Quite rightly, we have all been taught from a very young age to look after our skin, to avoid the sun, to cover up and to apply sunscreen. These are all a good idea for preventing skin cancer – however could it have an impact on other health issues? Doctors are starting to report that, in recent years, the cases of vitamin D deficiency due to a lack of sunlight on the skin and dietary changes, is rising fast.
With a number of conditions associated with a lack of vitamin D, it is wise to understand what the early signs are. These symptoms are sometimes insidious, creeping up on you and can be hard to pinpoint, but by taking note of the possible symptoms, you can get checked out and take action. So what are the signs of vitamin D deficiency?
From the age of 30 onwards, we stop building bone mass and it can start to decline. This is why older people are vulnerable to osteoporosis and bone breaks. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption and use of calcium.
Rickets is a bone disease where the bones become weak and bend. This is becoming prevalent again, especially in children.
Many of us accept this as an inevitable part of getting older, but a simple lack of vitamin D can cause pain. Sometimes this is passed off as fibromyalgia or arthritis, but it could be due to a lack of this essential vitamin. Vitamin D will also help your body to recover from muscle aches and pains.
Depression or low mood
It is known that serotonin, the happiness hormone, is increased when we get enough sunlight and therefore could be associated with vitamin D intake. Studies have indicated that vitamin D can really help with depression and low mood disorders. While it is not known why it makes sense when we consider that people are often affected more by their depression in the winter months.
You might put it down to the menopause, the warm weather or your activity levels, but sweating of the face, when you usually would remain sweat free, could be a sign you need more vitamin D. This is actually one of the earliest signs that your levels might need to be checked.
Tiredness – especially of the muscles
It has been found that a lack of vitamin D can lead to falls in the elderly as they have trouble with their muscle control. Once again this is often passed off as being a symptom of old age, but could possibly be prevented with the right supplements. This is more common in the elderly as they have trouble using the vitamin D they do get due to kidney issues.
The best way to know if you truly have a lack of vitamin D is to see your doctor and follow their recommendations; they can be enough to reverse all of these issues within 6 months.
A future blog will tell you the best ways to get enough Vitamin D without risking skin cancer.