Five minutes on the treadmill and you find yourself huffing and puffing with fatigue while others are breezing through 20 minutes of cardio without falling to their knees. No, it’s not just about your stamina, it’s probably because you are deficient in the sunshine vitamin—the vitamin D. How can you be deficient in vitamin D when the sun is brimming to glory? Pop! There goes the bubble of the assumption that we’re all sufficiently nourished with vitamin D. Turns out, most of us lack vitamin D in our body.
Vitamin D is a notorious vitamin that is really hard to procure from food alone. Even a whole piece of salmon can’t give you the daily requirement of the nutrient. So if you’ve been playing hide and seek with the sun, you might want to reach for the sunscreen and venture out in the sun often. We’re not asking you to go get a tan, but just nourish your body with the vitamin that’s essential for bone growth, mental health, skin care, and also to keep your insulin in control. But how do you know if you’re good friends with vitamin D or not? That’s the catch. We often neglect the common signs and symptoms as something silly— fatigue, the gloomy moods, unexplained weakness, or even poor bone growth. But these could often be strong giveaways of a serious deficiency. You can be your own doctor here and determine if you have a deficiency or not. But, if you see any of the following signs, run to the doctor immediately (the real one)!
1. Is The Colour Of Your Mood Blue?
We all have dull days that take the best of us. We cry, throw tantrums, and weep on our pillows. It’s okay to have a bad day when you know the reason for your misery. But, if you have been feeling overpowered by your emotions to an extent that it leaves you feeling like a broken doll— lifeless and unable to function properly, then you might be running low on vitamin D (1). It often happens that people suffer from winter blues and this is due to a lack of the D. Studies have found that this deficiency can trigger depression or make you feel blue all day (2).
2. Are You Someone With The Big O: Obesity?
The dangerous streets of obesity lead to a narrow lane called low vitamin D (3). But, this is a one-way street. Boosting vitamin D may not lead to the reversal of obesity. However, a fall in the required levels of vitamin D might just accelerate obesity. Also, it leads to a reduced intestinal absorption and an altered metabolism (4). The more the body fat is, the more is the requirement of the vitamin. A daily requirement of vitamin D is anywhere between 600-800 milligrams based on your age (5).
3. A Sweaty Head?
If you sweat buckets every day, and if you have a sweaty head in particular, it’s most likely that your reserve is running low on vitamin D. You either need to stock up on some supplements or you need some sun therapy. According to Dr. Michael Holick, a Professor of Medicine, a sweaty forehead points in the direction of vitamin D deficiency (6). So, the lower the levels are, the more you tend to perspire.
4. Do Your Bones Ache?
Do your joints ache? Do you have random bursts of pain in your bones even when you haven’t exposed it to a lot of strain? If you do, and you’re not over 50, you need some sunshine, friend. Not the kind where you jump into the sunlight every time your bones twinge. Run to the doctor for an assessment and get some supplements prescribed. Another reason why this vitamin is vital is that it is necessary for the absorption of calcium (both of which are essential for maintaining bone health) (7).
5. Gut Feels Bad?
No, we are not talking about your gut feelings that often land you in trouble. But, is there trouble in your gut? Do you feel like your bowel movements need a push every now and then? Gastrointestinal conditions, Crohn’s disease, and inflammatory bowel disease could be a direct effect of vitamin D deficiency. This fat-soluble nutrient is obtained when there is ample sun exposure. An absence of this nutrient leads to lower fat absorption and thereby the rise of stomach problems like diarrhea, stomach upsets, etc. (8).
How Can You Get The D?
What’s the best way to get enough of Vitamin D? Go out and play in the sun. Stop shunning the sun and get yourself about 20-25 minutes of sun exposure so that your body gets the D. If you live in the Arctics or you are just generally not a fan of the sun, we understand. Every problem has a solution— and most often it’s food. So here we go again: salmon, egg yolks, shiitake mushrooms, yogurt, almond milk, orange juice, oatmeal, and cheese are some of the best sources of vitamin D.
If you have any of these signs, make a visit to the doctor and get the sunshine element back into your life. Because we all love those bright days, right?
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