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Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

What is vitamin D deficiency?

 

Despite having an overwhelming amount of sunshine throughout the year, it’s more common than you think for Dubai and Middle East residents to suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Sun exposure is the most obvious way to top up on your vitamin D levels however it’s not the only way.

 

How can you get more vitamin D?
  • Sun exposure on your skin
  • Certain food
  • Nutritional supplements

Anyone can have vitamin D deficiency including infants, children and adults. It can be more common with people who wear clothing with extensive skin coverage.

 

What are the two main causes of vitamin D deficiency?
  • Not getting enough Vitamin D in your diet or via sunlight
  • Your body isn’t absorbing or using Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the many vitamins your body needs to stay healthy. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of calcium in your blood and bones and supporting healthy tissues. A lack of Vitamin D can cause muscle weakness, cramps, fatigue and even depression.

 

Signs you are vitamin D deficient:
  • Fatigue
  • Bone pain
  • Muscle weakness, muscle aches or muscle cramps
  • Mood changes such as depression

However, you may have no obvious signs or symptoms. You can ask your healthcare provider to perform a blood test to measure your levels of vitamin D if you are concerned.

 

How to increase your vitamin D:

 

Consider eating more foods containing vitamin D and getting more sunlight, however your healthcare provider can also recommend taking vitamin D supplements. Work with your healthcare provider to find out if you need a vitamin supplement and how much to take, in required.

 

How can I prevent vitamin D deficiency?

The best way to prevent vitamin D deficiency is to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D in your diet and/or through sun exposure. But be careful about being in the sun for too long without sunscreen.

 

Food that contain natural sources of vitamin D include;

  • Fatty fish including salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines
  • Rainbow trout
  • Beef liver
  • Mushrooms
  • Egg yolks
  • Cod liver oil

You can also get vitamin D from fortified foods. Be sure to check the nutrition labels to find out if a food has vitamin D. Foods that often have added vitamin D include:

  • Cow’s milk and soy, almond and oat milk
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Orange juice
  • Other dairy products, such as yoghurt

Vitamin D is also in many multivitamins and supplements however talk to your healthcare provider if you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough vitamin D.

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