Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which is produced when your skin is exposed to the sun. It can also be found in some foods and it is notorious for helping the body to absorb calcium from foods in order to maintain healthy bone cells. It also sustains muscle health, boosts cell growth, curtail inflammation, enhances immune system and regulates blood pressure.
Vitamin D deficiency is caused when your serum vitamin D level is below 20 nanograms/millimeter (ng/ml). It can also occur when there is an insufficiency of the vitamin in your diet or your body cannot absorb and metabolize the ones you consume.
Furthermore, if you live in a place with a high latitude, you may be at more risk of vitamin D deficiency because you may have less access to the sun’s ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays. Staying too much indoors is also a contributing factor and if you live in a highly-polluted territory, you may have a lesser access to sun’s rays. The use of excessive sunscreen on your skin to block UV rays may also be a contributory factor while those with darker skin types need more exposure.
It is unsafe to self-diagnose a vitamin D deficiency because its symptoms are similar to many other ailments. Hence, it is very important to conduct a laboratory test in order to establish the ailment. However, some symptoms that may be noticed are weak bones, depression, chronic pain, rising blood pressure, exhaustion even with adequate sleep, unexplained infertility, weakness of the muscle, just to mention a few.
Boosting your vitamin D levels is as easy as ABC. You can take over-the-counter supplements or multivatimin preparations, while the consumption of foods like salmon, tuna, cheese, liver, egg yolk, milk, cereals, etc., is advisable. It is very important to expose your skin to sunlight and if you have a history of skin cancer or you have a very pale skin, you should speak with a medical professional to know whether you are fit for sun exposure.
Moreover, you should consider maintaining a healthy body weight and get involved in an outdoor exercise every day. Those with liver, kidney or gut problems should monitor their medical condition properly and get the necessary treatment. Infants who are being breast-fed may not get enough vitamin D since they may not be exposed to sunlight, hence, they can be given supplements in order to make up for this.