Sunshine and More
You may recall lyrics from Katrina and the Waves were talking about walking on sunshine because they were in love but walking in sunshine can give you an equally important boost! Most of us are aware by now that light from that gorgeous yellow orb increases our vitamin D level which benefits our body and spirits. There’s nothing quite like soaking in the sun to make you feel better. Soaking in all that vitamin D makes us feel peace and possibility, and no, it’s not a myth. Vitamin D really does help with mood and depression, including seasonal affective disorder or SAD.
All About Vitamin D
There are two kinds of vitamin D: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. They come from different sources. Vitamin D2 comes to us through plants (eat your veggies) while vitamin D3 comes from marine sources like fatty fish. Interestingly, vitamin D3 is already present in our bodies. It’s actually a prohormone, or a naturally occurring substance within our bodies. It’s a forerunner to hormones. Like other prohormones, Vitamin D3 stays inactive in our bodies until it gets the chemical message that it’s needed. When that occurs, Vitamin D3, like the champion it is, activates to make the body stronger, healthier, and happier.
What Does Vitamin D Do?
Our bodies love vitamin D. It’s a crucial element in:
- Bone strength
- Bone and muscle health
- Healthy skin
Both vitamins D2 and D3 are available as supplements, but vitamin D3 is more easily absorbed by the body, making it effective more quickly.
Is It Really THAT Important?
Vitamin D is more important than you might think. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to cause higher risks for:
- Some cancers
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Type 1 diabetes
- Multiple sclerosis
- Osteoporosis or osteomalacia in adults
Those deficient in vitamin D also may experience:
- Severe fractures, especially in the elderly
- An increase in respiratory infections
- Increased inflammation
- Decreased immune response
Vitamin D is, clearly, a significant element in health and wellness.
Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency in children looks a little different than it does in an adult. Vitamin D deficiency in children is very rare, but, when present, can be very debilitating. Vitamin D deficiency in children is called rickets. It can be recognized because it causes deformities in bones (especially in the legs).
In adults, a vitamin D deficiency may produce the following symptoms:
- Bone pain
- Mood changes
- Muscle cramps or weakness
Some people have a greater risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency than others. Populations that have a higher risk are those who:
- Have had weight loss surgery
- Are obese
- Are elderly
- Have diseases including liver, kidney, or celiac disease
- Have more melanin in their skin (darker skin tones)
- Live in geographical locations with limited sunlight
Vitamin D Deficiency is Easily Treatable
Vitamin D deficiency is detected through a simple blood test. Those in the Quincy, IL area can partner with Vallee Health Repair to both diagnose and treat a vitamin D deficiency. If you’re diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency, Tasha Vallee, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner in the State of Illinois, will work with you to create a plan for the right level of supplementation to alleviate it. Please call (217) 577-2992 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you create good health.
Disclaimer: The information contained here was not written by a medical doctor and is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for medical advice.