Don't Let a Vitamin D Deficiency Slow You Down: Pay Attention to These Warning Signs
As we age, our health tends to decline. When we least expect it, vitamin D deficiency may become a health problem.
Our mission at Lifeforce is to improve the quality of midlife and help you feel empowered to make the best choices for your health. Read on to learn about all things vitamin D, including how it helps our bodies, the symptoms of a deficiency, and how to treat a deficiency with Lifeforce Vitamin D+K.
All About Vitamin D
You may know that vitamin D is essential to our wellbeing, but what exactly does it do?
Vitamin D — also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” as we can make it from being in the sun — is responsible for calcium absorption in the body and supporting our immune system. It’s important to incorporate more vitamin D into your diet for these reasons, but it can also help with weight loss, supporting stronger bones, preventing rickets in young children, and more.
There are two different forms of vitamin D that are crucial to our health: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. The easiest way to differentiate between the two is to remember that D2 comes from plants and D3 from animals.
The thing is, there are very few foods that are rich in vitamin D in their active form, meaning we have to work a little harder to make sure we’re getting enough of this essential nutrient.
Fish products like tuna, mackerel, and salmon, some dairy products like cheese, and fortified orange juice are all adequate sources of vitamin D. However, these alone are not enough to keep our levels where they should be.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?
When we have low vitamin D levels, it can affect our overall health. A vitamin D deficiency can increase our risk of fractures and bone health disorders like osteomalacia.
Several risk factors that can contribute to a vitamin D deficiency, including:
Living in the northern part of the northern hemisphere where there’s less sunlight
Medical conditions like Crohn’s or celiac disease
Greater amounts of melanin in the skin make it harder to produce vitamin D from the sunlight. Those with darker skin tones may want to ask their doctor about other ways of getting their adequate dose of vitamin D!
Our bodies are pretty good about telling us when they need something. When you need to eat, your body signals to your brain that it’s hungry; if you’re sick, your body lets you know that it’s not feeling well. The same goes for vitamin deficiencies, and there are several signs you should pay attention to when it comes to not getting enough of the sunshine vitamin.
What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
If you suspect you have a vitamin D deficiency, below are some of the most common symptoms to look out for. You can also sign up for the Lifeforce Diagnostic, an at-home blood test, to have your vitamin D levels measured, in addition to 40+ biomarkers that are most key to understanding your overall health and performance.
Fatigue is a symptom that’s often overlooked or simply dismissed as just being tired. However, chronic fatigue can be a sign to dig deeper. According to research, low levels of vitamin D in the blood can cause fatigue and muscle weakness, which leads to a lower quality of life.
Another sign of deficiency is a chronic illness. Because vitamin D gives our immune systems a boost, our bodies will have to work twice as hard to keep us protected if we’re not getting enough of it. If you find yourself coming down with constant colds or upper respiratory infections, a vitamin D deficiency may be the culprit.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms and suspect a deficiency, talk to your doctor about how you can increase your vitamin D intake.
Bone or Muscle Pain
Vitamin D is great for calcium absorption, which in turn helps our bones stay strong. That said, one of the significant ways a deficiency can show up in our lives is with bone or muscle pain.
Studies have found a correlation between chronic lower back pain and low levels of vitamin D in the blood, meaning this is something you should keep your eye on if it persists. Bone pain is classified as extreme tenderness or achiness in one or more bones. It will differ from muscle or joint pain, as it’s still present when you’re not moving.
If you are vitamin D deficient, weak bones can cause you to be more susceptible to sprains, fractures, or other bone diseases like osteoporosis. If you notice pain in these areas, you may want to bring it up at your next doctor’s visit.
Those with a vitamin D deficiency may also be at an increased risk for mental health issues, particularly in older adults. A lack of vitamin D can contribute to mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
One study found that a group with significantly more sunlight exposure during the day had fewer depressive symptoms during colder months.
If you notice yourself feeling a little blue or anxious, reach out to a mental health professional. They can help you determine the root cause and see if a vitamin D supplement is right for you.
How to Treat Vitamin D Deficiency
You can determine if you have a vitamin D deficiency by taking a simple blood test, like the Lifeforce Diagnostic. If you need to boost your intake, there are a couple of different ways to do this, including:
A vitamin D supplement: A supplement is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D. They’re often found over the counter at most local pharmacies or grocery stores, but always consult your physician before incorporating any additional vitamins or supplements into your diet. Lifeforce Vitamin D+K is a great option not only because it promotes strong bones and a robust immune system, it also supports a healthy heart. The best part: this clinical-grade supplement is absorbed three times faster than standard variations.
More sun exposure: Going outside more often is a quick, effective way to get more vitamin D. It’s recommended to get at least 10 to 30 minutes of direct sunlight several times a week to ensure adequate blood levels are reached. Keep in mind, you don’t want to get too much sunlight — otherwise, you’ll burn!
Other natural remedies: Eating foods that are high in vitamin D can help. Foods like yogurt, fatty fish, and egg yolks can help get you back on track, but remember that food alone is not always enough to maintain your body’s levels of the sunshine vitamin.
Get Back on Track With Lifeforce
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that keeps our bodies functioning the way they should. It helps promote a strong immune system along with healthy muscles and bones.
You may have vitamin D deficiency if you notice symptoms like bone pain, declining mental health, or chronic fatigue. There’s nothing to worry about, though. There are plenty of helpful remedies like taking high-quality supplements such as Lifeforce Vitamin D+K, and increased sun exposure.
Lifeforce provides everything you need to understand how your body is performing today and what you need to live at your peak.For more info on the Lifeforce Diagnostic and taking your health into your own hands with our personalized performance plans, visit MyLifeforce.com.