We are getting really close to the beginning of Autumn and I have noticed something. Patients have been coming in with lots more inflammation and pain. It has really been noticeable in this past couple of weeks as the days have been getting shorter. The kids are back to school, the focus is back on work instead of summer dreaming and sitting beside the pool, so our skin has not been exposed to the sunshine as much and those of us who are borderline low with Vitamin D levels begin to really notice more joint pain.
Were you aware that vitamin D plays a big role in keeping inflammation down? Your joint pain could be linked to a deficiency in vitamin D. In addition, vitamin D is actually a hormone in your body, we make it in our skin, and works along with your male and female hormones, your thyroid gland, the insulin in your pancreas and your stress hormones. Most of us know its role in maintaining healthy bones, but did you know that vitamin D deficiency is associated with periodontal disease, diabetes, infections, cancer and more?
In my research I have learned that many people require extra vitamin D and may require Vitamin K and/or Vitamin A to actually stimulate the action of the Vitamin D. I check to see if people need these nutrients when I am doing my nutrition evaluations. D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it requires fat to absorb, so don’t take it on an empty stomach.
I advise drinking in as much sunshine as you can over the next few weeks while the weather is nice so your body can produce as much of its own D as possible, but realize you will likely need some extra D over the fall and winter when your skin is covered by layers of clothing.