15 Very Common Diseases Caused by Lack of This 1 Common Vitamin

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Before 1999 you would have been hard pressed to find a doctor that would ever entertain the idea that someone could be deficient in vitamin D, let alone that it might be the cause of any number of health conditions or problems. However, as the technology used to measure vitamin D levels in the body has become more readily available, and therefore, inexpensive, not to mention as more study results became available, it is now extremely clear that low levels of vitamin D is rampant in the US population, and that this problem is the root of some very common diseases.

More than 32 percent of children and adults are believed to be deficient in vitamin D, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This estimate is more than likely a low one, at best, because the CDC is using outdated levels that are not consistent with new research that shows that much higher levels of vitamin D than previously believed necessary are needed for good health.

One study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that about 70 percent of all children between the ages of 6 and 11, and as much as 50 percent of the children between the ages of 1 and 5, are found to have low levels of vitamin D.  There are estimates that state that as much as 95 percent of senior citizens are probably deficient in vitamin D. Not only because they tend to spend more time indoors, but also because they produce less of this important vitamin when they are out in the sun. Persons over 70 years of age produce about 30 percent less vitamin D from sunlight than younger persons.

Vitamin D is so important to our health because it is involved in numerous systems in the body. This vitamin makes sure that our heart, lungs, muscles, and brains function properly. You can get vitamin D from foods such as fish, egg yolks, and fish liver oils, but it’s easiest (not to mention free) to simply get your vitamin D from natural sunlight.

One of the problems is that, over the last 25 years or so, getting out in the sunshine, something that is so natural and good for us has been demonized. How often do you see people going outside for a walk wearing hats, sunglasses, shirts and shorts, or pants, with sun protection in the material, and then slather on sunscreen on every exposed part of the body, even if they are only going out for a 20 or 30 minute walk? Sound familiar? Mainstream media has made us terrified of the sun.

This is not to say that some people, especially those with light colored skin, can get too much sun, causing various types of skin cancer. No one is suggesting that you go outside, clad only in your bikini, on a hot, sunny day and spend 8 or 10 hours in the full sun with no protection. However, you should realize that some sunshine exposure is natural and safe for your body and can go a long way towards protecting your health.

Finding out how long you can stay in the sun and get your vitamin D is a bit tricky, and it varies greatly from person to person. There are numerous factors at play including the color of your skin, your age, where you live, the time of year, etc. Most light skinned people can get all the vitamin D they need with just 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine each day. The darker your skin tone the longer you will need to stay in the sun. You can develop a natural resistance to the sun by starting with about 10 minutes of sun exposure, then adding one or two minutes of sun each week until you reach the point where you can get a full 30 minutes of sunlight without burning your skin.

How will you know if your vitamin D levels are low? You can go to a doctor and ask for a blood test, but many people experience common symptoms, including:

  • Depression during winter months
  • Achy bones or joints
  • Fatigue, especially during winter months
  • Excessive head sweating
  • Gut problems such as Crohn’s, or IBD

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