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What happens when your vitamin D levels are low?

If you don’t have enough vitamin D, you will have achy muscles, muscle weakness and you will have pain in your bones.

It doesn’t matter if you are 3 or 75, the symptoms for low vitamin D levels are the same.

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If you are experiencing these symptoms, it may be time to consult your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement.

A vitamin D deficiency can change into something much worse than feeling a bit achy, however.

According to WebMD, if you don’t get enough vitamin D, then your risk for certain diseases increases. 

One major affect of a vitamin D deficiency is that you could die from heart problems.

Cardiovascular disease has been linked with vitamin D deficiency.

In addition, memory loss and dementia have been associated with long term vitamin D deficiency as well.

Since vitamin D comes from the sun, is it really even possible to have a deficiency?

Many people have a hard time believing that it is possible to have a vitamin D deficiency and, truthfully, it isn’t the most common deficiency around. However, it is certainly possible to have a vitamin D deficiency, especially given the fact that most people slather on sunscreen if they plan on spending more than 5 minutes in the sun.

According to the Mayo Clinic, stepping into the sun for anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes a day without sun protection will get you all the vitamin D that your body needs.

Now, it is important to note that synthesizing vitamin D from the sun requires direct sunlight. You cannot wear sunscreen and it doesn’t work through glass. You need to be outside and let your skin get some exposure.

The fairer your skin is, the easier it is for your body to absorb vitamin D. The darker your skin, the more time it will take for your skin to absorb the necessary vitamins.

What are the most common causes of a vitamin D deficiency?

As mentioned above, lack of direct sun exposure is the number one cause of a vitamin D deficiency, but this isn’t by any means the only cause. There are several other reason that you might be experience a lack of this vitamin.

Another common reason for a vitamin D deficiency is that you don’t eat enough foods with vitamin D.  If you get some sun and eat foods with vitamin D, then you should get everything that you need.

People with dark skin often have a vitamin D deficiency. Mainly, it just takes longer for darker skin to absorb the vitamins that it needs. Most people don’t spend enough time exposed to the sun to adjust for the needs that darker skin demands.

Medical problems can often prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D, even if you are getting enough exposure. Since the kidneys are responsible for the distribution of vitamin D, if you have any problems with your kidneys, you may be vitamin D deficient.

According to WebMD, there are several other medical problems associated with vitamin D deficiency, which include:

  • Obesity
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Crohn’s disease

These aren’t the only conditions that can cause a deficiency, but they are prominent reasons.

Is there a particular time of the day when it is best to get sun exposure for vitamin D?

When the sun is at its highest point in the sky is the best time for you to get the vitamin D that you need. There is no particular time of the day as throughout the seasons the suns zenith varies.

In many states it is impossible to get vitamin D from the sun because it sits too low in the sky for those three months. The good news is that the body stores vitamin D and you can store enough for up to 60 days.

With the right foods, you will have plenty of vitamin D to keep you going through the winter months. Supplementation via vitamin supplements is another way to maintain your vitamin D levels during times when you can’t get the necessary sun exposure.

When using vitamin supplements, however, you have to be very careful not to take too much. The reason is that an overdose of vitamin D from supplements can be dangerous and cause a myriad of side effects- some painful, and some permanent.

When you get vitamin D from the sun, the body simply stops absorbing it when it has enough. This means that it is impossible to overdose due to sun exposure.

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