Why Do I Need Vitamin D?
Well, Vitamin D regulates calcium absorption which enables bone mineralization. This prevents adults from developing osteomalacia (the softening of bones) or osteoporosis (brittle or fragile bones) and children from rickets (the distortion and softening of growing bones). Vitamin D also strengthens our immune systems helping us to better fight pathogens, infections and disease. Newer research shows it may have protective effects against high blood pressure and heart disease. Vitamin D has also been shown to increase your energy levels and enhance your mood.
How Do I Get Vitamin D?
The easiest, natural way to obtain vitamin D is by spending time, at least one hour a day, out in the sun. The ultraviolet rays from the sun cause the body to produce vitamin D. Another way to get vitamin D is through a proper diet—YUM. Foods such as salmon, tuna, chicken breast, milk, mushrooms, and eggs provide us with an excellent source of vitamin D. For people with certain dietary restrictions they have to take a vitamin D supplement.
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
When vitamin D enters the body, it is broken down by receptors in our kidney’s turning it into its active form. Therefore, kidney disease and/or failure will result in the decline of vitamin D and lead to defeciency. As we find ourselves spending more time indoors the lack of sun exposure can cause deficiency and it is important to note that skin tone plays a role in this as well. It can be harder for darker skin individuals to produce vitamin D due to the natural melanin that acts as protection from the sun. So, it may come as no surprise that darker skinned people are prone to vitamin D deficiency. The elderly may find themselves deficient as well due to reduced ultraviolet irradiation of the skin and low dietary intake.
Am I Deficient? What Can I Do?
Bone pain, muscle weakness, fatigue, and depression can be an indicator of deficiency, but your best bet is to see a doctor. They will be able to do lab work to determine your levels and then decide on a proper course of action. Luckily for you, Serendipity Lifestyle & Wellness Spa provides testing, counseling, vitamin D shots and supplements. Call or schedule an appointment to see Dr. Sharita and find out if you’re getting enough D!