There is a “Silent Epidemic” going on right now. Nearly half of all Americans are deficient in vitamin D, and it’s causing unnecessary suffering in millions of people.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, fatigue, insomnia, depression, or dry skin… there’s a good chance you’re deficient in vitamin D, as these are some of the common symptoms from not getting enough of this nutrient.
Why are so many of us deficient in vitamin D?
Basically, it’s due to the massive differences between how we evolved and our current lifestyles.
Hunters & Gatherers vs Nowadays
We evolved in the sun. Our hunter/gatherer ancestors spent a lot of time outside under the rays of the sun, which provided them with an abundance of vitamin D, as this is one way we obtain this essential nutrient.
Nowadays most people in America work 9-5 indoors, then drive away from work inside cars to go spend time in their home which is also indoors.
Many recreational activities are also indoors. People go to the movies, the mall, restaurants, and many other places where they don’t get sunlight.
And further still… countless individuals put sunscreen all over when they actually do spend time outdoors, thus blocking the sun from hitting their skin in the way needed to produce vitamin D.
Additionally, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is not providing us with adequate levels of vitamin D, which is another way we get this essential nutrient.
Vitamin D Overview
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble steroids that are responsible for many important biological functions. The most important forms of this nutrient are vitamin D3 and vitamin D2.
Vitamin D can be obtained from these 3 methods:
Vitamin D occurs naturally in a few foods, the most common being fatty fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks.
Along with the foods that have naturally-occurring vitamin D, fortified grain and dairy products commonly have vitamin D added to them.
Sunlight hitting your skin is my favorite way to get vitamin D.
Due to the sun being able to hit our skin and make us produce this nutrient, vitamin D is commonly referred to as the “Sunshine Vitamin”.
Vitamin D has several important functions, the most common being:
- Regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous
- Facilitates normal immune system function
- Growth and development of healthy bones and teeth
- Improves resistance against certain diseases
- Modulates chronic inflammation
Vitamin D Deficiency Factors
Many factors can affect your ability to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D through the sun alone. As I stated before, our current lifestyles are typically preventing us from getting sunlight in the amounts needed for physical and psychological health.
These factors include:
- Being in an area with high pollution
- Spending more time indoors
- Living far from the equator
- Living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
- Having darker skin. (The higher the levels of melanin, the less vitamin D the skin can absorb.)
- Using sunscreen
Furthermore, the typical American diet does not contain adequate levels of this nutrient.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
Due to our modern-day lifestyles, nearly half of all Americans have a vitamin D deficiency. It’s estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood (source).
And a study from 2011 found that 41.6% of adults in the US are deficient.
Years ago I had trouble staying asleep, I would wake up early and not feel rested, I had dry skin and low back pain, and I was fatigued all day every day.
Then I started taking a fish oil supplement that had vitamin D3 added to it and within four days all of those symptoms were gone.
It was a miracle.
I began to research vitamin D and found out just how much havoc a deficiency of this nutrient can have on our bodies and minds.
Here are common symptoms people get from having vitamin D deficiency:
- Bone loss
- Hair loss
- Impaired wound-healing
- Muscle pain
- Bone pain
- Back pain
Every single one of these symptoms has been shown in studies to possibly be related to a deficiency in vitamin D.
Other common symptoms from vitamin D deficiency are dry skin and insomnia.
Before I started supplementing with vitamin D3, I had nearly all of these symptoms. It was awful! But now that I take 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day, all of those symptoms have vanished.
How To Get Enough Vitamin D
I’m writing this article because I’m passionate about helping people end their suffering. Nothing lights me up more than knowing I’ve helped someone improve their lives.
I know for a fact there are millions of Americans that are experiencing horrible pain, fatigue, and other symptoms because they aren’t getting enough vitamin D.
If you’re suffering from things like fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or chronic fatigue, then this article may just change your life.
Start taking 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily with a meal and see if this helps.
The research shows that many cases of pain and fatigue can be reversed with vitamin D3 supplementation.
Here are some other ways you can increase levels of this essential nutrient:
- Eat foods that are high in vitamin D such as fatty fish, egg yolks, oysters, and shrimp. Fortified dairy and grains also contain vitamin D.
- Spend more time outside in the sun. If you need sunscreen to prevent a sunburn, spend 15 minutes in the sun bare-skinned before applying the sunscreen.
I like to go for walks in the morning sun before the UV rays get too powerful. This is a great way to get vitamin D without getting sunburned.
I’m fair-skinned so if I go outdoors for more than 30 minutes during the daytime hours of 10 am to 4 pm I will apply sunscreen, but I’ll get at least 15 minutes of sunshine before I apply the sunscreen.
More Sunlight Benefits…
Morning sunlight exposure is also responsible for another hugely valuable aspect of health: the circadian rhythm. More specifically, it most certainly holds sway over our waking and sleeping cycles.
This means that we can get better sleep, a very important benefit that can lead to lots of other benefits.
Additionally, some evidence shows that sunlight directly stimulates the production of endorphins (our “natural painkillers”) in the body which help improve mood while alleviating stress and anxiety.
Vitamin D deficiency is a “Silent Epidemic” here in the US, where close to half of the entire adult population is deficient. Vitamin D deficiency is causing millions of people to experience mild, moderate, and severe symptoms…
Which can often vanish by making 1-2 key changes such as supplementing with vitamin D3, getting enough sunlight exposure, or eating enough vitamin D-rich foods.
Researchers are finding that many people with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue can reverse these disorders when they increase their levels of vitamin D to the amount they need for optimal health.
If you believe you may be deficient in this essential nutrient, you can ask your doctor to test your levels.
And if your levels are indeed low, now you know all of the simple and effective ways in which you can do so.
Take care, and be healthy!