How To Tell If You’re Vitamin D Deficient – Refinery29

As days spent enjoying the summer sun feel more like distant memories and you’re safely curled up in a blanket indoors practicing peak hygge, that lack of sunshine may be affecting your health. Vitamin D, which many of us know as the “sunshine vitamin,” is naturally created when the sun’s UVB rays touch your skin, and it’s important for bone and teeth health, as well as your immune system.

Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN and Women’s Health Expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, says that vitamin D should be considered a “priority vitamin” due to its many protective benefits, which extend far beyond bone health. Studies suggest that vitamin D may help ward off certain diseases, including multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and breast cancer.

But unfortunately, an estimated one billion people worldwide suffer from vitamin D deficiencies — and many of them may not realize they’re vitamin D deficient, especially since people can be deficient during the warmer summer months when they feel as if they are getting plenty of rays. Symptoms of a deficiency can include general tiredness, muscle weakness, and muscle pain, but it’s pretty hard to spot without getting a blood test.

“Vitamin D deficiency is a silent disease,” says Dana G. Cohen, MD. “There aren’t really any signs or symptoms until it’s too late.”

Ahead, we break down how to tell if you’re vitamin D deficient.


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