Are your long work hours causing Vitamin D deficiency?

Were you aware that working your tail off indoors all day long can lead to Vitamin D deficiency?

I was shocked when my doctor told me that I was severely Vitamin D deficient. The average level is above 50. Everyone should be above 30. My level was below 20! I eat healthy and walk every day. How can this happen?

What causes Vitamin D deficiency?

*lack of sun

*lack of Vitamin D in the diet

*obesity

I work during daylight hours, so usually my only sun until I get home is what I get from being in the car or walking to and from my appointment location. My car has tinted windows, so the sun is blocked. I wear sunscreen on my face each day, so the sun is blocked. I wear suits, so the sun is blocked. Hmmmm….I’m starting to figure this out.

I walk the dogs every day, so I should get my sun then, right? No. I don’t want any more freckles or wrinkles, so in addition to sunscreen, I wear a big hat. I’m allergic to mosquito bites, so I wear long sleeves, pants and socks.

I realized that I get almost zero sun, and that’s the primary way we create Vitamin D!

Vitamin D can also be ingested through the food we eat. Animal-based food, milk or orange juice fortified with Vitamin D, fish and fish oils, egg yolks, and beef liver are potential sources. But it’s difficult for anyone to eat the amount of Vitamin D we need.

What’s the big deal about Vitamin D deficiency?

According to WebMD, it’s associated with:

* Weak bones

* Rickets

* Bone pain

* Muscle weakness

* Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease

* Cognitive impairment in older adults

* Severe asthma in children

* Cancer

 

Holy smokes! That’s some bad stuff that can happen to you!

 

How can we increase our Vitamin D levels?

You’ll of course want to check with your doctor about the best way for you to increase your levels, but this is what I found when I researched.

Good ol’ sunshine is the way to go! Multiple medical websites that I visited stated that 15 – 20 minutes per day of direct sunlight while wearing no more than SPF 15 sunscreens will raise your Vitamin D levels. I have a feeling that the precise amount of sunshine you’ll need will be based on the sun’s intensity. (That’s why folks in the northern U.S. tend to suffer more from Vitamin D deficiency than folks in the southern U.S.)

Vitamin D supplements can help – kind of. I spoke with a few medical professionals about this, and they admitted that humans urinate out 80% of the vitamins we take. There is also a chance of Vitamin D Toxicity if your levels are too elevated. Check with your doctor on how much – if any – you should take. The best source is the sun.

Knowing all this now, I walk the dogs for 20 minutes without wearing a hat. I wear short sleeves and keep an eye out for mosquitos. I’ve added one cup of Vitamin D fortified orange juice to my breakfast routine. I continue to consume at least one cup of milk per day and eat as much cheese as my body will let me.

For more details about Vitamin D Deficiency, visit:

WebMD

Medical News Today

Mayo Clinic Research(For the good stuff, scroll half-way down to the section called “How to Prevent and Treat Vitamin D Deficiency)

American Academy of Family Physicians

 

 

If you work inside all day long, it’s important to get your sunshine! Be sure to schedule into your day some fun in the sun in order to prevent (or recover from) Vitamin D deficiency.

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