About Vitamin D, Part One

Vitamin D is very commonly known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because it is produced in the body as a result of direct exposure to sunlight. The main purpose of vitamin D in the body is to make use of the calcium available in the diet to strengthen the bones and teeth. If a person is displaying some symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, it generally implies a lack of sunlight.

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are seen in many people across the world and people showing such symptoms usually have weak bones, and this leads to soft bones and skeletal deformities. There are a multitude of other health problems as well, that can be curbed by effectively noticing and curing symptoms for lack of vitamin D. You can ask your doctor to check your levels of Vitamin D.

Some Common Symtoms of Deficiency

There are a host of easily distinguishable vitamin D deficiency symptoms that you should look out for:

Rickets: This is one of the biggest lack of vitamin D symptoms. Weak bones that get hurt easily or fractured regularly are one of the biggest effects vitamin D deficiency causes. The prevalence of hypovitaminosis D is seen mostly in elderly people.

Skin pigmentation: If a person regularly notices pigmentation on their skin, it is very likely that this is being caused by lack of vitamin D. Depression as a result of this is also a commonly observed symptom.

Inflammatory bowel disease: People experiencing inflammatory bowel movements must also beware, as this is also widely recognized as one of the lack of vitamin D symptoms.

Obesity: People who are obese must also be very careful about their intake of vitamin D, as obese people are more prone to showing symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

Other lack of vitamin D symptoms include knock-kneed appearance, low blood calcium levels, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, depression, bowed limbs, chronic fatigue, type I diabetes and chronic bone pain, muscle pain or joint pain. More on symptoms of low vitamin D levels to come next week!

Stay Healthy and Balanced During this Season

As the seasons change and the holidays approach, it seems that many of us get slowed down by colds and flus.

Here are some simple tips to avoid this pitfall and maximize your performance during this season.

Nourish Yourself

Eat foods that are warming, fresh, and well cooked; avoid dry or uncooked foods (especially salads and raw fruits and vegetables).

Drink lots of warming liquids such as hot water and herbal teas to prevent dehydration. You can prepare a fresh ginger tea by placing a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger into a pint thermos bottle and filling it with hot water.

Don’t worry if your appetite seems stronger than usual as this is a natural tendency in winter. At the same time, of course, don’t eat to the point of discomfort.

Nourish Your Senses

Stay warm. Give yourself slow, gentle self-massage in the morning or before bed. Use a nourishing, warming oil such as sesame or almond.

Put a pleasantly scented herb plant, such as lavender or rosemary, on your table. As the days get darker and we come indoors more, it can soothe your senses to bring some outdoors in.

Sleep and Restful Awareness

Get enough sleep!

Learn to meditate. Life speeds up during this time so make sure you give yourself a time out and plan some quiet time, even if only for 5-10 minutes. Take time and recharge your system.

Too Much Sitting

We have become a society of sitters. We sit in our cars, at our computers, on planes and in front of tv. Prolonged periods of sitting can have an adverse affect on your spinal health.
Here are some tips to help:

  • Invest in an ergonomic chair.
  • Make sitting up straight important to you.
  • Set a periodic timer and shift your weight regularly.
  • Use a stool or phone book for your feet to relive low back pressure.
  • Get up as often as possible.
  • Set up your work station with you facing straight ahead with your head slightly down.
  • Know that this is one of the strains you are placing on your spine and make sure to give back to your body with movement, stretching, massage and your wonderful chiropractors!

    Thinking About True Health

    What is health?

    Many people think that health is simply “feeling good and looking good.” But true health is more than just the absence of disease. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, health is “the condition of being sound in body, mind and spirit.” The World Health Organization states that health is a “state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing,” not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. True health is the full expression of life! This is the chiropractic perspective.

    Your body is built to experience true health. Your body is smart. It has an intelligence inside of it that has helped it to grow from two cells into the amazing, complex, dynamic being that you are today! These two cells have created a body complete with a very sophisticated nerve system that stretches for miles, and stores over 100 trillion bits of information. Your nervous system contains100 billion neurons that can send impulses at lightning speed to every cell, tissue, organ and system in your body.

    Why, then, does our body sometimes not work the way we want it to? Why do we experience aches and pains, digestive problems, high blood pressure, depression, or other health challenges? Something is interfering with the body’s natural ability to function, self regulate and mend. This interference is usually caused by stresses and strains that accumulate on our spine on a daily basis, and over time. Examples of these stressors are:

    Physical: sitting, bad sleep position, weak muscles, falls, injuries, repetitive strain.
    Chemical : medications, environmental, and food chemicals
    Mental/Emotional: daily tension that affects our physiology by triggering chemical reactions and creating changes in our physiology.

    To be alive is to be under stress. It is impossible to avoid stress. It is not the stress, but how our bodies respond to stress that matters most in our overall health. Getting enough sleep, exercising, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and practicing deep breathing are all ways to help your body adapt to stress. However, your spine, through which your nervous system controls your body’s ability to function and heal, is vital in your ability to adapt. Maintaining a healthy spine – or correcting a less-than-healthy spine — will help you adapt more quickly and be less susceptible to life’s stresses.

    Adding regular chiropractic adjustments to your healthy lifestyle will take the pressure off your spine, allow your nervous system to function more effectively, and help you to experience the meaning of true health.

    Backpack Safety: Fill it Light, Fill it Right, Wear it Right!

    For the past month, we’ve been spreading the backpack safety message far and wide. The first day of school in our town is tomorrow, and I already know that unfortunately, in the months ahead, I will see kids in my office for back pain and postural issues that might have been avoided had they learned the right way to pack and wear a backpack.

    It seems our kids are carrying more and more weight in their packs, as they set off for the school day with books, gym clothes, and gear for sports and extracurricular activities. Did you know that your backpack should weigh no more than 15% of your body weight? For a 60 lb elementary school student, that is a mere 9 lbs.

    I recommend asking your chiropractor for a backpack screening. We offer free screenings every year for our patients and the general public. A screening involves weighing a backpack (filled as you would fill it for a typical school day), checking the pack for safety (Are the shoulder straps wide enough? Is the pack too big?) and teaching your child how to pack it so weight is distributed properly.

    We are offering free screenings on Thursday, September 8 between 2 and 6 pm at our office at 300 Main Street, Groton, MA. Please call us at 978.448.9355 for the opportunity to prevent spinal problems before they start!

    Watch Dr. Steve on Around Town, talking backpack safety!