Are you getting the vitamin D you need during this lockdown? You probably aren’t. Since we’re spending so much time in our houses, we aren’t getting to see the sun nearly as much as we should. Even those of us with a garden aren’t safe! We have to worry about the unpredictable UK weather! But not getting enough vitamin D could affect your mood and even your health! So it’s time that you start to think about making sure that you are getting the right amount.
Why You Need Vitamin D
But why is it so important, you may ask? Well, for a number of different reasons! Vitamin D helps us to fight off sickness and infection, which is vital right now when we are in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic. Of course, as your anti-ageing expert, I feel I must tell you that a lack of vitamin D can have an ageing affect on your body. And when you can’t whip into the salon for your usual beauty regime, it is even more important that you find ways to love your body naturally. As well as that, a lack of vitamin D can cause:
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Bone and back pain
- Slowed or impaired wound healing
- Hair loss
- A decrease in bone density
- Muscle pain
Getting enough vitamin D is especially important for those of us who are black or Asian ethnic minorities such as myself, as we are most at risk of vitamin D deficiency and are disproportionately being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
While it cannot stop you from catching coronavirus in the first place, research has pointed to the idea that making sure that you get the right amount of vitamin D can help you to manage and decrease the chances of the worst symptoms of the virus.
So this is the time when we are struggling to get it the most, but it is also the time where we really need to think about making sure that we get enough vitamin D through food, sunlight exposure and supplements.
I have first-hand experience when it comes to vitamin D deficiency. When I was trying for a baby back in 2014 and 2015, I was finding it very difficult. I was experiencing weakness in my hands, neck pain, blurry vision, slightly slurred speech and strange aura migraines. Not to mention feelings of sadness. This was happening daily!
At first, I thought I was overworking myself. My hands-on job as a beauty therapist seemed to explain the weakness in my hands and pains in my neck. After a while, though, I became sick of needing two weekly appointments with my oesteopath to help manage the pain. I needed a better solution.
I was working long hours on the basement level of a building. As I was arriving early in mid-morning dew and leaving well after dusk, I was barely seeing the sun! As my symptoms were strange, I decided to check with my GP. They advised me to go to urgent care to get myself checked as soon as possible! So off I went, wondering what all the fuss was about.
20 mins into my visit, I was whisked away to the A&E of UCLH. They suspected that I could have had a TIA! Luckily, that was ruled out as I am quite healthy. The NHS did a fantastic job withthe checks to make sure that all was well. Pretty soon, I came home fine. However, I still had no answer as to why I was getting these symptoms in the first place!
At a follow-up with my GP, I mentioned that I was having difficulties falling pregnant. He sent me for blood tests, and within a week, he said that I was severely deficient in vitamin D. He prescribed me a dose immediately.
Within 3 weeks, I noticed a dramatic difference. I felt as strong as an ox! And guess what? 3 months later, I was pregnant! Vitamin D was my saving grace!
How to Get Enough Vitamin D
There are many different ways that you can make sure you have enough vitamin D. First of all, you can get out and soak in a little sun. If you have a garden, try to sit out there whenever it’s warm enough. Make sure to go on your daily walk, if you can. Just ensure that you maintian social distance!
There are plenty of different foods that are rich in vitamin D, too! Oily fish such as salmon, red herring, sardines and tuna can be a great help. If fish isn’t part of your diet, why not try egg yolks and mushrooms? You can find a great list of foods that are high in vitamin D over at healthline. Since we are on lockdown, this is a great chance for you to experiment with your food. Try to add a few more meals rich in good vitamins and nutrients that will keep you fit and healthy.
Then, of course, there are supplements. It has been raining quite a lot lately! The chances are that you don’t want to sit out in your garden then! Sitting in your house isn’t going to help you get the right amount of vitamin D, so it might be worth thinking about getting your daily dose through supplements. The NHS recommends that you get 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day. If you wear clothes that cover a lot of your skin, are indoors a lot, or you are from a BAME background, consider getting a dose ASAP.
Since Public Health England is recommending that people take vitamin D supplements as lockdown continues, it is a good idea to get your hands on some as soon as you can.
It is recommended that you take around 1000ius of vitamin D per day. However, it is safe to supplement up to 4000ius in a day. I like to ensure that I am taking optimum amonts, so somewhere in between the two is sufficient.
Here is what I recommend:
I have also included a spray version for you if you are someone who doesn’t like taking tablets. It gives you a good daily dose and leaves your breath minty fresh!
Save the NHS by staying at home, and save your body by getting the vitamin D you need.
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