Lazy kids and Vitamin D



90% of the UAE population is Vitamin D deficient


Vitamin D plays an important role in many places throughout the body, including the development and strength of the bones.

Adequate exposure to sunlight has significantly reduced vitamin D deficiency. However, vitamin D deficiency is still a common problem in many populations, in children and older adults.


I have a close relation with Vit D deficiency that I would like to share with you.

The mothers I knew also said their teenagers were lazy and had no energy to do anything so I thought it was normal. My kids would say they were tired all day and didn't want to do anything.

One day I decided to take Sara, my then 14-year-old who was usually quite athletic and started showing signs of fatigue and lack of energy to our family doctor for a health check-up. Her VIT D results were so low that she needed an immediate VIT D injection right then and there. The Doctor prescribed her VIT D supplements for a 2-month course. He explained that being deficient in Vit D caused her to feel weak, fatigued and moody. She is 16 years now and knows to take her weekly Vit D supplement.

A couple of months ago Sultan, my 17-year-old son, whom dislikes the sun and hardly ever goes out during the day unless necessary went for his yearly health check-up and this time I wasn’t surprised that he had Vit D deficiency! He wouldn’t listen to me when I would always ask him to spend at least 20min in the sun in the mornings so I knew he had to hear it from the doctor. He was always complaining of aches in his body, and now he understood the reason. He is also on Vit D supplements now and knows the importance of taking them.

My youngest daughter Sama, 12 years old, has been feeling quite lethargic and not in the mood to do anything so, of course, this time I knew the cause and took her for a check-up. The results were not shocking to me, she was very deficient in Vit D. She is also now on supplements.


Please take your children for Vit D testing and don’t dismiss their laziness as “just them being kids”.



Now let’s talk a bit about this special Vitamin:




WHAT IS VITAMIN D?


Vitamin D is an oil-soluble that has many important functions in the body.


1. It helps absorb dietary calcium and phosphorus from the intestines


2. It suppresses the release of parathyroid hormone, a hormone that causes the breakdown and absorption of the bones in our body.


Vitamin D helps keep the calcium and phosphate levels in the blood normal, thereby promoting bone health. Vitamin D also help improve muscle and immune function.


Vitamin D must be obtained from dietary sources because they are not produced by the body's tissues. Sunlight is the key, the sun's energy turns a chemical in your skin into vitamin D3, which is carried to your liver and then your kidneys to transform it into active vitamin D.

Children nowadays prefer to stay inside and play on their electronics, then play in the outdoors and get some sun. The same goes for adults, its home, office, car, home, everything is indoors away from natural sunlight.


Signs and symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency


Fatigue, dizziness, and tiredness

Bone and back pain

Bone loss

Muscle pain

Hair loss

Depression

Thyroid problems

Osteoporosis

Allergies


Vitamin D Levels


<20 insufficient (My 3 kids were between 11 and 14!)

20-30 borderline

30-60 optimal

>100 intoxication



Vitamin D Tips



· Get your Vit D checked every year and supplement if necessary

· Best time to absorb sun is 10 am-3 pm

· 40% of skin surface needs to be exposed to the sun

· Expose your skin to sunlight daily for 30 minutes

· Lighter skinned people need 15 minutes daily

· Eat 12 almonds a day


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Suzanne Saleh

© 2019 by Suzanne Saleh

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