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Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency

Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is a chemical produced by the skin with the aid of sunlight. If you work in an environment where you are unable to spend enough time outdoors, you may need to take a supplement to ensure that you are receiving the proper amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to your health. It provides anti-cancer benefits, helps with brain development and improves immunity, cardiovascular function, respiratory function and muscle tone.

What Causes a Vitamin D Deficiency? 

There are a number of reasons why people do not get adequate amounts of vitamin D. Normally, the body produces the necessary vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, many people work indoors or wear sunscreen. For those who live in the Northern states, getting enough sun exposure can be difficult in the winter. Finally, as you age, your skin cannot produce as much vitamin D. Taking a vitamin D supplement can ensure you are receiving the necessary amount of vitamin D you need to protect your health.

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Vitamin D is used to improve the density of bone by helping the bone cells to uptake calcium and use it properly. When a vitamin D deficiency occurs, you are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis cause bones to become brittle and the body begins losing bone or making too little bone. This causes an increased risk of experiencing fractures. In addition to this, there are numerous other effects of a vitamin D deficiency.

Weakened Immune System

Vitamin D is used by the body to turn processes on and off, including immunity. Vitamin D strengthens T cells in the body. These are the immune cells that seek out and destroy microbes that invade the body and cause illnesses and infections.

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Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, a vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 80 percent. The researchers stated that vitamin D helps with insulin secretion and the conversion of glucose into energy. Low vitamin D levels can increase insulin resistance and impair the metabolism of glucose in the body.

Cardiovascular Disease

A vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of a number of cardiovascular diseases, including congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and peripheral arterial disease. Vitamin D helps to decrease inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of arterial calcification. Vitamin D suppresses renin which is a hormone that increases systolic blood pressure. By combining a vitamin D supplement and a calcium supplement systolic blood pressure readings can be decreased.

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Depression

A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of developing depression. Depression often results from lower serotonin levels. Serotonin is a hormone produced in the brain that helps elevate the mood. This all-important hormone increases when the body is exposed to sunlight or a vitamin D supplement is taken.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis occurs when the immune system attacks the nerve cells’ protective coating. Multiple sclerosis can cause eye pain and blurry vision, numbness throughout the body, fatigue, balance and gait problems, vertigo, muscle pain, depression and trouble thinking clearly. Because vitamin D helps improve immunity, studies suggest that a vitamin D supplement may decrease the risk of developing multiple sclerosis and help ease the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

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Cancer

Vitamin D provides anti-tumor protection by regulating the genes that are involved with the spread of cancer cells. Studies have shown that vitamin D may help lower the risk of developing certain cancers, including colorectal cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer. In fact, a vitamin D supplement can help reduce the size of a tumor by 25 percent within a week and increase the lymphocytes in the body. Vitamin D helps the body increase platelets and red blood cells and boosts the immune system, allowing the body to better fight off cancer and disease.

Approximately 25 percent of the American population has a vitamin D deficiency. If you work indoors, live in a northern climate or are dark skinned, you are at an increased risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. Spending time outdoors and taking a vitamin D supplement will help to correct this deficiency and protect against cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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