Have you been feeling achy, depressed, tired, or having muscle weakness lately? You might be suffering from a vitamin D deficiency. About 1 in 4 people in the United States are vitamin D deficient. Our bodies require vitamin D daily for optimal health and function since it is a vital nutrient that performs various bodily functions, from strengthening bones to energy and mood boosts. Sometimes, ensuring you get sufficient amounts of vitamin D for your body can be difficult. Ideally, you can get vitamin D from basking in the sun; however, this might do more harm than good due to the sun’s harmful rays. To keep up with the body’s demand for this vital micronutrient, Dr. Susan Baker recommends getting supplementation from vitamin D injections. Here is more on why you require vitamin D injections.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble (dissolves within fat) vitamin produced by the body. Vitamin D functions as a hormone within the body. It is the only nutrient generated by our bodies. This occurs when the outer skin’s layer is exposed to the sun’s rays which are converted into vitamin D.
Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestines to aid bone health and improve the immune system. It keeps the teeth, bones, and muscles healthy and sturdy and maintains general health and well-being. Other functions of vitamin D include:
- Growth and development
- Management of serum calcium levels
- The metabolization of calcium and glucose
- Brain Health – memory and focus
- Blood pressure regulation
- Protecting against free radicals
- Dental health – cavity prevention
- Immune function
- Healthy mood
- Quality sleep
- Lung function and cardiovascular health
- Kidney health
- Thyroid health
- Helping protect against osteoporosis
- Healthy Metabolism
- Skin cell growth and repair
- Diabetes and weight loss support
Vitamin D is available in two forms:
- Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol): Found in plants
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): It is synthesized over time due to sun exposure on our skin
Dr. Susan Baker uses vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol). This is because it is the active form of the vitamin, and the body can use it immediately. Vitamin D3 is the main human nutrient and the only one the body can generate.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?
Vitamin D is a fickle thing, and our bodies may be unable to absorb the recommended daily amounts of 600 to 800 international units (IU) for adults through diet and sunlight. Optimum levels of vitamin D vary for different people. For example, older adults need more amounts of vitamin D than younger people, while people living in colder countries need higher amounts than those living in areas where it is sunny.
Various factors may prevent you from getting enough amounts of vitamin D from the sun, including using UV-blocking sunscreen, cloud cover that prevents the UV rays from entirely reaching the atmosphere, pollution, and spending too much time indoors leading to a lack of sun exposure to naturally produce vitamin D. Other factors that might contribute to vitamin D deficiency include:
- Darker skin tones, which don’t naturally produce as much vitamin D
- Advanced age, as the ability to generate vitamin D decreases with older age
- Diet-related deficiencies: Fat absorption disorders such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease
- Illness and toxin exposure
Your doctor may diagnose your vitamin D deficiency by taking a blood test. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you may have the following symptoms:
- Difficulty standing or walking up flights of stairs
- Bone, lower back, hip, thigh, and feet pain and sensitivity
- Frequent illness or infections
- Muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps
- Disproportionate levels of fatigue, excessive tiredness
- Mood disturbances, like depression or irritability
- General aches and pains, a feeling of not being well
- Muscle tremors and cramps
- Impaired wound healing
- Digestive problems
- Sleep problems
- An unsteady gait
- Hair loss
Modifying your diet can help increase vitamin D levels if you are not getting enough sunlight. You can consume various foods, such as dairy products, liver, cheese, tuna, salmon, some types of juices, cereals, and supplements. However, a vitamin D shot is the fastest source of vital micronutrients. This is because it can bypass the gut for maximum absorption. It goes straight through your bloodstream, starts working its magic, and counteracts the lack of sunlight. It is especially perfect for the darker months, so you do not have to worry about colds, flu, or other illnesses since your immunity will be boosted.
Why Have a Vitamin D Shot?
You should get a vitamin D shot if you have risk factors for its deficiency or are already experiencing signs of vitamin D3 deficiency, such as the ones mentioned above. Additionally, post-menopausal women and those with certain bone conditions such as osteoporosis can also benefit from vitamin D shots. You should also get a vitamin D shot if you cannot get your recommended daily allowance from sun exposure because you live in areas that are not sunny.
Getting a shot of vitamin D outweighs taking oral supplements since they may not be properly absorbed into the body due to illnesses or digestive problems, further worsening the problem. People with a darker skin tone and those who can’t readily obtain vitamin D from their diets due to intestinal absorption issues such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can benefit from several vitamin D shots. Older people confined indoors should also get vitamin D shots.
It is important to always talk to your doctor before getting vitamin D shots and inform them about any medical conditions and medications you may be taking so that they do not interfere with the shot. Dr. Susan Baker works hand in hand with all her patients and helps them decide if the shots are right for them.
The vitamin D shots include three intramuscular injections annually, administered at different intervals. The dosage varies depending on medical conditions, baseline vitamin D, and calcium levels. A shot of vitamin D consists of 300,000 IU of vitamin D3.
Are There Any Side Effects and Downtime?
Vitamin D shots are considered safe. There is minimal downtime with vitamin D shots. You might get a sore arm that clears up in a couple of days. Side effects are rare; if you experience any, you might feel tired, nauseated, or have a headache.
Vitamin D Injections Benefits
Vitamin D shots can improve your general well-being and health. Health benefits of vitamin D shots may include and are not limited to the following:
Immune system support: Vitamin D improves your immunity and lowers the chances of getting cold, flu, and other illnesses. It can also provide relief for inflammation symptoms caused by autoimmune disorders.
Sturdy bones: If you have weak, brittle bones, vitamin D can help strengthen them since it helps the body assimilate calcium. Calcium is crucial in bone building, health and strength. Low vitamin D levels can lead to osteomalacia- a condition that causes bone pain and muscle weakness.
Mood boost: According to research, low vitamin D levels are linked to depression symptoms. A vitamin D shot can elevate your mood and help you feel better.
Diabetes and weight loss support: Diabetes and obesity are linked to low vitamin D levels in the blood. Vitamin D can help with weight loss and manage diabetes symptoms.
Improves and maintains cognitive health: According to research, the brain contains several vitamin D receptors that are vital in babies’ brain development. Vitamin D maintains or improves brain health and function throughout a person’s life.
Heart health: Vitamin D helps maintain healthy blood vessels, which lower hypertension (high blood vessels) and reduce cholesterol levels in the body. High cholesterol levels increase the risk of plaque buildup in blood vessel walls, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis.
Contact Susan A. Baker, M.D, today or schedule an appointment online for more information on the amazing benefits of vitamin D shots.