Vitamin D is something you can easily get from being outside in the sun. However, it’s a bit hard to find sun in the winter if you live in a colder climate like New York City and constant snow storms make it hard. It’s also hard if you’re always working from home or an office.
Vitamin D is a really big factor in good health, preserving bone health, and keeping the immune systems strong. So yes, sunlight and more specifically 15-30 minutes of sun exposure, will grant you the adequate amount of Vitamin D. But fortunately for us New Yorkers, it isn’t the only way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin D (thank God, we know).
You can also obtain a good amount of Vitamin D from foods like oily fish, eggs, milk, or supplements. All people, regardless of skin color, age, or gender, need 600 to 800 IU of Vitamin D per day. When you don’t have enough Vitamin D in your system, your body will feel it. If you are deficient in Vitamin D you might experience fatigue, muscle pain, behavioral changes, and hair loss. Ahead, some common signs you may be deficient in Vitamin D.
You’re always sick
You know those people who get sick once a season? Maybe that’s you. Whatever the case, it could be due to low Vitamin D since it highly affects the immune system. Vitamin D is also associated with autoimmune conditions and low white blood cell count. Basically, the body isn’t able to fight off upper respiratory tract infection and inflammation, leading to sickness.
People with really low levels of Vitamin D may experience fatigue. Sometimes it can be mild and sometimes it can be pretty severe. Sadly, you can also experience if you have too much Vitamin D, rather than too little.
Low Vitamin D levels have been linked to hair loss and the closing of hair follicles. The word that probably comes up is alopecia. Essentially, Vitamin D is metabolized in our skin via keratinocytes — the main thing producing the keratin protein to keep our hair in good health. When you don’t get enough Vitamin D, the keratinocytes end up struggling to facilitate hair growth, and you could end up experiencing hair loss.
Vitamin D is needed to help our bodies absorb calcium, acting as an enzyme to move calcium into the bones. Connective tissue, bone pain, or muscular issues can occur without enough or too little of Vitamin D.
There isn’t a ton of substantial evidence on the link between depression and Vitamin D but when systems aren’t working properly, the body over functions for it in another system — leading to fatigue, brain fog, and inflammation. This over-production could overdrive the support of other functions causing exhaustion or depression from everyday activities.
Now that you know what to look for in the case of low Vitamin D, here’s some signs that you may need more Vitamin A.