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Shorter days with less sunlight can lead to vitamin D deficiency

Posted at 6:07 AM, Nov 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-16 08:19:30-05

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – This time of the year you might feel a little more fatigued and it’s more than just adjusting to the time change. Shorter days means less sunlight, which can lead to vitamin D deficiency.  

“Being in the Northern Hemisphere in the winter, we don't have as long of sunlight during the day, so we’re at a little bit higher risk,” said Dr. Frisco at Saint Luke’s Primary Care.  

Common symptoms include:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Numerous headaches
  • Skin Changes  

But sometimes, if you’re just a little bit low on vitamin D you may not have any symptoms.

There are plenty of sources which you can get vitamin D from, including dairy, fish, daily multivitamins, and vitamin D supplements.

The easiest and healthiest way to make sure you’re getting enough sun? Dr. Frisco recommends a ten-minute afternoon walk outside.  

There are also sun lamps that claim to help with this, but used alone without supplementation, they might not be enough.  

“There's really not a lot of scientific studies that say that's an effective way to replace vitamin D,” explained Dr. Frisco. “I think if there's no alternative, and used appropriately with common sense it might be beneficial, but it may not be quite enough.”  

Those at the highest risk are people who are lactose intolerant and the elderly.  

To see the recommended daily intake in reference to your age click here