be to blame. Research has found that even mildly low vitamin D levels can have an impact on energy levels. One study found that 89% of female nurses who reported fatigue were deficient.
Call your doctor if any of the above looks familiar. A simple blood test can determine whether you’re suffering from a deficiency.
What You Can Do
Your best defense against low vitamin D levels is making sure you’re getting enough of it every day. Sunlight is a great source, although regular exposure can also increase your skin cancer risks. Your other options are to get what you can from food or take a supplement.
Good food sources include fatty fish, fish liver oils, beef liver, egg yolks, cheese and some mushrooms. In the United States and some other countries, milk, yogurt, orange juice and most breakfast cereals have added vitamin D. Milk alternatives made from soy, almonds and the like are also usually highly fortified.
Vitamin D does far more than assist with bone health. It’s a vital nutrient that’s responsible for numerous functions in the body. Talk to your doctor about your risks and ask about getting a blood test if you’re concerned about your levels. A deficiency can lead to devastating ailments, but the solution could be as easy as taking a daily pill.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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