Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” due to the fact that the body naturally produces the vitamin when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet B rays (UVB rays). In the UK the sun’s rays are not as strong during the winter months and many people spend less time outdoors in the golden sunlight.
As a result, the risk of vitamin D deficiency may increase for those who do not follow a balanced diet.
While there are many physical symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency, some symptoms can affect your mental health.
Vitamin D occurs naturally in a number of foods and many foods are also fortified with the vitamin.
However, those who do not get enough vitamin D can develop symptoms of a deficiency.
Express.co.uk spoke to nutrition therapist, VJ Hamilton of www.theautoimmunitynutritionist.com to find out some of the key symptoms of deficiency and how to avoid them.
READ MORE: How to Live Longer: The Drink That Can Kill Cancer Cells
How can you check if your vitamin D level is adequate?
Ms Hamilton told Express.co.uk: “If you are showing signs of vitamin D deficiency or are suffering from an associated illness then tests should be done to understand your current vitamin D status.
“You can get tested through your GP or private person”.
In most cases, if you experience symptoms that you think are a sign of vitamin D deficiency, the NHS recommended that you see your GP.
According to the nutrition therapist, vitamin D-rich foods include fatty fish, liver, red meat and dairy products.
She added: “Knowing your vitamin D levels are low can help you supplement vitamin D.
“Historically, there have been concerns about vitamin D toxicity when supplemented at high levels.
“However, this is extremely rare, and as long as you know your baseline numbers and keep checking them, either by working with a health professional or by testing at home, it’s unlikely to happen.”