I was unaware of the many benefits of vitamin D for years! After doing a deep dive, I realized that many of us are more deficient in Vitamin D than we realize. What you don’t know about Vitamin D could be making you sick!
Your Skin Color Could Be a Factor in Vitamin D Deficiency
As you may have seen from my bio-pics, I am a woman of color. If you are a person of color you have what is called melanin. This is what gives your skin the beautiful color that it has.
As wonderful as melanin is, it makes it more difficult for the sun to penetrate your skin, and be converted by the body to vitamin D.
To simplify this a little bit. If you are a person of color it takes you much longer for the sun’s rays to penetrate your skin so your levels of Vitamin D (which we get from the sun) could be lower than someone with a lighter skin tone.
Fact: Anyone of any skin tone can be vitamin D deficient, so check your levels at your yearly physicals.
My Vitamin D Story
After many years of pale skin, getting frequent colds in the winter, and hair loss I decided to do some research. Besides an Iron deficiency (blog post to come on this), I was extremely low in Vitamin D, causing many of my health issues. Once I started supplementing with vitamin D and eating vitamin D-rich foods, I felt a lot better.
If you have a darker complexion, and you live in the North East of the United States or in a country where sunlight is limited you probably have a vitamin D deficiency.
What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are very subtle or tricky, and many times you may not even know they are caused by low vitamin D levels.
- Pale Skin
- Mood swings-Depression
- Hair loss
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Getting sick often
- Bone aches and pains
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased risk of falls
For more check out this study from the National Library of medicine. (I’m not playing, I give you the facts, lol)
How Do I Know If I Am Vitamin D Deficient??
A very simple blood test can determine if you are Vitamin D deficient. When you go see your primary care provider, always be vocal about what you need from them. Remember, they work for you! The test you will be requesting is called 25- Hydroxy Vitamin D test.
All labs conduct this test and it is usually covered by most insurance.
Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D can come from the sun, supplements, and food-based sources:
- Dairy and plant milk fortified with vitamin D
- Cod liver oil
- Beef Liver
- Egg Yolk
- Fortified Cereals ( Fortified- vitamins are added)
According to the Mayoclinic.org :
“The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 400 international units (IU) for children up to age 12 months, 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70 years, and 800 IU for people over 70 years”.
Fact: Remember, don’t go overboard! Vitamin D toxicity can happen if you consume too much. Some of the symptoms are:
- Frequent Urination
- A build-up of calcium in the body
**Make sure you speak to your doctor about the appropriate dose for you and the duration in which you will need to take the supplements to maintain healthy vitamin D levels.
Check out Dr. Eric Berg’s video below with excellent tips on how to combat Vitamin D deficiency.
If you have any questions or thoughts, don’t hesitate to comment!