Vitamin D Deficiency and Menopause
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that is found in a few foods, like salmon, tuna, egg yolks, and dairy and cereals that have been fortified with it; it is also produced by the body when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays, for about 15-20 minutes, three days a week. Without sufficient vitamin D, you are more susceptible to a variety of health issues including heart disease, high blood pressure, infections, bone loss, and even certain types of cancer. Vitamin D is essential for mineral absorption as well as the proper function of the body’s immune system.
Vitamin D deficiency and menopause
Many women experience bone density loss in menopause, so it's essential to get sufficient Vitamin D — women under the age of 70 are suggested to get 14 to 70 is 600 IU per day, while women over 70 are suggested to get 800 IU per day. 10 to 15 minutes of spring and summer sun exposure for adults is thought to equal roughly 1000 IU of Vitamin D.
Lack of Vitamin D is also linked to a number of health issues which can often pop up or become worse during perimenopause and menopause, so it's crucial to make sure that you are getting enough.
Signs you may be experiencing a vitamin D deficiency include:
- An uptick in colds and other illnesses
- Unexplained fatigue
- Bone Pain
- Listlessness, feelings of depression, and other mood change
- Insomnia and decreased quality of sleep
Certain disorders and medications are linked to lower levels of Vitamin D — for example, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, certain cholesterol-lowering drugs and gastric bypass surgery are all linked to lower Vitamin D levels.
If your doctor tests you for Vitamin D and finds that your levels are low, you can increase your daily consumption with a supplement.