Vitamin D deficiency is a condition that is more common than you might think, and sadly very few people even realize they are at risk or that they are showing symptoms of the deficiency.
The body’s main source of Vitamin D is the sun, and not food. Only natural sunlight can provide enough of this vitamin for your body to feel good.
Unfortunately, many older adults don’t get outside much, so it’s easier for them to be deficient.
Here are signs you should watch out for that may indicate that you are deficient in Vitamin D:
Sign #1: Weak muscles
In older adults, there is a strong link between Vitamin D deficiency and weak muscles. Weakened muscles due to deficiency can appear in different ways, but you may notice that your legs feel heavy or you have more trouble climbing stairs or
standing. The good news is that proper supplementation can usually eliminate this symptom.
Sign #2: Changes in mood
Vitamin D is produced as your skin is exposed to UVB rays. It is then activated in the kidneys and liver and is used as a hormone in its active form.
This hormone then helps keep your bones, teeth, and muscles in good condition, and helps control the release of neurotransmitters including dopamine and serotonin. People that feel depressed or tired may feel this way due to a Vitamin D deficiency.
Sign #3: Weight gain
Leptin, in correlation with Vitamin D, helps regulate our body weight. Leptin helps a person know that they are full and to stop eating and Vitamin D controls our leptin levels.
If you are deficient in Vitamin D, the signals that tell you when to stop eating are disrupted which can result in weight gain.
Sign #4: Fatigue
Many older adults mistakenly think that feeling tired is just part of growing old. However, if you have stiff joints and constantly feel fatigued, you may be deficient in Vitamin D. This deficiency may also cause pain in your legs and discomfort when moving.
Sign #5: Stomach issues
Vitamin D deficiency may lead to swelling and irritation in the digestive tract. Older adults are already more prone to developing inflammatory bowel diseases, but a deficiency in Vitamin D could be the cause.
Gut problems are uncomfortable and can tamper with fat-soluble vitamin absorption, which is what Vitamin D is.
As you can see, Vitamin D is an important nutrient that you need to function properly and feel good. If you want to preserve your health, try to get a little more sunlight each day.
Exposure to natural sunlight, especially in the morning, will yield the most results. Your doctor may recommend supplements if your levels still remain too low.