Could low vitamin D levels be adding to your hormone symptoms?
Whether it’s perimenopause symptoms, PMS, period pain, or conditions like endometriosis, adenomyosis or PCOS, when our hormones get out of balance that can result in a whole range of different symptoms like fatigue, low mood or joint pain.
But some of those symptoms can also be caused by low vitamin D levels. It’s incredibly common to have low levels of vitamin D in the UK, especially over the winter months when we can’t produce vitamin D from sunlight. I’d say the majority of clients I work with who get tested for vitamin D come back with low levels.
Here are just some of the symptoms that may be made worse by low vitamin D levels – so it may not all be about your hormones causing the problem.
We know that feeling tired can be part of PMS symptoms, conditions like endometriosis, adenomyosis and PCOS along with something that can happen more frequently during the perimenopause. But low vitamin D levels can also cause fatigue.
Feeling low in mood is often something seen with PMS or the perimenopause. But low vitamin D levels can also cause low mood. Especially for people who notice that their mood dips during the winter months, when we are often lower in vitamin D.
As we get into perimenopause and beyond and oestrogen levels start to decline, this means we need to focus more on bone health, as oestrogen has a protective effect on bones. However, vitamin D is an essential part of bone health, as without it we can’t absorb calcium to strengthen bones. If you have been told that your bone density is decreasing or are taking medications that affect your bone health, then testing your vitamin D levels is important.
If you are in perimenopause and experiencing joint aches and pain, then vitamin D can help as it has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. For people with inflammatory health conditions like endometriosis or adenomyosis, inflammation is a big part of the pain that people experience. If your vitamin D levels are also low, this can be adding to the level of pain and inflammation going on.
Vitamin D is a regulator of our immune system. If you have a low immune system, regularly catch colds and flu and then struggle to get rid of them, then improving your vitamin D levels will help strengthen your immune system. This is particularly important if you have endometriosis as we know that the immune system plays a role in the development of the condition. Equally if your immune system is overreactive and you have any type of auto-immune disease like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis than vitamin D can calm your immune system down.
So, vitamin D really is an important nutrient to have at the right level in your body and doing so may reduce some of your hormonal symptoms.
Why it’s important to test your vitamin D levels
The only way you really know if your vitamin D levels are low is to test it. This is important as having both vitamin D levels that are too low or too high can cause you problems. Although many multivitamin tablets have vitamin D in them, this is only a maintenance dose to get you through the winter if your levels were already optimal. If your vitamin D levels are low, then you may need a much higher dose to get them up to a good level.
If you are having any routine blood tests done, then ask your GP to check your vitamin D levels too.
If this isn’t an option, then I recommend the Better You Vitamin D home test. This simple home prick blood test (even I can do it and I am rubbish at taking blood!) will tell you what your vitamin D levels are and give you a recommendation for the level of supplement you need to take. You’ll also get a voucher for a free vitamin D supplement, because even if your levels are optimal, you need to take a vitamin D supplement over the winter to keep your levels up.
This is a great time of year to test your vitamin D levels to ensure you can keep them at the right levels over winter, so order your test today.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.