You may think that you live a perfectly healthy life – you sleep well at night, your diet is optimum, you’re not overly sweaty (except when you go to the gym) and you make sure that you use a high enough sunscreen factor when you’re pool side or at the beach. In fact you’d take a lie detector test and pass with flying colours if you’re were asked if your lifestyle was healthy.
However you may be missing a very important point – you could be at a higher risk of diabetes and high blood pressure because you’re not getting enough Vitamin D. In fact your risk of these two conditions could be as much as two-and-half times higher than those who are getting enough of this essential vitamin.
According to the Harvard School of health you could be among the approximately one billion people worldwide who have some level of vitamin D deficiency.
That’s worrying – what do I do?
In many countries in the world medical insurance will cover the cost of a simple blood test, in fact in countries around the world pharmacies can also offer the same type of testing. You need a baseline to see what you need to do to supplement your intake or bodily production of Vitamin D.
The easiest approach is to take a supplement of vitamin D3 – which helps you (with some added assistance from Mr. Sun) produce enough Vitamin D to keep you healthy.
Ok – so what are the signs of Vitamin D deficiency?
If your forehead is sweaty all the time you may not be getting enough vitamin D. This is especially true if you are not exercising, the temperature in the environment is not overly hot and you’re not running a temperature. If all these factors are not influencing your sweat production it might be a good idea to see your doctor. It may not be vitamin D that’s to blame – it may be something else. Go and get checked out.
2. Feeling weak
You don’t have to be lifting to enjoy proper muscle strength. A vitamin D deficiency can cause muscle weakness – and can lead to feeling down and exhausted all the time. If you’re getting a solid night’s sleep and you still feel tired and weak then vitamin D might be an issue, no matter what your age. However if you’re around 60 you may need to go and have a vitamin D test.
Researchers at Harvard in the United States have linked vitamin D supplementation with increased muscle control, resulting in 20% fewer falls among adults around 60 years old. More research has suggested that after only 6 months of taking a vitamin D supplement you can be feeling better – good news.
3. Breaking Bad
After the age of 30 we all start losing bone mass. Vitamin D deficiency can accelerate this process. This is especially bad news for women who tend to suffer increasingly from osteoporosis as they age. Some researchers believe that it’s almost impossible to get enough vitamin D as we age if we only rely of our diet. You need a three pronged approach – sun, supplements and diet. If you’re over 30 ask your doctor next time you go for a check-up.
4. The aches and pain of age
As we get older it’s natural that we begin to feel the daily knocks of life as an upright mammal a bit more. However – if you’re feeling it in your bones don’t wait for the weather to change before you start to take real notice. Arthritis or fibromyalgia can be caused by vitamin D deficiency.
It’s normal to feel these aches and pains every now and then but if the discomfort becomes chronic (lasting more than a few weeks) then you should be checking with your doctor. Treatment can include a vitamin D supplement. It’s also interesting to note that if you are going to gym regularly that a vitamin D supplement can help you get your bounce back – it assists in dealing with post workout pain and increases muscle recovery times.
5. The vitamin D pick-me-up
In many instances a lack of vitamin D can result in depression. Scientists can’t seem to work out why (but lack of sun has certainly be implicated). Research has however shown that the mineral can work on the same parts of the brain that control hormones like serotonin, the body’s feel good chemical. It certainly doesn’t hurt to keep your levels of vitamin D in tip top shape.