Lack of Sunlight: The Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency in Seniors
A good balance of essential minerals and vitamins is extremely important for maintaining optimal health. One of the most important vitamins for the body is vitamin D. It provides your body with the regulation and maintenance of calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. These two components are vital for promoting healthy bone growth and keeping the immune system in check.
There are certain foods that provide vitamin D to our body, but the main source is sunlight. As we age, our body’s ability to absorb the necessary nutrition also declines. This creates a vitamin D deficiency especially among older adults who don’t get enough sunlight. This puts them at risk for diseases such as osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, muscle weakness, and generally poor health.
It’s easy to identify the effects of vitamin D deficiency in seniors. Here’s what you need to watch out for.
Vitamin D is not actually a regular type of vitamin. When it’s activated, it turns into a form of a hormone that helps keep bones, teeth, and muscles in excellent condition. It’s also responsible for releasing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin by activating the relevant genes. These neurotransmitters affect brain function and moods. Seniors who’re suffering from depression and feel tired most of the time probably have a vitamin D deficiency that’s preventing the normal release of these neurotransmitters in their bodies.
Weak muscles have a strong link with a vitamin D deficiency. Due to diminished exposure to sunlight and a less than sufficient dietary intake, the body’s ability to absorb the necessary vitamin D levels decreases. This results in a weakened muscle structure, which can manifest in different ways such as difficulty in going up the stairs of standing up, feelings of heaviness, and wobbliness in the joints.
Many seniors think the exhaustion and feelings of being tired are just a symptom of aging. A lot of them end up ignoring what might very well be a vitamin D deficiency. The constant fatigue is a direct result of insufficient calcium and phosphorus being absorbed into the system. Severe vitamin D deficiency can also trigger bone and joint pain, which further immobilizes many older adults.
Vitamin D plays a vital role in the functionality of the body. A deficiency can cause additional problems including severe gastrointestinal problems, weight gain, overeating, and other chronic illnesses. While getting more sunlight is bound to help, older adults must also make suitable lifestyle changes that can help them maintain proper vitamin D levels in their bodies.
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