vitamin-DThere are signs and symptoms that stem from the lack of vitamin D; one of them is depression. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates mood elevation rises with more exposure to light. There are many determining factors that place you at risk for a deficiency in Vitamin D.  For instance, those with darker skin are more at risk for Vitamin D deficiency. The darker your complexion, the more exposure you need from the sun; almost 10 times more exposure than what you would consider as enough for a pale person. Someone may also have a deficiency in Vitamin D if they are 50 years or older. The older you get, the less your skin responds to sun exposure, resulting in less production of Vitamin D in the body. The kidneys also become less efficient at converting Vitamin D into something usable by your body. Those who are over 50 (especially if they are retired) may also spend more time indoors compared to a younger adult. Sometimes those who come into the doctor’s office complaining of aches and pains in their bones, often end up being misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, but what they may be experiencing is a Vitamin D deficiency. Ten to fifteen minutes of direct sunlight per day can help the body produce an adequate amount of vitamin D. Some researchers have concluded that Vitamin D helps to relieve pain by aiding in the absorption of calcium, which aids in bone repair and growth. Research has estimated that a majority of people with unexplained sources of pain were found to be deficient in vitamin D levels. There seems to be a correlation between Vitamin D and living with pain. A physician or nutritionist should know enough about Vitamin D, and if they believe you may have this deficiency, they should work with you to develop a treatment plan that includes regular sun exposure and possibly Vitamin D supplements.

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