About Vitamin D – Part Three

As we wrote about last week, vitamin D is an important ingredient of human nutrition, which is in the form of vitamin D2 and D3. Vitamin D is required by the human body in small quantities; but, a regular intake of the foods containing vitamin D is necessary for good overall health. Because we spend so much more time indoors or blocking sunlight when we are outside, the production of vitamin D in the human skin has reduced drastically.

Foods That Contain Vitamin D

• One of the biggest food sources of vitamin D is the oil that is derived from fish such as Cod. Most of the fish that contain a generous amount of fat prove to be a good source of vitamin D.
• The cod liver oil that is derived from the cod fish, if consumed regularly and periodically proves to be very healthy for the body, especially for the skin.
• Herring also provides a good quantity of vitamin D.
• Some fish become good sources of vitamin D, only when they are cooked. Some of the prominent examples are: Salmon, Mackerel and Eel.
• Canned Sardine and Tuna are also very good sources of vitamin D.
• Some people are always surprised to hear this, but an egg consumed every day also provides the required quantity of vitamin D in the human body.
• Cooked beef, liver and some specific types of mushrooms are also very good vitamin D food sources.
• It is also advisable that if possible, one should stand in the fresh morning sunlight for about 10 to 15 minutes every day, in order to generate natural and adequate quantities of vitamin D in the skin itself.

About Vitamin D, Part Two

Lack of Vitamin D — Symptoms

There are many factors that lead to the presence of symptoms due to lack of Vitamin D. Some of these reasons are given below.

• Lack of foods rich in vitamin D in your diet.
• Minimal exposure to sunlight.
• Failure of kidneys to convert vitamin D to its active form.
• Dark skin shade in people.
• Inability of digestive tract to absorb vitamin D.
• Using too much sunscreen.
• Age and hereditary conditions.

If you are displaying lack of vitamin D symptoms, you need not worry too much because there are many cures and remedies available to you.

Depending on your age, severity of symptoms and hereditary factors, your doctor will prescribe certain medications and vitamin supplements to you to reduce and eradicate these lack of vitamin D symptoms. S/he will either provide you with some long term solutions, or alternately even give you some short term solutions, depending on which will suit you better.

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.

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!