Vitamin D is important to the human body as it regulates how much calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc you can absorb from your food. Too little Vitamin D and you risk weak bones, aches and pains and other more serious complications including heart disease and cancers.
Vitamin D occurs in some foods such as:
- Fatty fish
- Egg yolks
Most of your Vitamin D is made by your own body when exposed to sunlight. In Ireland, for about half the year there is not enough sun for our bodies to make any Vitamin D. For the rest of the year, if you spend time inside, fully clothed outside or wear suncream, then it is unlikely you will get enough sun to meet your Vitamin D requirements.
Why is Vitamin D important?
- Vitamin D is highly important to enjoying good health
- Vitamin D deficiency can cause weak bones, cardiovascular disease and some cancers
- Studies show that up to half the general population is likely to be deficient in Vitamin D
- The only way to know if you have enough Vitamin D in your body is to get tested.
What are the symptoms?
Vitamin D deficiency is a common health problem. Not enough Vitamin D in your diet or not getting enough exposure to sunlight can result in you suffering from various symptoms including:
- Weakened bones
- Aches and pains in your bones and joints
- Weakened immune system, making you more likely to suffer from colds and flu.
There is also evidence that a lack of Vitamin D plays a role in the onset of Type 1 Diabetes, especially in children and young adults.
More worryingly, a study by the IMC Heart Institute in Utah, USA found that a Vitamin D deficiency can predict the risk of major cardiovascular problems including heart attacks, heart failure, stroke and even death in an individual.
The need to ensure adequate levels of Vitamin D in the body is very important and with it being difficult to get enough from your food and from the sun, supplementing your diet with Vitamin D may be important. Care must be taken however, as excessive levels of Vitamin D can also cause you problems.
The only way to know if you have enough Vitamin D, or if you should take Vitamin D supplements or if you are taking too much, is to get a simple blood test.
Who should get tested?
People at greatest risk of a Vitamin D deficiency include:
- People with darker skin pigmentation
- People who live in places where there is limited sunlight
- People who spend little time outdoors
- People who use sun screens and protection.
This includes senior citizens are also at risk as they tend to spend less time outside. Also because older persons are less able to produce the Vitamin D they need when they are exposed to sunlight.
In addition, people who suffer from Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease and Cystic Fibrosis are also at higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency as these conditions reduce the body’s ability to absorb Vitamin D from food.
How do I get tested?
Vitamin D testing is fast and easy. A simple blood sample is all that is required. Better2Know will be able to tell you if you have enough Vitamin D in your body to help prevent illness and disease, or if you need to need to take Vitamin D supplements.
How do I book my appointment?
Please call our friendly booking team on the number above who will be able to book your appointment for you. Remember that getting tested is the only way to know if you have enough of this important vitamin in your body.