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Lorraine: Dr Amir says spine could shrink if deficient in vitamin D

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The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors, but we don’t make enough vitamin D from sunlight between October and early March in the UK. The NHS site advises most people to take vitamin D supplements between October and March to top up their stores. Think you’re Vitamin D deficient? Here are the two unusual signs to watch out for this winter.

Vitamin D is freely provided by the body, thanks to the sun’s glorious rays.

Your body converts UVB energy to make vitamin D and this helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body.

We need Vitamin D to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, but around 20 percent of adults in the UK are deficient in the crucial vitamin.

There are serious consequences of not having enough vitamin D in your body, so it’s important to make sure you sort the problem if you have low levels.

You probably wouldn’t know if you have Vitamin D deficiency unless you got a blood test because it’s pretty much symptomless.

The Patient UK site points out most people only complain of only vague symptoms such as tiredness or general aches.

It explains: “Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are often very nonspecific or vague, so the problem is often missed.

“The diagnosis is more easily reached in severe deficiencies with some of the classical (typical) symptoms and bone deformities.”

That being said, there are two subtle signs to look out for this winter that could signal dangerously low Vitamin D levels.

Weakness

Some people with Vitamin D deficiency complain of general tiredness, vague aches and pains and a general sense of not being well, ventolin wyoming but this is heightened if you have a more severe deficiency (osteomalacia).

In this case, there may be more intense pain and weakness.

Patient UK explains: “Muscle weakness may cause difficulty in climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or can lead to the person walking with a waddling pattern.”

Bone pain

Have you ever experienced bone pain? This could be a sign of vitamin D deficiency.

Patient UK says: “Bones can feel painful to moderate pressure (often more noticeable in the ribs or shin bones).

“Not uncommonly, people have a hairline fracture in the bone which is causing tenderness and pain.

“Bone pain often also occurs in the lower back, hips, pelvis, thighs and feet.”

Most vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including vitamin D deficiency, can be picked up with a blood test.

According to Thriva, you can opt for a venous blood test or a finger-prick blood test.

The NHS offers blood tests that can be done at your GP’s or a local hospital, and during the test, a trained nurse or doctor will take your blood usually from a venous test.

However, if you’d rather do the test at home you may have to order a home vitamin and mineral kit and do it yourself.

Your results are analysed privately by a GP and you will normally be sent the results to view online.

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