Good Saturday, everyone! I found so much information on vitamin D that I just would like to expand on that subject from last week’s article. I feel that this is something we really need to be conscious of.

So, let’s start off by what is the difference between calcium and vitamin D. For a long time, I thought that they were the same, just a different way of talking about calcium.

Calcium and vitamin D work together to protect your bones. Calcium helps build and maintain bones, while vitamin D helps your body effectively absorb the calcium. So even if you are taking in enough calcium, it could be going to waste if you are deficient in vitamin D.

As a result, your bones will end up becoming very brittle, which could easily lead to breaks, fractures, as well as increasing the chance of developing osteoporosis. In addition to preventing brittle bones, vitamin D also does a lot more for your overall health. It has been found to reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers, including colon, breast and prostate cancer. It has been found to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D also helps to improve the function of your lungs and plays an important part in regulating your mood.

Here are some symptoms that could indicate that you have a vitamin D deficiency:

1.) You are getting sick more often than you normally would. One of the key functions of vitamin D is keeping your immune system healthy.

2.) You are always tired and never feel well rested. Several studies have found that very low levels of vitamin D can cause severe fatigue, which in turn, can have negative effects on your overall health and your quality of life.

3.) You are losing a lot of hair. Some hair loss is normal; in fact, most people lose around 100 strands of hair every day. However, if you are noticing that there is a lot of hair collecting in your shower drain or a lot of hair in your comb, you may be vitamin D deficient.

4.) You are feeling very anxious. Like depression, anxiety is a normal feeling to have occasionally; however, if you are feeling more anxious than normal, it might be that you are not getting enough vitamin D. This is because vitamin D helps to regulate the chemicals that your brain produces that are responsible for controlling your mood.

5.) You are experiencing pain in your back. Back pain is often attributed to lifting heavy items or a few other physical causes. It also has been found to be caused by a vitamin D deficiency due to how this vitamin plays into maintaining proper bone health.

The best way to get your vitamin D, as I stated before, is from the sun itself. Ten to 30 minutes, on your face, arms and legs, without sunscreen, two or three times a week gives you more than you need.

Build that up because winter will be here before you know it.

Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.

Sherri M. Askren is president of United Way of Danville Area, Inc., 425 N. Gilbert St., Danville, IL 61832. Phone, 442-3512.

Recommended for you