Coronavirus has changed everyone’s way of life. Social distancing is important to keep the infection at bay, but this also means we’ve been spending too much time indoors. By now, half a year has gone by and apart from the emotional toll of having to stay locked within our homes, there’s another downside to this new way of living: vitamin D deficiency.
Not being able to go out has meant that our exposure to sunlight, needed to make vitamin D, has reduced considerably. This is affecting vitamin D levels in a lot of people and thus their overall health.
Vitamin D is important for our body to function smoothly. In fact, here are 5 things that happen when you don’t get enough vitamin D:
1. Bone pain
You need vitamin D in order to absorb calcium. So, you might be consuming dairy but it won’t actually benefit you if your vitamin D levels are low. This can lead to pain in the bones which can not only be extremely debilitating but also lead to altered mobility. To ensure your bones stay healthy, you need to raise your vitamin D levels along with your dairy intake.
The sunshine vitamin regulates your mood as well. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to you feeling depressed and hopeless. In fact, a study published on PubMed Central linked low levels of vitamin D to feelings of depression, especially in older adults. Hence, going out in the sun might be able to help you uplift your mood.
3. Compromised immunity
Vitamin D directly affects our immunity, thus risking the body’s ability to fight infections and illnesses. A lack of the vitamin can result in you falling sick more frequently.
In fact, being down with cold or flu can point towards a vitamin D deficiency. A study from the Center for Infectious Diseases and Infection Control, Jena University Hospital, Germany noted that low levels of vitamin D might be responsible for increased severity of lower respiratory tract diseases.
If you’ve been sleeping well and are well-rested, but still can’t shake off the feeling of tiredness—it could mean that you’re deficient in vitamin D. If this deficiency is not taken care of, it can start affecting your ability to take care of tasks throughout the day. Hence, you need to keep your vitamin D levels up to also ensure that your energy levels stay up.
5. Hair loss
Do you love your tresses? Then you need to work towards maintaining your vitamin D levels to avoid hair loss. Apart from factors such as stress and pollution, another reason behind hair loss is nutrient deficiency. If one is deficient in vitamin D, it can lead to severe hair fall. Alopecia areata, a disease characterised by severe hair loss, may occur due to a deficiency of the sunshine vitamin.
No wonder then that vitamin D is extremely important in order to maintain our health. It is important to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes in the sun every day. You can do so by standing in the balcony or opening a window during the daytime. What’s more, you can also get vitamin D from your diet through mushrooms, eggs and cheese. If you’re a non-vegetarian, you should include fish like salmon in your diet to ensure your vitamin D levels stay up.