Should you be taking vitamin D?
Keeping a healthy level of vitamin D in your body is important for several reasons. To begin, vitamin D teams up with calcium to strengthen and protect your bones. This vitamin also plays an important role in keeping your muscles, nerves and immune system working properly. The role vitamin D plays in keeping the immune system healthy has gotten much attention during the current pandemic as researchers scramble to find ways to combat the outbreak.
Is vitamin D the answer?
Recent studies have suggested that vitamin D may offer some protection from contracting COVID-19 and may also decrease the severity of infection, reports Harvard Medical. But studies are still being completed to establish a connection between COVID-19 and vitamin D.
According to multiple ongoing studies, there are two ways that vitamin D may reduce COVID-19 infection. The first is that vitamin D may boost the body’s natural ability to fight viruses and bacteria. Several studies have shown that the people most likely to contract COVID-19 are those with low vitamin D levels.
The second connection between COVID-19 and vitamin D involves reducing the severity of the infection. Vitamin D may help prevent the body from having an exaggerated inflammatory response and may help keep the immune system in check so that it does not attack healthy tissues. Some of the severe symptoms in COVID-19 cases are brought on by an overzealous immune system response that is difficult to bring under control.
Should I take vitamin D supplements?
While vitamin D does seem to provide many health benefits, there can be too much of a good thing. Too much vitamin D can create other issues, including gathering excess calcium in the blood, which can form deposits in the arteries or develop into painful kidney stones. It is therefore best to check with a doctor before taking vitamin D supplements.
Who is at risk?
There are some parts of the population who may be more likely to have low vitamin D levels. People who are overweight and those with chronic kidney or parathyroid disease are more likely to be vitamin D deficient. Post-menopausal women and people taking long-term steroids are also at a greater risk of low vitamin D levels. Older adults, especially those who are inactive, may also find it harder to keep vitamin D at a healthy level.
How do I boost my vitamin D?
Vitamin D is sometimes called “the sunshine vitamin” because exposure to sunlight stimulates the body to produce the vitamin. Five to 10 minutes of sun exposure to the arms, legs or back during sunny summer days is often enough to keep healthy vitamin D levels.
Another way to get vitamin D is through diet. Fatty fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon are good sources of vitamin D. Egg yolks are another good source of vitamin D. There are many vitamin D fortified products, including dairy items, orange juice, cheese and cereals. Unfortunately, it is challenging to get enough vitamin D from diet alone. For some people, vitamin D supplements are needed. But it is important to check with your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.
Keeping track of your health during a time of recovery
The human body can do amazing things, but it is a complex system. The time of recovery following surgery or another medical event can be challenging. Making sure the body has all the vitamins, nutrients and medications needed to heal requires careful monitoring. This is why many people make the wise decision to recover in a short-term care facility where all medical needs — from proper nutrition to blood pressure — can be monitored. Glenview Terrace has a top team of experienced professionals who are ready to take guests on a successful recovery journey, providing a blend of aggressive and traditional therapies seven days a week.
When you are looking for the best post-hospital rehabilitation, consider Glenview Terrace, where the focus is always to help get you back to the independent lifestyle you desire. Focusing on healthcare excellence and safety, Glenview Terrace provides the latest infection-control precautions, including routine COVID-19 testing and monitoring. Glenview Terrace is ranked among the top 1% of all post-hospital rehabilitation and nursing care centers in Illinois by Newsweek — and has earned Medicare’s highest five-star rating. Glenview Terrace has also earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval certification for post-hospital and post-surgical care. For additional information or to arrange a personalized virtual tour, visit glenviewterrace.com or call 847-729-9090.
— Judy Buchenot for Glenview TerraceBack