Vitamin D deficiency is a known Spokane health risk, yet not many people know about it. It wasn’t until a friend was diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency that I gave the subject much thought. I had read that people needed enough sunlight in winter to keep their vitamin D levels up. I just didn’t realize how very important it was. My friend is an upbeat, always energetic outdoorswoman so I was surprised when she became tired day after day. A visit to her doctor showed that her vitamin D level was entering dangerous territory. I would have thought she’d get enough sunlight just in her day-to-day outdoor activities, but that wasn’t the case. Since I spend little time in the outdoors in winter I knew I was at risk. I haven’t been checked as yet but I’ve done some research on the subject. It should be a concern for everyone.
What Does Vitamin D Do for Your Spokane Health?
- It protects against breast cancer and can help prevent breast cancer from spreading. A Canadian study found that women diagnosed with breast cancer who were vitamin D deficient had almost double the risk of the cancer progressing.
- It protects against colon cancer. A Canadian study showed that colon cancer patients deficient in Vitamin D were almost twice as likely to die from the disease.
- It protects against 16 other types of cancer including pancreatic and lung cancer.
- It protects against heart attack and stroke. Studies at Harvard found that people with low Vitmain D had a 60% higher risk of stroke and heart attack over five years.
- It boosts your immune system.
- It protects against fractures. People taking Vitamin D supplements show lower risk of hip fracture by 20%.
Am I Getting Enough?
Most commercial milk suppliers now fortify their products with vitamin D. Many orange juice makers are doing the same. Unfortunately not many people can drink enough milk or orange juice to get all the vitamin D they need.
Sun exposure is the key ingredient to getting enough vitamin D. For people who live in a region above latitude 40 (a horizontal line running from just below New York City west to Northern California), the sun is only strong enough between May and September to trigger the vitamin D conversion. This mean that the residents of Spokane are at significant risk much of the year for vitamin D deficiency. Spokane residents should have their doctors check their vitamin D levels to see if a vitamin D level supplement would be beneficial.
What are Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms?
Vitamin D deficiency can be shown by muscle pain, weak bones/fractures, low energy and fatigue, low immunity, depression and/or mood swings, and sleep irregularities.
How Can I Prevent It?
If you think your vitamin D levels may be low, the best course of action would be to have your doctor perform a vitamin D test. Discuss adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet if necessary. As your doctor if any of the following would be a good course of action for you:
- Allow yourself limited, unprotected sun exposure only in the early morning and late afternoon hours. No more than 15 minutes is best. This isn’t suggesting you should ignore your sunblock, particularly between the hours of 11 and 2 pm- the sun’s peak hours.
- Each a diet rich in whole foods. Fatty fish such as mackerel and sardines, egg yolks, fortified organic milk and other dairy products, some organ meats (liver) are good natural sources of vitamin D.
Take a good multi-vitamin each day.
Take Good Care of Your Spokane Health Overall
Don’t forget taking care of your health requires your full attention and commitment. Are you getting enough exercise? It’s imperative to an overall healthy life. I think my personal trainer is the best in the business and I know many people agree. Click here to take a look at his website. While you do that, I’m going to make an appointment to get my vitamin D level checked!