| TNN | Feb 26, 2016, 09.45 AM IST


Highlights

• Doctors are reporting a shocking number of people having very low vitamin D levels and many are not even aware of the fact
• People, who are overweight and have a body mass index of more than 30, have low levels of vitamin D
Signs you could be vitamin D deficient (Getty Image)Signs you could be vitamin D deficient (Getty Image)

With almost round-the year sunshine that Mumbai is blessed with, it would seem rather unimaginable that people could suffer from vitamin D deficiency. But that is exactly what doctors are across the city are reporting. A shocking number of people have very low vitamin D levels and many are not even aware of the fact.

So, what causes the deficiency and how can you overcome it? While sunlight is the main source of vitamin D, certain foods also contain it (fish, dairy and grains) and when these are missing from your diet, you could end up with a deficiency . Some of the most common symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency are depression, fatigue, pain in the bones and joints and general weakness.

What causes vitamin D deficiency
Your diet also has a big role to play. Vegetarians are more likely to develop a deficiency because natural sources of vitamin D are animal-based -this comprises foods such as egg yolks, fish, cheese etc.Hence, vegetarians should eat foods such as almonds, soy yogurt, mushrooms and orange juice, which have high quantities of vitamin D.

People with a vitamin D deficiency need to spend more time in the sunlight and the best time to do that is early morning and evening. That doesn’t mean you go overboard with the sun exposure -too much of it can cause sun damage.

Darker skinned people are more susceptible to having a deficiency because melanin lowers your skin’s capability to generate vitamin D when it receives sunlight.

People, who are overweight and have a body mass index of more than 30, have low levels of vitamin D. Hence, losing weight is very important.

Certain ailments such as osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, infertility, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, periodontal disease and psoriasis are also known to cause deficiency. Hence, it is essential to treat any underlying medical cause first.

Treating vitamin D deficiency
A simple blood test will determine your vitamin D levels and whether you have a deficiency or not. Treatment comprises a change in diet to include certain foods and taking supplements as prescribed by your doctor. Of course, spending time in sunlight is also very important -it is the best and most natural way to help your body make more vitamin D. Vitamin D injections are also recommended for patients, whose levels are worryingly low.


Comments