We deserve strong bones at all stages of life. Calcium and Vitamin D are two essential nutrients that we must include in our diet for bone health. Did you know that Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin - helps in absorbing calcium in the body and strengthening muscles? Living in an urbanised environment where we spend most of the day indoors has deprived us of this vital nutrient. Despite abundant sunlight available throughout the year, Vitamin D deficiency among the people in India is widespread. There have been studies to prove this. A recent study in 2019 by Diabetologist PG Talwalkar, at Shushrusha Hospital in Mumbai, has mentioned that 70 to 90 percent of Indians have the deficiency of Vitamin D.
Why is Vitamin D So Important?
Sunlight is one of the natural sources of Vitamin D, and our body has the ability to produce vitamin D using sunlight. Inadequate exposure to sunlight, pollution, and low intake of calcium and vitamin D are some of the causes of the deficiency. Low levels of Vitamin D in the body can lead to various health problems. Firstly, it can result in loss of bone density, increasing the risks of fractures, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis. In children, severe vitamin D deficiency can cause a rare disease known as Rickets. Vitamin D deficiency also commonly occurs in pregnant women.
Researches prove the link between deficiency of vitamin D and medical conditions like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and high blood pressure. Some of the symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency include bone pain, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, and fatigue.
Some experts also say that the vitamin helps in regulating the immune system and reducing the severity of respiratory infections, thus, highlighting its importance in the current pandemic situation.
Sources of Vitamin D
Some good sources of vitamin D include:
- Fortified foods like milk
- Cod liver oil
- Soy Milk
- Egg yolk
The Bottom Line
The treatment for Vitamin D deficiency will depend on how severe the condition is, among other factors. Also, the amount of Vitamin D the body needs will depend on the age of the person and the present medical condition. If you have any of the symptoms discussed above, it is better to speak to your doctor.
Some lifestyle tips for bone health you should follow:
- Get a balanced amount of sunlight
- Go for weight-bearing exercises
- Consume calcium-rich foods
- Eat vitamin D-rich foods
- Avoid excessive intake of alcohol
Maintaining bone health becomes all the more necessary as you age. Spending time in the sun is an ideal way to increase Vitamin D levels in your body. Besides food for Vitamin D deficiency, some people may also need nutritional supplements as food alone may not be enough. Supplements can provide a consistent supply of this vital nutrient.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Insufficient intake of this or calcium can lead to or worsen bone problems such as osteoarthritis that affects knee joints. Medical treatment may lead to high expenditures and impact your finances without the support of medical insurance. A health plan also provides coverage for knee replacement surgery, thus serving as a financial cushion. So, take a step towards financial stability by opting for health insurance plans by Care Health Insurance (formerly Religare Health Insurance).