Ah, Wisconsin. Land of beer, brats, the Packers, Bucks, and Brewers…
And 6 months of winter, cold, and darkness.
Because we live in darkness for half the year, it’s not surprising that many midwesterners are vitamin D deficient; one of the most common sources for us to get vitamin D is from sunlight. Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin”. However, did you know that 42% of Americans have low vitamin D? This number is even higher in certain groups, such as premenopausal women and people over the age of 65.
Even when the sun comes out in Wisconsin, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency, if you’re wearing sunscreen. You should absolutely wear sunscreen…the risk of skin cancer does not outweigh a vitamin D deficiency! But, because sunscreen blocks UVB rays, which are necessary for your body to make vitamin D, you may have lower levels. We can also get vitamin D from our diet, but nutritional deficiencies and weight loss surgeries can sometimes impact absorption, making it difficult to get enough vitamin D in our diets.
Why Does Vitamin D Matter?
Vitamin D is essential for bone health, but it goes much deeper than that. There are some studies that now suggest that low vitamin D may have a role in causing cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.
What Are The Symptoms of Low Vitamin D?
One of the most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is fatigue. If you’re feeling sluggish, you should consider getting your vitamin D levels checked using a simple blood test.
The lab values vary for vitamin D, but on average it is between 30-50 ng/ml. Most people feel their best between 40-60 ng/ml. If you are very deficient, you may benefit from injections of vitamin D to get your levels to a normal range, followed by oral supplementation for maintenance. The benefit of an injection is that it will normalize your levels faster and bypass your gut, so absorption (or lack of) is not an issue. That way, you’ll start feeling better, faster.
To find out if you’re vitamin D deficient and see if you would benefit from vitamin D supplementation, visit Rejuvenate MKE’s website to learn more about our laboratory testing services and supplementation protocols.
Note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Consult with a qualified professional for personalized recommendations and guidance based on your specific situation.