Lorraine: Dr Amir says spine could shrink if deficient in vitamin D
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Vitamin D deficiency is largely symptomless until it gets really serious. You may have no idea you are low on this vital vitamin unless you know the more unusual symptoms to spot. This symptom on your skin should never be ignored – what is it?
Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” due to the unique way our bodies create it.
When we go out in sunlight, our skin absorbs UV rays from the sun and turns these rays into vitamin D.
We need plenty of vitamin D for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
Vitamin D also helps you to absorb calcium which contributes to healthy bones, teeth and skin.
So even if you eat a calcium-rich diet, without sufficient vitamin D, you won’t be getting the maximum benefit from all that calcium.
How do you know you’re getting enough vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is widespread in the UK.
In children, severe vitamin D deficiency can result in a child developing rickets.
For adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to a condition called osteomalacia, where your bones become softened.
Vitamin D is so common in the UK, the NHS advises all people living in Britain over the age of four to take a vitamin D supplement during the winter months.
This is because the sunlight in Britain over the winter is not strong enough for us to create enough vitamin D and it’s difficult to get all the vitamin D you need from diet alone.
If you live in the UK during the winter and do not take vitamin D supplements, chances are you’re a bit deficient.
But what are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency to look out for?
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency on your face
Some common skin complaints could be a sign you’re not getting enough vitamin D.
Research suggests dry skin, eczema and psoriasis can be a result of a vitamin D deficiency.
Many people suffer from drier skin in the winter when you’re also more likely to be low on vitamin D.
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The skin is your biggest organ and vitamin D can help it stay healthy.
Vitamin D could help with some skin problems, but if you have severe skin conditions which don’t seem to clear up, speak to a dermatologist for an expert opinion.
What are the other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?
There are many symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, though many of the more serious conditions don’t present themselves until the deficiency has become severe.
The NHS advises everyone in the UK aged four and over take a vitamin D supplement – even if they don’t feel deficient.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:
- Being unwell: Vitamin D boosts your immune system, so if you’re often under the weather, you might be lacking vitamin D.
- Tiredness: If your bones, teeth and muscles are missing out on all that vitamin D goodness, you’re bound to feel exhausted.
- Hair loss: Research has linked some hair loss situations to lacking nutrients including vitamin D.
- Bone and backache: Vitamin D primarily affects your bones, so pain in your bones and back could be a warning sign.
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