Vitamin D is essential for bone growth and healthy tissue development, and it plays a key role in helping your spine function optimally. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t get enough Vitamin D on a regular basis, and that can affect bone development and put them at a heightened risk for fractures and other spinal injuries. With that in mind, we thought it would be beneficial to share some signs of Vitamin D deficiency to help you get the proper amount and help your spine stay healthy for years to come.
Vitamin D And Your Spine
Your body obtains Vitamin D from two sources. Vitamin D2 is obtained from your diet, while Vitamin D3 is created by your body when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays in sunlight. Because of this it’s not only important to eat a healthy diet, but also to make sure you regularly spend some time outdoors.
Vitamin D is especially important for your spine because it helps with a number of processes, including:
- Calcium absorption
- Bone growth
- Muscle cramp and spasm prevention
- Osteoporosis prevention
Vitamin D has also been linked to an improved immune system and a decreased risk of certain types of cancers, so it’s crucial for your spine and your whole body. Because of all the benefits it provides your body, you’d think Vitamin D intake would be a priority for most people, but unfortunately that’s not the case. A recent study found that nearly half the population is classified as Vitamin D deficient, but the main reason behind this is because many people likely aren’t aware of the signs they are lacking the vitamin.
Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
So what signs should Americans be looking for that suggest they aren’t getting the necessary amount of Vitamin D? Oftentimes your body gives off subtle signs that it’s lacking basic nutrients. Some of those signs and symptoms include:
- Chronic or irregular fatigue
- Lower back pain
- Muscle aches
- More frequent illnesses and infections
- Mood swings
- Joint pain
Increasing Your Vitamin D Intake
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, or you just want to ensure you’re getting enough Vitamin D, target the two main sources of Vitamin D intake, which is your diet and your time in the sun. Any time in the sun should be monitored to ensure you aren’t putting yourself at risk for sunburn or skin cancer, but strive to be outside more and reap the benefits of sunlight on your skin. As for your diet, that may take a little more concentrated effort.
Foods that are high in Vitamin D include options such as fatty fish, dairy products like cheese and milk, eggs, liver, nuts, beans and cereals or juices that have been fortified with Vitamin D. And if you’re still having trouble getting a healthy amount of Vitamin D, talk to your spine specialist or your primary care physician about Vitamin D supplements.
For more information about Vitamin D deficiency, or to see if that deficiency could be contributing to your back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his talented team today.