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It is often said that to dress for the weather in Scotland requires preparing for four seasons all in one day. And whilst the climate is often unpredictable, one thing that is certain is that we in Scotland could all do with a little more sunshine! Not only can enjoying some time in the sun help to give our mental health a boost, but it is also essential in terms of our physical health too. Read on to discover why…
Why vitamin D is so vital
Vitamin D is essential for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It is also important for regulating inflammation and immune function.
During the spring and summer, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from the sun. However, during the autumn and winter, the strength of the sun in Scotland is not sufficient to allow the body to make enough vitamin D. This can potentially lead to a variety of health problems.
The health impact of a vitamin D deficiency
Not getting enough vitamin D can have wide-ranging consequences including:
Put your mind at ease
The best way to assess your vitamin D levels is with a simple test. At YourGP, we’ll begin by discussing your lifestyle and running through your medical history. We will then take a blood sample and send this off to the lab for testing.
You can call for your results, or we can email these to you if you prefer. We will then arrange a follow up appointment to discuss any areas of concern. And if you need a vitamin D supplement, we will provide you with a prescription.
Take action and increase your vitamin D levels
If your vitamin D levels are too low, there are a variety of ways you can increase them to a healthy amount, including taking a daily supplement or changing your diet to include things such as:
Boost your levels all year long
The Scottish government recommends groups at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency should take a daily supplement all year round. These groups include:
Follow the guidance carefully
If you have been prescribed a vitamin D supplement, it is important that you follow the recommended dosage. Taking too much vitamin D can cause excess calcium to build up in the body, which can weaken bones and potentially damage the kidneys and the heart.
It is also important to remember that whilst exposure to the sun for a short period of time will help to boost vitamin D levels, staying in the sun for prolonged periods without sunscreen increases the risk of skin cancer.
Book your vitamin D test now
If you suspect your vitamin D levels are low, book a test at YourGP. Simply email email@example.com or call us on 0131 225 5656. We are open six days a week, with short-notice appointments available. We also offer a fast turnaround of results and the highest standards of care.
I just want to thank you for listening to me. When you are visiting the UK it can be worrying when you are unwell. You put me at ease and gave me the medical attention I needed.