Vitamin D Deficiency
Jul 16 2017 By Dr. Srebrina Apostolova - General Practitioner
Vitamins and minerals are essential elements for the normal growth and functioning of the human body.
The body requires only a small quantity but if you do not supply the right amounts of vitamins and minerals to your body, the results can be alarming and dangerous. You’ve definitely heard of how important it is to make sure you get the right amount of vitamins and minerals in your system through food but did you know that there are alternate sources for some vitamins and minerals.
Let us consider the case for Vitamin D. This vitamin is necessary for strong skeletal structure and immune system and it is found in a fat-soluble form in nutrition. However, the biggest and best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. A deficiency of vitamin D can cause your body to slow down bone development, leading to soft and fragile bones.
It may come as quite a surprise but there is a problem of vitamin D deficiency in the UAE. Many individuals do not expose themselves to enough sunlight, moving from home to their cars and then work, school or other indoor areas, returning to their homes. Given the hot and humid summers, many people do not spend much time outdoors and when they do, they are covered in clothing, in the shade or use sunscreen. While there are good reasons for doing so when in a sun-kissed city like Dubai, the negative effect of it all is a lack of enough exposure to natural sunlight. This is the biggest cause of vitamin D deficiency in the UAE.
Vitamin D deficiency in the UAE can also come from living a city life. This involves air pollution, spending long periods of time indoors and tall buildings that block natural sunlight from falling through. It is also the case that those with darker skin get lesser amounts of vitamin D from sunlight in the same time it takes for someone with lighter skin.
You could be suffering from a vitamin D deficiency if you experience regular tiredness, aches, muscle pains and a general feeling of being unwell. It is always a good idea to consult your doctor before coming to any conclusion and you must always refrain from making a diagnosis on your own.
There are several other ways you can get plenty of vitamin D and the first and obvious method would be to get up from your desk/laptop/couch and just step outside. Enjoy some natural sunlight for a good few minutes every day and you’ll already be on your way to a healthier you. Just being under the sun is not enough to get a healthy dose of vitamin D. You will also need to get your vitamins from nutrition. Here are some food sources;
- Egg yolk
- Fortified milk, cereal, yoghurt and orange juice.
If your doctor diagnoses you with a vitamin D deficiency, they may suggest you begin consuming vitamin D supplements. It is not difficult to enjoy a balanced diet and live a moderately active lifestyle. If you eat right, workout at least three times a week and check-up with your doctor on a regular basis, you should be able to enjoy a healthy lifestyle no matter where you live.
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