You lather yourself in SPF daily, always cover up whenever you’re outdoors and would never dream of heading to the beach without your trusty umbrella. Sure, you’re doing a great job protecting yourself from skin cancer, but there’s also a high likelihood you’re not getting enough vitamin D.
Experts recommend 6000IU (international units) of the stuff per day – which equates to around 10-15 minutes of ray exposure. Sure, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but getting your fix AND staying sun smart is often way easier said than done. In fact, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, up to a billion people worldwide are deficient.
With that in mind, here are 5 signs your vitamin D levels aren’t up to scratch.
1. You sweat excessively
Heavy forehead schvitzing that doesn’t seem to match the situation you’re in (think, simply sitting at your work desk) is a big indication your levels aren’t up to scratch.
2. You’re tired all the time
Having a vitamin D deficiency can cause loss of power in the muscles and leave you feeling overly exhausted (even when you’ve had adequate shut-eye).
3. You hurt all-over
It’s often subtle, but many sufferers experience chronic inflammation and aching in their joints – a condition that’s also known as osteomalacia.
4. You’re feeling down-in-the-dumps
Symptoms of depression and vitamin D deficiency often go hand in hand - this is coz the mineral works in the same areas of the brain and impacts the same hormones (like serotonin) as those that affect our mood.
5. Your immune system is shot
Low levels of vitamin D can lead to a sluggish immune system, which means no matter what it is – cold, viruses, flu - you’ll catch it if it’s going around.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.