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:
- 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
- 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.