It is important to be sure we are getting a well-balanced combination of vitamins and minerals through our diets and supplementation if needed. When we don’t get enough of the vitamins and minerals the body needs, our health suffers. One of the most important vitamins we need every day is vitamin D.
Why do we need vitamin D?
Vitamin D plays an important role in strengthening bones. It also contributes to the nerve, muscle, and immune health. People deficient in vitamin D are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis, bone disorders, diabetes, hypertension, and some types of cancer. There has even been a link discovered between low vitamin D levels and depression.
Where does vitamin D come from?
We typically get vitamin D from two sources, food and sunshine.
Lots of foods are rich in vitamin D, including mushrooms, fatty fish, cheese, egg yolks, and pork. Many other foods are enriched with vitamin D by their manufacturers, such as milk and cereal.
Vitamin D is also synthesized by our own bodies when sunshine hits our skin. This is why people tend to get more vitamin D during the summer months when they spend more time outside.
Do I need extra vitamin D?
If you eat a well-balanced diet, you probably won’t need any vitamin D supplementation during the summer months. However, as the temperatures cool and the sun is less bright at the end of fall, winter, and the beginning of spring, we get less vitamin D synthesization from sunlight. This can lead to drops in vitamin D levels and subsequent symptoms, such as a depressed mood or brittle bones.
The best way to determine your vitamin D supplementation needs is through a quick and easy blood test. Usually done when you get your routine physical lab work, this test will measure the amount of vitamin D in your bloodstream and compare this to standard norms.
How can I get more vitamin D?
If your vitamin D levels are low, your doctor will likely prescribe a vitamin D supplement, foods rich with vitamin D, and a little extra time outside if not contraindicated.
Vitamin D Deficiency Care in St. Petersburg
If you suffer from low vitamin D levels and are not sure what to do, trust Kavita Rao, M.D., and her team of medical experts to accrately diagnose your condition and provide safe and effective treatment. We’ve helped many Tampa Bay patients achieve optimal health and would love to show you how we can help you too! Call us at (727) 525-0900 or send us a message online to schedule your first appointment today!