Lorraine: Dr Amir says spine could shrink if deficient in vitamin D
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Vitamin D synthesis is needed for the maintenance of healthy bones, the prevention of osteoporosis, and the regulation of genes and cell growth. Could your body be showing signs of a deficiency? Naturally present in very few foods, Medical News Today pointed out, a lack of strong sunlight usually means a person is not getting enough vitamin D. One of the warning signs of this nutritional deficiency is feeling fatigued throughout the day – no matter how much sleep you get.
“Vitamin D is key to bone health,” the health site began to explain. “An insufficient amount can cause bone and muscle weakness, which can lead to fatigue.”
What’s the difference between tiredness and fatigue?
The NHS clarified the key differences between general tiredness and fatigue.
“We all experience tiredness at times, which can be relieved by sleep and rest,” the health body noted.
“Fatigue is when the tiredness is often overwhelming and isn’t relieved by sleep and rest.”
Fatigue can be attributed to a number of health conditions, ranging from a vitamin D deficiency to anaemia, sleep apnea and an underactive thyroid.
How do I know if my fatigue is caused by a vitamin D deficiency?
Experts at WebMD said: “The most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.
“A level of 20 nanograms/milliliter to 50 ng/mL is considered adequate for healthy people. A level less than 12 ng/mL indicates vitamin D deficiency.”
Blood tests can be arranged by your doctor. However, all adults in the UK should be taking vitamin D supplements during autumn and winter.
The NHS confirmed: “Children from the age of one year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day.
“This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.”
One microgram (mcg) is “1,000 times smaller than a milligram (mg)”, otherwise written as IU.
Everyone should consider taking a daily 10mcg of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.
Without an adequate supply of vitamin D, not only can fatigue develop, but so can osteomalacia.
Osteomalacia, otherwise known as “soft bones”, can lead to: bone pain, muscle weakness, and fragile bones that are more prone to fractures.
The charity Versus Arthritis warned that bones can bend and break more easily if a person develops osteomalacia.
Bones are considered to be “living tissue” where old bone cells are continuously removed and replaced with new cells.
Bone is made up of a hard, outer shell – known as the cortex – and a softer, “honeycomb” structure inside, otherwise called the matrix.
“To protect the inner part of the bone, layers of calcium and phosphorus are laid down on top of it to form the outer shell,” Versus Arthritis explained.
Vitamin D influences the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body, hence why this vitamin deficiency can lead to osteomalacia.
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