Vitamin D was discovered in 1920, by Sir Edward Mellanby, and for a considerable period of time, was considered a cure for ‘rickets’, a childhood bone disease. Over the years, the importance of vitamin D as a nutrient has been unfolded, and now we know that it plays a pivotal role in keeping our bones strong, helps reduce anxiety, and boosts our overall immunity.
A deficiency of vitamin D in our bodies can make our bones weak, and lead to bone deformities. In children, the deficiency can lead to rickets, and in adults, it can lead to osteomalacia, which causes bone pain and tenderness. It may also lead to depression, hair loss, muscle weakness, and lethargy.
In fact, a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism noted that those who are not deficient in vitamin D will likely experience a less severe Covid-19 infection.
Vitamin D absorbs calcium in the body and plays a vital role in maintaining bodily and mental health. The following symptoms could help you catch early signs of its deficiency:
1. Obesity: Obese people are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency, as fat cells prevent vitamin D from being released into the body.
2. Kidney and liver complications: Diseases and ailments related to the kidney and liver are a sign of lack of vitamin D, as it suggests that not enough of it is available to be converted into a source of nutrition and energy for the body.
3. Muscle and bone pain: Weakness and pain in muscles and bones, and deformities in joints, are common symptoms.
4. Lethargy: Recurring patterns of fatigue and lethargy are early indicators of vitamin D deficiency.
5. Mood changes: Anxiety and stress are common manifestations of vitamin D deficiency, which causes frequent mood changes.
You may also consider getting a blood test done to know the levels of vitamin D in your body. This test will measure the level of 25(OH)D in your blood.
You can enhance the levels of vitamin D in your body by:
-Getting adequate sunlight: The natural source for vitamin D is sunlight exposure. So, consider spending some time outdoors to increase your vitamin D levels.
-Eating a nutritious diet: Vitamin D is naturally found in a number of food items such as fish, yoghurt, milk, mushrooms and eggs.
-Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Effective metabolization (process for creating energy in our body) of vitamin D requires us to refrain from activities such as smoking and drinking. Moreover, exercising regularly can also increase vitamin D production in our body.
-Considering supplements: There are various vitamin D supplements available, which can give a boost to your health. However, do consult with a doctor before taking any such supplements.
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So ladies, take charge of your health and be vigilant of these signs indicating low vitamin D levels.