The past year has been one of the most stressful for many people ever, which has led to many noticing ill effects physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, it’s important not to dismiss mental and bodily changes as purely brought on by stress, pandemic fatigue, and related factors.
Other elements might be causing you to feel less than your best. The sooner you recognize them, the sooner you can take steps to address issues. One thing worth investigating is whether or not you’re deficient in a vital vitamin or mineral. Many people end up having too-low vitamin D levels, for instance, especially when they don’t get out in the sun much. Here are some signs to look out for that you might have developed this deficiency.
Getting Sick Often
Vitamin D is one of the factors that helps keep our immunity levels up and ward off illnesses. This prohormone works with the cells responsible for fighting infection to help you stay healthy. If you notice you’re getting sick all the time, especially with colds or the flu, the reason could be that your vitamin D levels are too low. Deficiencies in this element are said to make it more likely that humans get respiratory tract infections, in particular, such as colds plus pneumonia and bronchitis.
Wounds Take Forever To Heal
Similarly, if you find that wounds on your body take ages to heal, this could be caused by a drop in vitamin D. It’s believed that vitamin D boosts the production of compounds in the body that we need for new skin formation during the healing process, so low levels could therefore slow down recovery. Plus, since vitamin D has a role in fighting infections and controlling inflammation, being deficient in it can impair proper healing. Taking vitamin D supplements may thus help with wound healing and regeneration.
Fatigue And Weakness
We all get tired at times, but longer-term and noticeably impactful fatigue for no reason that you can tell can be a sign of many health issues. One of those is a vitamin D deficiency. Your energy levels might be negatively affected by a lack of vitamin D because this element is critical to skeletal muscle function. Many people who start taking vitamin D supplements notice that their fatigue improves after a month or two.
If you’re having trouble getting enough vitamin D into your system, you might notice your muscle strength isn’t what you think it should be. While lifting weights and completing weight-bearing activity is vital for strength, it seems vitamin D is, too. Inadequate levels of this prohormone can make it harder for your muscles to contract powerfully, and therefore you may struggle to lift as much, jump as far or high, or run as fast as you might otherwise.
Back And Muscle Pain
Are you sick of feeling aches and pains that aren’t brought on by the flu or another discernable sickness? You might need to get your vitamin D levels tested because a deficiency in this area can lead to muscle and joint aches. The cause of this discomfort can be hard to pinpoint, but the vitamin D receptor is present in nociceptors, the nerve cells that sense pain, and could therefore play a key role in chronic pain conditions.
Bone Pain, Loss, Or Fractures
It’s well-established that we need vitamin D to form bones and achieve healthy bone mineral density. Calcium absorption is critical for bone metabolism, and vitamin D plays a significant role in this absorption. While anyone diagnosed with bone loss is likely told to get more calcium into them, they could be vitamin D deficient, too.
Without enough vitamin D, we risk bone pain, loss, and multiple fractures due to osteoporosis. Plus, a lack of vitamin D can lead to osteomalacia, a bone softening condition in adults. It’s different from osteoporosis in that the bones don’t get hard in the first place, versus them weakening over time.
Another sign that your vitamin D levels may be too low is if you’re struggling with depression. While this type of mental illness can stem from many factors, and people often struggle with multiple ones, a shortage of vitamin D may contribute. It seems that low vitamin D especially plays a part in seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression related to seasonal changes.
Most people with SAD experience troubles around the same times annually, often in the fall and into the winter months. During these months, sufferers tend to get less vitamin D, which could be a big part of the issue.
Some other signs of being vitamin D deficient include increased sweating and noticeable hair loss for no apparent reasons. If you have any or all of the above symptoms, it’s crucial to speak with your physician about your health and get testing done ASAP.