Short days and damp, dark conditions can leave anyone feeling a little gloomy. Being SAD is a well-documented phenomenon that occurs in conjunction with changes in season. This winter depression is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The winter months not only affect our mood but can also cause a physical effect due to the lack of sunlight. Sunlight exposure stimulates the hypothalamus (the area of the brain, which controls circadian rhythm). When this does not work in rhythm, your sleep pattern is disturbed and in turn, results in a physical disturbance.
Today we are going to talk about Vitium D deficiency and how it has been linked to respiratory infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and bronchiolitis.
80% of the Vitamin D we need is produced by exposure to sunlight. The remaining 20% should come from our diet and can be found in oily fish and eggs.
But, in the depths of winter when days are short, we lack the 80% we need and as many as 1 in 5 of us drop below normal parameters, with 27% of the population vitamin D deficient.
The link between vitamin D and healthy lungs
In 2018, The University of Western Australia, the Busselton Health Study and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital found Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to poor respiratory functioning and health in middle-aged adults.
Furthermore, low levels of vitamin D were also linked to respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.
More recent studies have found that vitamin D supplementation can decrease the frequency and severity of respiratory infections among children, as well as reduce the rate of asthma attacks due to the antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity within Vitamin D.
How do I know if I lack vitamin D?
As we know, low levels of vitamin D can leave us feeling very sad, in some cases, depressed. But, this is just one symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Others include more physical signs such as. –
- Muscle pain
- Bone loss, or bone pain
- Back pain
- Hair loss
- Inability to shift a cold
- Inability to heal an open wound
How much vitamin D do I need?
The amount of vitamin D you need depends on many factors. These include age, race, latitude, season, sun exposure, clothing and more. So as a basic rule of thumb, adults and children over the age of one should have ten micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D every day.
However, we recommended that you seek advice from your health care provider who can test your levels and prescribe you the suited dose.
The right advice
Here at Dr. Wayne Cottrell’s clinic, we provide a multitude of GP services, including health screening and nutritional assessments.
Our nutritionist, Dr. Cave, offers assessments to help determine whether a person or groups of people are well-nourished or malnourished. Our screening service includes the collection of relevant information to assess risk factors and evaluates the need for a comprehensive nutrition assessment or a referral to a dietitian.
For more information on please call us today. Our team is on hand to answer any questions and offer appointments with Dr Cave.