Vitamin D Deficiency in Cayman
More Common Than Many Think
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, produced by the skin through exposure to sunlight. So you’d think we wouldn’t have a vitamin D deficiency problem, wouldn’t you? It might come as a surprise then to discover that Cayman seems to have a higher than average rate of deficiency, despite our higher than average amount of sunshine!
You can be deficient from a variety of causes. Working indoors, the use of sun protection (A sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 30 can reduce the body’s ability to synthesize the vitamin by 95 percent), a dark skin and genetic predisposition can all make your vitamin D levels drop.
In fact, it’s the amount and powerful nature of our sunshine that means we tend to shun the sun, work indoors and use high factor (30+) sun protection, all of which serve to leave some of us deficient. Deficiencies can also arise in people suffering from milk allergies, or those adhering to a strict vegan diet. There are other underlying causes too, some of which are quite prevalent in Cayman also, such as excess alcohol consumption.
How do you know if you are deficient?
The majority aren’t running around getting tested every 5 minutes and so it is important to be aware of the common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. These include:
- Becoming sick or picking up infections more often
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Back pain
- Other bone pain and loss
- Slower wound healing
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
If these are symptoms you experience, it may be worth getting your levels of vitamin D checked, as frequently the solution and the benefit are easily obtained. It’s also important to remember though that many of the above symptoms can be caused by other issues too and so it makes sense to get to the bottom of them first, just in case there is a more sinister cause than simply shunning the sun.
Consequences of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D plays a vital role in both maintaining normal body systems, such as musculoskeletal health, as well as an increasingly understood role in preventing a host of very serious illnesses, not least of which is heart disease. A quick scan of the potential list of consequences of deficiency will reinforce the importance of taking this vitamin seriously.
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Fatigue, exercise intolerance & skeletal injuries
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- Severe asthma in children
- Some forms of cancer
- Immune system related issues
We think it is sufficiently important that we have produced an expanded page of information for those who are interested, or are concerned they may have some of the above symptoms. You can find this at: