Vitamin D is an important nutrient that strengthens your bones and helps protect your body from various types of disease.
People get most of their vitamin D through sunlight. Certain fish, fortified dairy products and egg yolks also contain the vitamin. Without enough vitamin D, your body can become weak and sick.
Are you getting enough vitamin D? And if you aren’t, what can you do about it?
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Most people discover they are deficient in vitamin D because they are feeling weak and tired most of the time. They may also find themselves contracting an excessive number of colds or other viruses.
Some people experience fractures due to weakened or brittle bones.
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
There are several possible reasons for not getting enough vitamin D.
You may be at risk for a vitamin D deficiency if you don’t get enough sunlight. This is why vitamin D deficiency is more common in winter months.
You may also be susceptible to a vitamin D deficiency if you eat a vegan diet because many foods that contain vitamin D come from dairy or animal proteins.
Illnesses such as Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease may also put you at risk for a vitamin D deficiency because they may interfere with the body’s absorption of nutrients.
Treatments for Vitamin D Deficiency
Your doctor can help you understand the best way to combat this nutritional deficiency in your particular case, but there are steps you can take at home as well.
The Institute of Medicine recommends at least 600 IU of vitamin D each day. Many people take vitamin D supplements to get the right amount of this nutrient, and your doctor may recommend you take as much as 4000 IU.
You can also try spending at least 15 or 20 minutes in the sun each day. If you believe you have a vitamin D deficiency, it is important to take steps to remedy the situation before your bones become weak or you develop an illness. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible to discuss your options and decide on a treatment plan.