Are you being disturbed with undiagnosed aching joints, muscle pain, reduced alertness, depression and disturbed digestion? The cause may be deficiency of Vitamin D. Doctors blame the lifestyle of people for this. It is very common to notice deficiency of vitamin D in pregnant women, lactating mothers, infants and old aged people. But these days due to changed lifestyles in Urban areas have lead youngsters to suffer from this nutritional deficiency.
Causes of Vitamin D deficiency:
Shunning the Sun– vitamin D is also known as “sunshine Vitamin”. When we expose our body to sunlight, the vitamin D gets synthesized naturally. When we shun the sun for a long period of time, staying indoors and working for long hours, the level of vitamin D plummets. Complete body covering long robes and living in northern latitudes also reduce exposure to sun.
Dark skin – The melanin pigment which is more in dark skinned people reduces synthesis of this vitamin to some extent.
Diet – People who follow a vegan diet are at a risk of this deficiency. Allergy to milk and milk products is another cause for low vitamin d level in body.
Stress – Resent studies point to the fact that stress can disrupt vitamin D receptors, leading to deficiency. Lot of stress at work place and home can lower the levels of this vitamin.
Addictions – Alcoholism and smoking reduce the availability of this vitamin to body.
Health Risks associated with deficiency of vitamin D
- Diabetes – Vitamin D is required to balance the sugar level in blood. This vitamin regulates the secretion of insulin. Deficiency of this vitamin may lead to diabetes.
- Hypertension – low levels of this vitamin may increase the risk of high blood pressure.
- Increased cardio vascular risk – Reduced vitamin D in body may cause heart diseases.
- Low immunity – This deficiency may lead to lowered body immunity and lead to repeated infections.
- Bone and muscle ache – Vitamin D is needed for strong bones. Deficiency causes aching bones and muscles, low bone density and osteoporosis. This increases susceptibility to fractures.
- Brain Damage – Lack of this vitamin may reduce memory power and cognitive performance.
- Infertility – Good amount of Vitamin D helps in healthy production of testosterone and female reproductive hormones. Reduced level of these hormones may cause infertility in men and women.
- Depression– the plummeted levels of vitamin D may cause depression. Supplementation with this hormone helps to recover from this state of mind.
- Cancer – Deficiency of this vitamin can increase the risk of cancer.
- Erectile Dysfunction – Low level of Vitamin D increases the risk of erectile dysfunction in men.
Diet and lifestyle which help to boost Vitamin D
- Consult a physician immediately if you notice ache in bones and muscles, depression and lack of concentration. The level of vitamin D can be determined through blood test.
- Expose your body for 20 minutes to morning sunlight. Ayurvedic physicians recommend the yoga posture Surya Namaskara done for 20 minutes facing the early morning sun.
- Consume the vitamin D supplements as prescribed by your physician.
- Use milk and milk products fortified with vitamin D. Regular use of milk and curd helps to build weakened bones.
- Consume cod liver oil, fish, dry fruits, oranges, mushrooms, tofu, and eggs.
Shine like a star with this sunshine vitamin.