The Importance of Vitamin D
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One of the most important things in order for us to have to maintain our body functions is Vitamin D. Most people have Vitamin D deficiency in the UK. According to national surveys in the UK, 1 in 5 people is low Vitamin D levels.
The greatest source of Vitamin D is the beautiful sunshine. Being outside in the warmth, feeling the sun on your face is my favourite feeling and is important for each of us so we can get our daily intake of Vitamin D.
Unfortunately, living in the UK means that sunshine is a rarity during the winter months. That means that it is vital to find another source for when the sunshine hides its face from us.
Many of us become deficient during the winter months and those with darker skin, those with African, Caribbean, South Indian etc are more at risk.
Signs of Vitamin D deficiencies manifest in ways that you might not think are linked to a deficiency. However, we fail to realise just how much an effect Vitamin D has on our bodies.
Some of the signs of Vitamin D deficiencies are…
Noticeable and unexpected weakness.
Having a Vitamin D deficiency can leave you feeling exhausted and weak. Even if you manage to get enough sleep. Having adequate levels maintain power in every fibre of your being. A deficiency can manifest itself in symptoms that can make you think that you have a neurological disease. Muscle cramps, fatigue, bone pain are all part of it.
A Vitamin D deficiency can speed up and even worsen osteoporosis symptoms. It can lead to brittle bones. Most of us have heard of the condition ‘Rickets’ it is where the bones become so brittle that they bend or break.
Without Vitamin D, our bodies cannot assimilate Calcium.
Let me just clarify, fatigue isn’t tiredness. It is the feeling of exhaustion even though you have had a good nights sleep. Feeling like you are unable to function properly like you are walking through heavy mud.
This can be subtle, but some can experience aches and pains in joints, bones and muscles.
A deficiency can sometimes manifest as an auto-immune disease, that’s why I have heard people say that deficiency can lead to MS, and that’s not true. Don’t get me wrong, many people who have an auto-immune disease need to take a high dose Vitamin D. However, if you experience any of these symptoms, before you start to worry and get anxious, please get a blood test at your doctors surgery and get them to test for Vitamin D and then take it from there.
Depression and low mood
Many with a depression diagnosis actually have a deficiency.
However, here is a random symptom that a friend of mine has when she is Vitamin D deficient:
I have been having some pain in one of my teeth and I have noticed that when I take my supplements faithfully, the pain disappears. Although it may seem random, it has happened on multiple occasions and as soon as I take my supplements, the pain goes away. The reason that I thought of Vitamin D, is because, without it, our bodies cannot process Calcium, and teeth are part of the skeletal system.
The plan of action
The first step is to go to your doctor and request a blood test to check your Vitamin D levels.
Before I knew about the importance of this, I just went to my local health food shop to buy a commercial brand and it was surprisingly only 25 IU.
The IU is an International Unit, usually used to measure fat-soluble vitamins including Vitamin A, D and E.
Because Vitamin D is fat-soluble, it acts more like a hormone than a vitamin.
It does this by regulating hundreds of MEGA important pathways in the body.
Other than the thyroid, Vitamin D is the only other thing every single cell of the body needs in order to function properly.
Isn’t Vitamin D amaaaazing!!
As mentioned before Vit D is known as the sunshine vitamin. The body actually makes it by absorbing sunlight and then converts it to a usable form.
It is integral that we take a supplement so that we don’t become deficient. Especially those of us that live far from the equator.
Now let’s talk about dosage.
Aim for an optimal range is between 60 to 80 ng/ml.
Higher than the recommended range of 50 to 60 ng/ml.
Depending on where your starting levels are, an adequate amount per day would be between 2000-6000 IU.
That is why finding out what your starting levels are via a blood test is the place to start.
The well-known health shop here, does not store Vitamin D with high enough IU, so I order mine from Amazon. Check these ones out now!
At first, I only took 4000 IU when I found out this information. As time has evolved and my research about chronic illnesses has increased, I found that we need much more Vitamin D. Now I take 5 x 2000 IU drops, 10,000 IU in total.
What no one tells you about taking a Vitamin D supplement is that it’s a fat-soluble. That means that in order for your body to absorb and assimilate it, it should be taken with fat. Nuts, coconut, avocado, olive oil and wild-caught-fish, this will increase their bioavailability.
If you are feeling any of these symptoms mentioned above, before you start to panic, go get a blood test and ask them to check your Vitamin D levels.
Take home message!!
If you have very few sunny days where you live and or have darker skin, take a Vitamin D supplement!
Majority of us are deficient without even knowing it.
Find our your starting levels before choosing the correct IU for you. Don’t just grab any old thing from a shop.
Do this one thing and it will help improve your health.
p.s If you have a chronic illness, it is advised to have 10,000 IU each day. I take 5 drops every day, BUY HERE NOW!
Has this information been helpful? How has your deficiency impacted you?
I wish I lived in a hot country.