Do you suffer from chronic pain? Did you know that doctors have found that a Vitamin D deficiency is causing many individuals to suffer from body aches and pains? In 2005, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey discovered that 2/3s of Americans were not receiving enough Vitamin D. Some researchers have concluded that Vitamin D helps relieve pain by aiding in the absorption of calcium, which aids in bone repair and growth. Another recent study showed that “93% of 150 people with unexplained sources of pain were recently found to be deficient in Vitamin D levels.”
According to some doctors, those who come into their office to discuss the aches and pains that they feel in their bones often end up being misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
You may be wondering how to figure out if you are deficient in Vitamin D. The only way to truly know if you have a Vitamin D deficiency is to have a doctor perform a blood test. There are, however, signs and other symptoms that stem from a lack of Vitamin D. One of them is depression. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates mood elevation rises with more exposure to light. In 2006, one study that involved 80 elderly patients, demonstrated a correlation between low levels of Vitamin D and depression.
Some Interesting Facts About Vitamin D Deficiencies
Researchers have recently discovered a new fact about Vitamin D deficiency. Apparently, those who have dark skin tones have a greater risk of deficiency because their skin tone needs longer sun exposure to absorb and supply the body with the right amount of Vitamin D. In fact, a person with a dark skin tone needs almost 10 times more sun exposure than someone with a pale skin tone needs.
Another interesting fact about Vitamin D is that people who are 50 years or older have a higher risk of becoming deficient. This is because as some people age, the skin loses some of its efficiency when it comes to synthesizing Vitamin D from sunlight exposure. Before the body can use Vitamin D, it must first be activated in the kidneys, which is a process that gradually begins to digress as we age. So older bodies become less able to convert Vitamin D into something usable for the body.
How To Address Vitamin D Deficiencies
Your physician should know a lot about Vitamin D and if they believe that you are deficient, he or she should help you develop a treatment plan. Here are some ways that your doctor might suggest to increase your Vitamin D levels:
- Food: Very few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Some of the best food options for vitamin D are egg yolks, cheese, salmon, mackerel, tuna, beef liver, and cod liver oil. Since there are not very many foods that naturally contain Vitamin D, many companies have developed Vitamin D fortified foods. This means that they have added the nutrient. Many Americans receive most of their Vitamin D this way. Some of the most common foods to fortify are milk, cereals, and juice.
- Sunlight: This is considered the best way to provide the body with Vitamin D because sunlight converts cholesterol to Vitamin D. Experts say the 30 minutes of sunlight exposure at least 2 times a week is a sufficient way to supply the body with Vitamin D.
- Supplement: A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that older adults should take a Vitamin D oral supplement every day because it can reduce their risk of bone fractures.
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