CLEVELAND CLINIC – Vitamin D is essential for our bodies, especially when it comes to bone health, but many people don’t get enough of the so-called “sunshine vitamin” in the winter.
“Typically, there’s less sunlight during the wintertime. People are wearing more layers this time of year as well, which results in less sun exposure,” explained Matthew Goldman, MD, a family medicine physician with Cleveland Clinic Florida.
Although it can be hard to get outside during the winter, Dr. Goldman said eating vitamin-D rich foods like salmon or mushrooms can help.
But this might not be enough for everyone, and symptoms of a deficiency can include fatigue, bone pain and muscle weakness.
At the end of the day, many people don’t know they’re not getting enough vitamin D.
That’s why Dr. Goldman says talking to your doctor about testing may be important, especially if you’re more at risk for a deficiency, like infants or those over the age of 65.
Along with memory impairment, having a vitamin D deficiency could potentially increase your chance of developing bone issues over time.
“A vitamin D deficiency can lead to a higher risk of an array of issues including osteoporosis, which can increase your chances of bone fractures and breaks,” he said.
Dr. Goldman adds your primary care provider can help you assess your risk and determine if a vitamin D supplement is needed.