Having lived in the UK all my life, one of my biggest complaints has always been the dull, groggy, British weather. With dull, groggy, British weather comes a lack of sunshine. And with lack of sunshine, comes a lack of Vitamin D – DOH! If you are unsure whether you suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency, read on to learn more about common symptoms.
Doh indeed, Homer. Doh indeed.
There are so many health problems and inconveniences associated with having low levels of Vitamin D. In this article, I will briefly break down and tackle everything you need to know about having a Vitamin D deficiency.
Tiredness and fatigue? Blame it on the Vitamin D deficiency.
You don’t even have to be deficient in Vitamin D to feel lethargic and sluggish for seemingly no reason. If you know you’ve been getting enough sleep and eating well, but you just can’t seem to shake off that tired, weak feeling, then it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor for a blood test. The majority of the UK population suffers from low Vitamin D levels and if left untreated, it could become a deficiency or even severe deficiency – don’t let it get to that stage. It is also important to note that Vitamin D cannot be fully obtained from diet alone, so if you live in a country that lacks sunshine, don’t rely on the delicious fish recipes or those eggs you have for breakfast to compensate for that. Instead, get tested and take the appropriate dosage of Vitamin D supplements accordingly.
Feeling low or depressed? Blame it on the Vitamin D deficiency.
Ruling out any clinical mental health issues, low levels of Vitamin D can very well be responsible for your constantly dark moods. This is why many of us tend to get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), commonly known as “the winter blues”. Research into the link between Vitamin D and emotional health has shown that people who are low in the vitamin are 11 times more prone to depression than people who have normal levels of it.
The link between Vitamin D and your mood isn’t exactly clear, but it is thought that Vitamin D receptors can be found on several cells within the regions of the brain that are connected with depression, while some researchers suggest the nutrient could even have a direct effect on the chemical levels in our brain, including serotonin, a chemical that greatly affects mood. Whatever it is, more research is continuing to be carried out, and hopefully in the near future we will be able to understand exactly why having a Vitamin D deficiency contributes so greatly to low moods and even depression.
Feeling sore and achy? Blame it on the Vitamin D deficiency.
Do you have sore and achy muscles or pain in your bones? Are you wondering why on Earth that is? Then a Vitamin D deficiency could be to blame. Vitamin D is absolutely essential for bone strength and density as it helps the body to absorb and retain calcium. Too little, or too much, of the vitamin can lead to weakness of the bones which in turn, can put you at risk of developing conditions such as osteoporosis and rickets in the long run. Vitamin D also supports regular muscle function, so if you’re feeling weak and achy, yet you can’t understand what the cause may be, please be kind to yourself and have your Vitamin D levels checked!
Unexplainable skin problems? Blame it on the Vitamin D deficiency.
Low levels of Vitamin D don’t directly cause skin problems as such, but experts claim that it may impair the body’s ability to maintain healthy skin. People with chronic plaque psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disease, are commonly diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency. One thing that can really help to clear it up is UVB light from the sun, which is of course the number one source of Vitamin D, since it helps our bodies to produce the nutrient once it hits our skin.
During the colder months, when there is a lack of sunlight, psoriasis tends to flare up more often in sufferers. Many doctors believe that a Vitamin D deficiency is one of many possible contributing factors to psoriasis, and highly advise that sufferers get their blood tested. Of course, not everyone with a Vitamin D deficiency will develop psoriasis, and not everyone with psoriasis is bound to have a Vitamin D deficiency, but it is certainly a very important point to consider if you suffer with either issues.
Getting sick or infected too often? Blame it on the Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D plays an extremely important role in keeping your immune system strong. This is key in keeping bacteria and viruses that cause illness at bay. Several experimental studies have shown a link between a Vitamin D deficiency and common respiratory tract infections. If you notice you have been suffering from the cold or flu more than normal, definitely consult your doctor. Infections or wounds that take too long to heal or occur too frequently (in an otherwise perfectly healthy body), may also be linked with a Vitamin D deficiency. These instances should not be taken lightly.
Are you still feeling skeptical about getting your blood tested despite relating to all of these symptoms? Your health is your most important and prized possession. If you think you may have a Vitamin D deficiency, don’t hesitate to pay your doctor a visit. Once you lose your good health, you cannot get it back!
Have you or anyone you know suffered from a Vitamin D deficiency? Tell us your story in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
British-Algerian writer & poet, aspiring journalist, history lover, art enthusiast & unicorn.