Signs Of Being Low On Vitamin D And How It Can Affect You *

-This post is in collaboration with Live Well Nationwide-
Being deficient in any vitamins or minerals can really play on your mind and body in ways that you probably wouldn't even realise. From anaemia, depression, fatigue, lower back pain, weakness and more. As a chronically ill person who works from home, I am very aware of the telltale signs of vitamin and mineral deficiency, particularly Vitamin D because of how my chronic pain limits my ability to get out of the house as much as an average person does. So in this post, I'm going to be talking about the telltale symptoms of being low on Vitamin D, how it can affect your mind and body and also ways to improve your overall Vitamin D levels. I thought this post might be helpful with us approaching Autumn and Winter when we obviously have shorter days and longer nights and also the fact that more of us might be working from home this year because of Coronavirus.

Vitamin D is a unique vitamin as your skin actually produces it by sunlight and it can be found in foods such as fatty fish, red meat and fortified dairy products. Vitamin D also helps to keep your bones strong which can help protect you from various conditions which can make them weak and soft as well as helping with the overall health of your teeth aswell. Adding to that it also helps to absorb calcium which again helps to keep your bones nice and strong. Having weak bones can lead to osteoporosis in adults which is the loss of bone density which means you're more likely to fracture your bones. 

According to the NHS website chidren from the age of 1 years old and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day (or 400IU) and during the autumn/winter months you need to get Vitamin D from your diet as the sun is not strong enough to make it. However because it is hard to get enough Vitamin D from your diet alone each day, it is recommended that you should take a daily supplement of 10 micrograms during the autumn and winter months (or more if your doctor recommends it).

Here are some symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency...
  • If you're someone who gets unwell often then it could be a sign of being low on Vitamin D as one of it's most important roles is making sure your immune system is strong so you're able to fight off bacterial and viral infections. 

  • Feeling tired even if you've slept really well as well as feeling weak and/or fatigued is another telltale sign of a Vitamin D deficiency even though these symptoms are often overlooked and passed off as depression or just being unmotivated.  

  • Talking of depression, it is actually another symptom which is understandable as exposure to the sun helps to increase the brain's release of the "happy hormone" serotonin. So the less amount of time you're in the sun, the less serotonin your body will produce. Unfortunately sitting by a sunny window won't increase your Vitamin D levels as windows have UV protection so you won't be able to benefit from the sun that way. According to experts being exposed to the sun for around 15-20 minutes three days per week is usually enough to create the right amount of Vitamin D for your body. 
If you are worried that you might be running low on Vitamin D then you can increase your levels easily by buying vitamins online and getting out in the sunlight (depending on the season). You could also talk to your doctor about your deficiency concerns and they should offer you a blood test to check your overall vitamin and mineral levels. You should also consult your doctor before buying vitamins and if your doctor recommends more than 10mcg per day after a blood test then you should follow your GPs advice. 

Adding to that I'm pretty sure I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which can be related to being deficient in Vitamin D as I do have a lot of the symptoms when the weather gets colder and we have shorter days and longer nights (even though I prefer autumn/winter!). Symptoms can be a loss of interest in normal everyday activities, feeling irritable, low, worthless, feeling like your lacking in energy and sleeping for longer than normal. So I'm thinking of buying a SAD lamp soon which is basically a light that mimics the sun and can be used throughout the winter months or if you're someone who can't get out of the house much. It's something I've been meaning to buy for a while but I keep forgetting about. They usually have multiple light settings, a timer so it can help you wake up naturally to "the sun" and a lot of them are actually portable too meaning you could take it into the workplace with you aswell if you wanted to.

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  1. About two years ago I went through a period of being extremely, extremely lethargic, weak and tired no matter how much sleep I got. I went to the doctors and they did a blood test and it came back that I has a severe vitamin D deficiency! It's amazing how much the deficiency can affect your mood too!
    Chloe X

  2. It's crazy what being deficient in Vitamin D can do to you!
    I'm deficient in vitamin D and B12 and definitely have some of these symptoms x