With the cold weather and rainy season setting in, we tend to lose the extra sunshine in our lives. Time to check our Vitamin D levels and supplement..! Do you know the telltale symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency…? Sharing some of them based on my experience…
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a loss of bone density, which can contribute to osteoporosis and fractures (broken bones). Severe vitamin D deficiency can also lead to other diseases. In children, it can cause rickets. Rickets is a rare disease that causes the bones to become soft and bend. While prolonged deficiency can cause the above effects, we can see the symptoms are address it at the early onset with diet and supplements. Talk to your physician if your Vitamin D levels are too low.
How to know when to supplement Vitamin D?
Look for the symptoms below…
- Feeling exhausted and tired frequently
- Sense of Fatigue
- Not interested in doing routine activities
- Sense of despair and gloom sets in
- Need something different to bring back your normal energy levels
- Worries about health set in
- Not eating fish / dairy products
- Not having enough Vitamin C, calcium in your diet
- Constantly have a cough or cold and chest is congested
- Bone and back pain
- Hair loss
Foods that are high in Vitamin D content
- Fish is a great source of Vitamin D. Salmon, sardines, tuna and cod liver oil are great sources
- Egg yolk is another great source. Egg on toast every alternate day is a simple and great way to maintain your levels.
- Mushrooms is a good source
- For vegetarians, milk, spinach, fortified cereals, fortified juices are a good source
- For vegetarians / vegans – increasing tomato intake is seen to have a strong correlation to absorbing and improving Vitamin D levels in the body. Tomatoes and Vitamin D link – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8768317/
- Increasing Vitamin C and Vitamin B-12 intake helps in absorbing Vitamin D from diet and supplements.
How much of Vitamin D to supplement
Human body needs about 400-600 IU of Vitamin D per day. It has the ability to make this Vitamin through sunlight directly. In general, those who tend to stay indoors, have lower exposure to sunlight, live in areas that are prone to less sunlight, winter seasons tend to have a lower level of Vitamin D. Stress has an adverse effect on Vitamin D levels and has the tendency to reduce the levels in the body.
If you generally face low Vitamin D levels, supplementing with 1000 IU 4-5 times a week helps.
For those who face occasional bouts of low Vitamin D levels, check the stress levels in your life! If you are able to control them – it would help your overall long term health! Talking to your physician and going with a higher dosage supplement for a brief period helps. Prescribed dosages will mostly be 15,000 IU or above spread across a few weeks.
During pregnancy, one needs a higher amount of Vitamin D and Calcium. If your calcium levels have an imbalance, processing Vitamin D becomes difficult as well. As babies need a lot of Vitamin D, if the mothers have a tendency to run low, they tend to take it from the mother’s body. Sometimes even from the pelvic bones impairing the mother’s ability to walk. So, do have your regular checkups and never miss your calcium supplements to ensure mother and baby’s health are not adversely impacted.
Risks of High dosage
Having suffered through high dosage and lack of absorption myself, Vitamin D high dosage can be risky if not ingested properly with dietary supplements. I was prescribed 75,000 IU once a week for 4 weeks. I ended up having calcification all over my body with stones in my kidney and gall bladder. While it pushed me into alternate therapies and healing to bring down the levels, it was very painful with a lot of side effects.
To those who have been prescribed high dosages of Vitamin D by your physician, sharing a few tips to help absorb it better
- Increase your tomato intake every day while you are on the Vitamin D supplement
- Increase vitamin C based foods in your diet – orange juice, oranges, strawberries – these are helpful
Stay healthy! Stay safe!