Look, I’m an introvert and I’m kind of lazy; so is it really any surprise that I don’t go outside that often? Unfortunately, that means my vitamin D levels are a little on the lower side.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so it’s pretty vital for your bones and muscles. There really aren’t any symptoms of vitamin D deficiency which makes it tricky to know whether or not you’re getting enough. However, without symptoms, it can still affect your health. There can be bone and muscle pain and the bones can soften.
According to Health Direct, people with a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency include those who:
- stay mostly indoors for health, work or other reasons
- have naturally dark skin
- cover your body for religious or cultural reasons
- avoid the sun for skin protection or due to medical reasons
- are obese
- have a health condition that affects vitamin D absorption from your diet
- take medicines that cause vitamin D to break down
- are a baby of a vitamin D deficient mother
If you think you may have a vitamin D deficiency, you can talk to your doctor about taking a blood test. They can then see how severe your deficiency is.
So how do you ensure you have enough vitamin D? Sit in the sun for a while, just not too much or you risk skin cancer. The same UV rays that make it possible for our skin to produce vitamin D is also the number one cause of skin cancer. So moderation please. You can also get some vitamin D from foods such as fish, eggs, and some dairy products, but you probably won’t get enough from food alone. Daily exercise also helps improve your body’s production of vitamin D and there are also supplements available. But only take supplements under the directions of your doctor as there’s also such a thing as too much vitamin D.
Info: Health Direct: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/vitamin-d-deficiency
Better Health Victoria: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/vitamin-d