This sunshine vitamin is made when your body is exposed to sunlight.
The importance of Vitamin D cannot be stressed enough. It functions like a hormone and is formed from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to the sun. although it is also found in certain foods such as fatty fish and some dairy products, Vitamin D is needed by the body to absorb calcium which helps bones to stay strong and healthy.
Lack of sufficient vitamin D makes the bones to become thin, stiff or deformed. Vitamin D and calcium help protect older adults from osteoporosis a bone condition that weakens the bones and makes them fragile.
On top of that, it helps in modulation of cell growth, reduce inflammation and immune function.
Neglecting your D intake does come with its own risks, like spiking your risk for high blood pressure and diabetes by two and a half times, says Michael Holick, MD, author of The Vitamin D Solution and professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University Medical Center. Vitamin D deficiency can also increase your risk of depression, certain cancers, dementia, and several other health problems.
Think you might be dipping low in D?
Here are signs your vitamin D is dangerously low.
Feeling tired and weak throughout the day after getting enough sleep is a sign of deficiency and it needs to be checked. You need to get checked when your vitamin D level is low because it could lead to sleeping problems.
- Feeling depressed or moody
We all have those days when you feel like doing nothing which is absolutely normal. However, when you begin to experience it daily then you need to consult a doctor. When you spend adequate time in the sun your brain releases a hormone known as serotonin which contributes to one’s wellbeing and happiness. Lack of vitamin D results in depression and mood swings.
- Muscle and joint pain
Lack of vitamin D contributes to chronic muscle pain and joints. You begin to experience pain in the legs, ribs and joints. If not controlled, it can lead to fracturing of the bones and lead to fragile bone formation.
- Hair loss
Most people associate hair loss with stress. Deficiency of nutrients and vitamin D is needed by the body to function. Although there is little evidence to support hair loss with low vitamin D in women, it is a great contributor. According to Healthline, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease characterized by severe hair loss from the head and other parts of the body. It's associated with rickets, which is a disease that causes soft bones in children due to vitamin D deficiency. Low vitamin D levels are linked to alopecia areata and may be a risk factor for developing the disease.
- Prone to colds and flu
Vitamin D plays a key role when it comes to keeping your immune system strong to fight off illnesses and infections. If you keep falling ill and getting colds, then it is more likely that you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency.
- Excessive sweating
Sweating is normal and part of being healthy. When you begin to sweat profusely especially on your forehead area and you have not done much activity, or its not sunny or too hot, then you need to worry. Vitamin D deficiency tends to make one to sweat uncontrollably and should seek medical assistance.
- Cause erectile dysfunction
Lack of vitamin D can contribute to erectile dysfunction. This causes men’s sexual organs to be unable to function normally and can lead to stress and depression. Every man should be able to erect and not being able to reduces sexual desire and performance. This could indicate low levels of vitamin D.