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Five little-known signs of a vitamin D deficiency

by , 16 February 2016

Vitamin D deficiencies are more common than you may think. However, many people mistakenly believe they aren't at risk because they consumed vitamin D-fortified foods (such as milk) on a regular basis…

Truth is, there are very few foods that actually have therapeutic levels of vitamin D naturally. Not even fortified foods contain enough vitamin D to support your health needs!

Despite its name, vitamin D isn't a regular vitamin. It's actually a steroid hormone your body obtains primarily through sun exposure - not via your diet. To find out more, keep reading!

Vitamin D deficiencies are more common than you think

According to well-known physician and author Dr Mercola, before the year 2000 very few doctor ever considered the possibility that you might be vitamin D deficient. However, as technology to measure vitamin D levels became inexpensive and widely available, more and more studies took place. 
It then became increasingly clear that vitamin D deficiency was absolutely rampant. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 32% of children and adults in the US were vitamin D deficient. 
To add to this, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that 50% of children aged one to five years and 70% of children aged six to elevens, are deficient in vitamin D.

Five signs that you might be vitamin D deficient

#1. You feel “blue”
Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure. In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly people. They found that those with low vitamin D levels were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses.
#2. You have excess weight issues
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin. This means that body fat acts as a “sink” by collecting it. If you are overweight or obese, you’ll therefore need more vitamin D than a slimmer person. This holds true for people with higher body weights due to muscle mass, too.
#3. Your bones ache
According to Dr Holick, director of the Bone Health Care Clinic at Boston Medical Center, there’s a good chance you’re vitamin D deficient if you struggle with aches and pains – especially when combined with fatigue. He explains that this happens when a vitamin D deficiency causes a defect in putting calcium into the collagen matrix in your skeleton. Ouch! Well, that would explain throbbing, aching bone pain… 
#4. You suffer from forehead sweating
Dr Holick explains that one of the first classic signs of a vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty forehead. In fact, doctors ask new mothers about forehead sweating in their babies for this very reason. 
#5. You have gut problems
Like I’ve just explained, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Therefore, if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you might have a lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. The kind of guy conditions I’m referring to here are ones such as Crohn’s, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease.
And there you have it. I hope that sheds some light on vitamin D deficiency. Remember, this condition is much more common than you think, so I recommend you have your vitamin D levels tested the next time you see your doctor.

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