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Addressing Vitamin D Deficiencies Among Caregivers

February 21, 2024

Family caregivers devote many hours daily to ensuring the health and wellness of those under their care. Yet in the whirlwind of responsibilities, it's easy to overlook your own health, especially when it comes to vitamin deficiencies!

Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem; in fact, according to the National Institutes on Health (NIH):

"...almost one out of four people have vitamin D blood levels that are too low or inadequate for bone and overall health."

During the long winter months in Minnesota, many family caregivers may find themselves predominantly indoors, receiving minimal sunlight exposure. Doing so can reduce your body's natural Vitamin D production, manifesting in symptoms that can hurt one's health.

Among these symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness

All of which can hamper our caregiving capabilities.

Why Is Vitamin D Important?

Vitamin D is pivotal for bone health, because it helps your body absorb calcium. It's also an important nutrient that has been shown to reduce heart disease. NIH reports that people with low Vitamin D levels have an increased risk of depression.

Dog looking outside during winter morning.Furthermore, Vitamin D plays a vital role in supporting the immune system. A deficiency can compromise your immunity, leaving you more susceptible to infections.

For caregivers, maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels is crucial for sustaining the stamina required for the demanding role of caregiving. Besides fatigue and dizziness, some Vitamin D deficiency symptoms can include:

  • Hair loss
  • Bone aches

The best way to diagnose a Vitamin D deficiency is to have your healthcare provider run a blood test.

Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Dizziness?

While the link between vitamin D deficiency and dizziness is not conclusive, a 2020 study published in Neurology  suggests that supplementing calcium and Vitamin D can help improve the symptoms of dizziness or vertigo that some people experience.

Combatting Vitamin D Deficiency

Sunrise in Minnesota.Here are a few tips on how to ensure you avoid vitamin D deficiency and feel your best.

Maximize Sunlight Exposure

While it's harder to get out into the sun during a Minnesota winter, seizing every opportunity to soak up some sunlight can make a difference. Even brief periods spent outdoors during daylight can help!

Incorporate Vitamin D-Rich Foods Into Your Diet

Foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods can serve as valuable Vitamin D sources. Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil can also provide an alternative source of this essential nutrient.

Vitamin D supplements.Consider Vitamin D Supplements

In cases where diet and sunlight exposure prove insufficient, Vitamin D supplements can fill the gap. However, it's very important to discuss this with a healthcare provider to ensure the dosage is correct and that you aren't taking other medications that could conflict with taking Vitamin D supplements.

Stay Connected

At Best Care, we deeply understand the challenges and demands placed on caregivers. Our mission extends beyond the care provided to your loved ones; we're also here to support caregivers. Taking care of someone begins with taking care of yourself!

Be sure to stay connected to our blog and podcast for more caregiving tips.

Caregiving struggling with vitamin D deficiency.
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