If you are a woman and suffer from chronic pain, you may be deficient in vitamin D, and should look into the reasons for low vitamin D. A study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found links between low vitamin D levels in women and the sensation of chronic, widespread pain. One possible reason is its links with other nutrients in your body.
How You Use Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin responsible for your body's ability to absorb and use calcium and phosphorus. Most of your body's phosphorus and calcium are stored in your bones and teeth. Phosphorus is a nutrient powerhouse. In addition to aiding the formation of your skeletal system, it is involved with energy transfer within the body. Phosphorus is part of a major buffering system of the bloodstream. It is a component in many important enzymes as well as your DNA.
Calcium plays several key roles. Your body uses calcium for blood clotting and for normal muscle and nerve activity. It helps metabolize glycogen or the form of sugar stored in your liver and muscles. You only absorb calcium for these essential processes in the presence of vitamin D. Vitamin deficiencies, therefore, can have serious consequences.
Sources of Vitamin D
There are two primary sources of vitamin D: diet and sunlight. Common dietary sources include fish, eggs, and milk. With a normal, healthy diet, you will meet your body's needs for vitamin D.
Vitamin D from the Sun
Sunlight provides another source of vitamin D. When outdoors in the sun, sunlight reaching your skin triggers a complex reaction that converts cholesterol to vitamin D3, an inactive form of vitamin D. Vitamin D3 travels through your bloodstream to your liver where it is converted into its active form.
It is important for your health to receive enough vitamin D each day since it is only stored to a slight extent in your body. Whether through a good diet or outdoor activity, adequate vitamin D will help prevent issues caused by a deficiency.
Reasons for Low Vitamin D
Diet and Lifestyle
Deficiencies can have several causes. Your diet may put you at risk. Vegetarians or those with milk allergies must pay special attention to their eating habits to make sure they are getting adequate D. Likewise, your lifestyle may also make you vulnerable. Individuals who do not spend much time outdoors are missing opportunities for their bodies to produce vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiencies may have a genetic basis. The skin of dark-skinned individuals contains high amounts of melanin. Melanin can interfere with your body's ability to make vitamin D.
Disorders of the digestive tract can impact how your body absorbs vitamin D and other nutrients. Celiac disease, for example, manifests itself by causing intestinal damage in response to an allergy to gluten. It is often detected in children if they are found to be in the low percentile of growth. Damage to the intestine prevents the body from absorbing vitamins.
The parathyroid is a gland located on your trachea and behind your thyroid gland. The parathyroid produces hormones responsible for calcium metabolism. Too little of these hormones in your bloodstream will result in high calcium and low vitamin D levels.What are the reasons for low vitamin D levels? Your body reacts to keep your calcium levels under control by preventing high levels of calcium in your blood. It does this by converting vitamin D into another form. People with high calcium levels are at risk for kidney disease and stones, heart problems, and bone tumors.
The role of vitamin illustrates the complex relationships and reactions that occur in your body. It also shows the delicate balance that exists between what is good for you and what is bad. Deficiencies in vitamin D can compromise the actions of other essential nutrients, including calcium the most abundant, positively charged element in your body.