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How to know if you’re vitamin D deficient

In her third opinion post on vitamin D for Wellness Daily, Dr Denise Furness outlines the hidden signs of deficiency to look out for.

If you’re in an office job, religious at applying SPF or are spending these chilly winter months wrapped up on the couch, you may be limiting how much natural vitamin D your body can make and therefore may be increasing your risk for vitamin D deficiency.

Whilst you may be doing a great job at avoiding the cold, you could be limiting your vitamin D, which plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of strong and healthy bones.

In fact, research conducted on behalf of Ostelin found that more than half of all Australian women (53.5 per cent) have never had their vitamin D levels tested and 72 per cent of young females are unaware of the role vitamin D plays for their bodies. So, while we might be snuggled up on the couch, we may be missing out on this important vitamin.

It is well established and understood that vitamin D is essential to support calcium absorption and bone health. With more than one in three Australians deficient in vitamin, here are the hidden signs of vitamin D deficiency you may be missing:

You’re constantly catching a cold

One of the key roles vitamin D plays is keeping your immune system in top shape so that you can fight off viruses or bacteria that can cause illness. If you are frequently feeling under the weather or have recurrent infections and immune disorders, low vitamin D levels could be the cause.

Back pain and brittle bones

Vitamin D not only plays a key role in your body’s absorption of calcium, but also helps to reduce brittle bones and bone pain. Weak bones, lower back pain or bone pain that is limiting your daily activity can be an indicator that your vitamin D levels may be low. If the pain continues, head to your GP to get your vitamin D levels checked.

Hair loss

If you have noticed your hair is thinning, recent studies have found that hair loss in women has been linked to vitamin D deficiency. Disease or severe nutrients deficiency may be to blame for the increase in hair loss. Diet could be the trick to keeping your luscious locks healthy, so try loading up on vitamin D-rich foods like oily fish, milk, eggs, cereals and cheese.

Dr Denise Furness (pictured) is a molecular geneticist and medical researcher.

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