How Do I Know If I Am Deficient In Vitamin D? - A wooden spoon with Vitamin tablets on it.

Currently, there are alarmingly high rates of people with a vitamin D deficiency in the UK especially within the BAME community as well as low-income families, leaving large numbers of people more susceptible to respiratory infections. Studies also show clear seasonal contrasts within all ethnical backgrounds.

Vitamin D, what are the symptoms of a deficiency?

Most people will notice a difference within themselves as vitamin D functions as a hormone. Low Vitamin D can leave you feeling low, or tired but also can produce symptoms such as –

  • Low immunity
    Vitamin D helps keeps your immune system strong, so if you are often sick or feeling under the weather, this may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency.
  • Difficulty healing
    Vitamin D can help control inflammation and prevent infections.
  • Fatigue and Tiredness
    Lacking in energy during the day could be a result of many things, but, if you have rested well and still feel sluggish you may want to consider your vitamin intake.
  • Muscle weakness and back pain
    An imbalance in protein degradation and synthesis rates can cause a breakdown in the muscle and is associated with lumbar disc degeneration.
  • Hair Loss
    Many people come to us after they notice their hair is thinning or a noticeable loss while showering. However, although this can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency, there are other common causes.
  • Depression
    As stated above, low vitamin D can leave you feeling very low, it is important to seek help and guidance if you feel that your mood is being affected. A doctor will be able to run many tests to rule out any hormonal or vitamin deficiency.

What happens to your body when you don’t have enough vitamin D?

As well as the symptoms above, you may find, if left untreated, a number of irreversible effects vitamin D deficiency can have on your body.

  • Stunted growth
    Studies over many years have provided us with evidence that very low levels of vitamin D within children can stunt growth
  • Obesity
    Low levels of vitamin D can disrupt the metabolic balance between growth and fat accumulation in children
  • Rickets
    Although it is now considered a rare disease, severely low levels of vitamin D can cause rickets in children
  • Osteoporosis and osteomalacia
    Vitamin D deficiency can lead to weak or thin bones, increasing the risk of breaks and fractures
  • Dental problems
    Vitamin D can help repair damaged teeth, without it, you are susceptible to cavities and problems with teeth structure

How much vitamin D per day do I need?

Your daily intake of Vitamin D would vary during the year and in darker months you may consider taking supplements to boost your intake.
Although, 10MG per day is the daily amount recommended for the general population you may take more than this, however, do not exceed the maximum amount advised which is – 100MG or 4000IU.

What foods are high in Vitamin D?

You can help boost your vitamin D levels through your diet. You can find sources of vitamin D in –

  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Oily fish
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms
  • Fortified foods such as cereals, dairy products and spreads

Does Vitamin D prevent COVID-19?

Back in January 2020 (just before Covid-19 hit our shores) we published an article looking at the link between Vitamin D and the prevention of respiratory infections. If you would like more information on this – find the link at the bottom of this article.

Lifestyle and nutrition consultations

Our consultations are split into two appointments. Initially, I meet with patients for one hour where we discuss their health, symptoms, diet and lifestyle. This initial consultation also includes some blood tests, which helps me to identify any specific health concerns or nutritional needs. I always consult without any judgement and I want to provide a space where people can express concerns, share details or ask questions.

Lifestyle and nutrition recommendations

A personalized plan is provided. This will include dietary and lifestyle recommendations. I aim to make this easy to follow, enjoyable, specific and most importantly achievable in the context of your lifestyle. The plan is tailored to suit your goals, budget, time and appetite for change. I want to educate people about healthy living. I aim to recommend delicious and healthy foods in everyone’s plan and to always tailor these to individual likes and dislikes.

The second appointment will last for 30-45 minutes, where we will discuss your blood test results, my thoughts about your lifestyle and nutritional needs and your plan. I can help you to find easy ways that you can incorporate your plan into your lifestyle and we can modify elements together.

I look forward to helping as many people as possible to achieve better health and I hope to welcome you to consultation soon.

Finally, For more information please call us today. Our team is on hand to answer any questions and offer appointments with Dr Cave.

Can Vitamin D prevent respiratory infections?