Reports state that Vitamin D deficiency is something common in the United States. But, the worst thing here is that most of the Americans are of the opinion that they are not at the risk of getting this deficiency, just because they consume fortified foods with this vitamin like milk. But, the fact to remember here is that only a few foods that actually have therapeutic levels of this vitamin naturally and even fortified foods do not contain this vitamin in enough quantity as per the health requirements of individuals. In spite of its name, this is not a regular vitamin and it is actually a steroid hormone that can be primarily obtained through exposure to the Sun and not through diet.
It is true that blood test can reveal the deficiency of this vitamin. However, there are some signs and symptoms that will help you identifying the same, so that you can get to know whether the blood test is actually needed. Here are some signs to know, if you have this vitamin deficiency:
You have darker skin:
Reports state that African Americans are at greater risk of deficiency of this vitamin. The reason is that people with darker skin need nearly 10 times more exposure to the Sun as compared to those with fair skin for production of the same level of vitamin D like the individual with pale skin. The reason behind this is that the skin pigment can act as natural sunscreen. So, the more pigment you have, the more time you will have to spend under the sun to make adequate level of this vitamin.
You feel depressed frequently:
Serotonin, which is nothing, but a brain hormone that is connected with mood elevation naturally increases with exposure to bright lights and it will fall when there is reduction in the exposure to the sun. Reports state that those with deficiency of this vitamin get easily depressed even for smaller things. So, if you feel stressed frequently, it is better to get your Vitamin D level tested.
You are 50 or more:
When people get older, their skin does not make much of this vitamin, even when they get exposure to the Sun. In addition, the kidneys will be less efficient in conversion of this vitamin into the form that is ideal for use by the body. Furthermore, older people generally spend more time indoors as against outdoors and this also leads to deficiency of this vitamin.
You are obese or overweight:
This vitamin is fat-soluble and this means that body fat will act as a sink for collecting it. On the other hand, if you are obese or overweight, you will be in need of more of this vitamin as compared to skinner individuals. Even, the same thing is applicable for people with higher muscle mass as well.
The other symptoms to take care of include ache in the bones, more sweating in the head and also when you have gut trouble, there are chances of deficiency of this vitamin in your body.