Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many health conditions and fertility problems. Here is an excerpt from a very interesting article I read recently about the signs and symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency.
Despite its name, vitamin D is not a regular vitamin. It’s actually a steroid hormone that you are designed to obtain primarily through sun exposure, not via your diet.
More than 75 percent of the world’s population is vitamin D deficient and most don’t know it!
7 Signs You May Be Vitamin D Deficient. The only way to know for sure if you’re vitamin D deficient is via blood testing. However, there are some signs and symptoms to be aware of as well. If any of the following apply to you, you should get your vitamin D levels tested sooner rather than later.
You Have Darker Skin – African Americans are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, because if you have dark skin, you may need as much as 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a person with pale skin! This is because your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen.
You Feel “Blue” – Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure. In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly patients and found those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses.
You’re 50 or Older – As you get older your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure. At the same time, your kidneys become less efficient at converting vitamin D into the form used by your body and older adults tend to spend more time indoors.
You’re Overweight or Obese (or Have a Higher Muscle Mass) – Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin, which means body fat acts as a “sink” by collecting it. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re therefore likely going to need more vitamin D than a slimmer person.
Your Bones Ache – Those who see their doctor for aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Head Sweat – One of the first, classic signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. In fact, physicians used to ask new mothers about head sweating in their newborns for this very reason. Excessive sweating in newborns due to neuromuscular irritability is still described as a common, early symptom of vitamin D deficiency.
You Have Gut Trouble – Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. This includes gut conditions like Crohn’s, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Vitamin D also fights infections, including colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses.
Optimizing your vitamin D levels can help protect against cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, infections, including influenza , DNA repair and metabolic processes
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need for Optimal Health?
The optimal range for general health appears to be somewhere between 50 and 70 ng/ml. As for how to optimize your vitamin D levels, sun exposure is the best way.
If you can’t get enough sunshine for whatever reason, then a safe tanning bed would be your next best option. Most tanning equipment uses magnetic ballasts to generate light. These magnetic ballasts are well-known sources of EMFs that can contribute to cancer. If you hear a loud buzzing noise while in a tanning bed, it has a magnetic ballast system. I strongly recommend you avoid these types of beds and restrict your use of tanning beds to those that use electronic ballasts.
If your circumstances don’t allow you to access the sun or a safe tanning bed, then you really only have one option if you want to raise your vitamin D, and that is to take a vitamin D supplement. As a general guideline, research by GrassrootsHealth suggests that adults need about 8,000 IUs per day to achieve a serum level of 40 ng/ml. If you do opt for a vitamin D supplement, please remember that you also need to boost your intake of vitamin K2 through food and/or a supplement. If you’re getting your vitamin D from the sun, this is not as critical, although you’d be wise to make sure you’re getting sufficient amounts of vitamin K2 from your diet either way.