Do you ever smell a certain smell, see a certain picture of yourself or just get hit suddenly with a bout of nostalgia? A year ago, this happened to me. I saw a picture of myself from April of 2013. It wasn’t any special picture. Just me, standing in the photo and smiling. I was brought right back to that moment in time…then I said out loud, ” Wow, I was really happy then.”
It wasn’t the fake kind of happy, or the situational happiness because something great was going on at that time. It was just that +1 kind of happiness. Just that little bit of edge that made me really happier than normal. It lasted for a few months.
Now, when I looked at that photo I wasn’t “SAD” or depressed. But I didn’t have that edge. That happiness edge. I thought it was just my normal disposition. Little did I know that it was because I was deficient in vitamin D.
Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of many nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. Vitamin D’s main functions:
- Helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D, in tandem with calcium, helps build bones and keep bones strong and healthy.
- Vitamin D may also play a role in muscle function and the immune system. The immune system is your body’s defense system. It helps protect it against infections and other illnesses. Daily vitamin D supplementation has been shown to decrease the risk of falling in older individuals.
- There have been studies to suggest that it might help prevent colon, prostate, and breast cancers.
- There is also some research that it might help prevent and treat diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and multiple sclerosis. However, the results of many of these studies are either preliminary or under debate.
You can get vitamin D through sun exposure, your diet and supplements.
7 Signs You May Be Vitamin D Deficient (By Dr. Mercola)
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!
As Dr. Holick explained, your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen, so the more pigment you have, the more time you’ll need to spend in the sun to make adequate amounts of vitamin D.
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 mentioned, 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 (i.e. getting even less sun exposure and therefore vitamin D).
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
According to Dr. Holick, many who see their doctor for aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
“Many of these symptoms are classic signs of vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia, which is different from the vitamin D deficiency that causes osteoporosis in adults,” he says. “What’s happening is that the vitamin D deficiency causes a defect in putting calcium into the collagen matrix into your skeleton. As a result, you have throbbing, aching bone pain.”
According to Dr. Holick, 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
Remember, 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.
Other Reasons To Take Vitamin D
Nearly every cell in the body interacts with vitamin D. The activity of many genes — up to a third of the entire human genome — is affected by vitamin D.
There’s evidence that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of many diseases:
- Cancer, including colon, prostate, breast, and pancreatic cancer
- Autoimmune diseases, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis
- Infectious diseases such as flu
- Heart disease
Proper Vitamin D Dosage
If you are wondering about the appropriate dosage for you, you can look at the numbers I post below and research what is right for you. New guidelines from the Endocrine Society are now recommending higher doses of vitamin D for both children and adults. As more and more scientific evidence emerges, it is confirming that currently recommended daily allowances (RDA) of vitamin D are grossly insufficient for young and old alike.
|VITAMIN D DOSE RECOMMENDATIONS|
|Below 5||35 units per pound per day|
|Age 5 – 10||2500 units|
|Pregnant Women||5000-10000 units|
|WARNING: There is no way to know if the above recommendations are correct. The ONLY way to know is to test your blood. You might need four to five times the amount recommended above. Ideally, your blood level of 25(OH)D should be 60ng/ml.|
If you’re not feeling quite right, you owe it to yourself to get your vitamin levels checked, cover your bases and get back on track to complete and total wellness (and happiness!)
Thanks for letting me into your world awhile,
NATURALLY NICOLE XO
Thanks for letting me in your world awhile,
XOXO NATURALLY NICOLE