By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
Recently I’ve been running into more and more stories about vitamin D deficiency-in the U.S.! One friend of mine was feeling so low energy and lethargic that he though he was depressed. Then he got a physical exam and found out he was Vitamin D deficient–even though he eats very healthy and loves the sun. A few weeks of taking Vitamin D supplements later, and he was functioning better than ever. He said finding out he was Vitamin D deficient may explain why he gets so low energy and depressed in the less sunny winter months. (According to Dr. Carrie Bearden from everydayhealth.com, low levels of vitamin D can also cause symptoms of depression, fatigue and sleep disturbance!)
But did you know Vitamin D deficiency can also cause trouble with your bones density?
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, your body requires vitamin D to absorb calcium. Kids need vitamin D to build strong bones. Adults need Vitamin D to keep bones strong and healthy. Thus when people do not get enough vitamin D, they can lose bone density along with other effects. Studies show that people with low levels of vitamin D have lower bone density or bone mass. They are also more likely to break bones when they are older. There are three ways to get vitamin D:
- Supplements and medications
There is a test to determine if you have a deficiency in Vitamin D. It’s called 25-hydroxyvitamin D and is used to determine if bone weakness, bone malformation, or abnormal metabolism of calcium (reflected by abnormal calcium, phosphorus, PTH) is occurring as a result of a deficiency or excess of vitamin D.
Discuss with your healthcare provider whether you should have your 25-hydroxyvitamin D tested,( which is also written as 25(OH)D). This test should not be confused with a test for 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation has a great info about Vitamin D and bone loss here.
This article from the Guardian talks about how Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise.
Science Daily has this to say about Vitamin D deficiency.
And even the Huffington Post weighs in on Vitamin D loss with this article, Why you are not getting enough vitamin D. apparently Vitamin D is an important cancer inhibitor, immune system booster and mood lifter! This is a fantastic article and really covers in detail why Vitamin D is so essential, how to get your levels tested, how to supplement (The only active form of vitamin D is vitamin D3 –cholecalciferol–according to Dr Mark Hymen, author of the article).
- Vitamin D and Bipolar Disorder (everydayhealth.com)
- Scientists develop blood test for vitamin D deficiency (medicalxpress.com)
- Are the Medications You Take Contributing to Premature Bone Density Loss? (workingwellresources.com)
- Protecting Your Kids Against Vitamin D Deficiency (fyiliving.com)
- Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Crohn’s? (everydayhealth.com)
- Can not getting enough sun cause a vitamin D deficiency? (zocdoc.com)