People of all ages have gotten the word about the dangers of sun exposure, and they have done so in a big way. Men and women who used to worship the sun and crave a deep dark summer tan are now hiding out in their houses when the sun is shining its brightest.
These actions have cut the risk of skin cancer substantially, but there have also been some unintended consequences along the way. Doctors are seeing an unprecedented rise in vitamin D deficiency, and some experts think this rise is tied in part to the decrease in sun exposure.
Vitamin D is an important part of a healthy diet, and it is found in abundance in milk and other diary foods, as well as in a number of dark leafy green vegetables. In addition to those dietary sources, sun exposure can also increase both the amount of vitamin D in the body and the efficiency of its absorption.
If you have curtailed your sun exposure to cut your skin cancer risk, you might want to look out for the signs of vitamin D deficiency. If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be time to see your doctor and have your Vitamin D levels tested.
Excessive sweating, especially sweating of the head, can be a sign of a vitamin D deficiency. A change in the amount you sweat or your sweating patterns should be cause for concern.
If you feel tired and fatigued, the issue could be a lack of vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D can leave you feeling run down and unable to complete your daily tasks.
Feeling blue, down or depressed can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D levels play a role in serotonin levels, and a drop in those levels can trigger feelings of depression.
Vitamin D is essential for building strong healthy bones, and a lack of the nutrient can leave your bones aching. Aching bones is a classic sign of vitamin D deficiency, as well as other serious illnesses. If you notice this problem, you should see your doctor immediately.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, there are some age and race-related risk factors to be aware of. For example, African-Americans may be at increased risk, as are people who are overweight and obese. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or if you fall into any of these risk categories, a test for vitamin D levels may be in order.