Why every allergy sufferer should have their Vitamin D levels checked

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is surprisingly not a vitamin - it's a hormone. It plays a key role in bone strength, can reduce your risk for certain cancers, improves your mood and boosts immunity.

Vitamin D and allergies

Studies have linked vitamin D deficiency with several allergy-related conditions, especially asthma and eczema.

Asthma

The anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin D are thought to help with asthma and seasonal allergies, like hay fever. In fact, studies have associated low vitamin D levels with a 50 per cent increase in severe asthma attacks in children (3). Taking vitamin D during pregnancy has also been associated with a lower prevalence of wheezing in offspring around the age of three (4).

Eczema

Vitamin D can reduce the symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema and dermatitis, because of its ability to strengthen the skin barrier and reduce inflammation. In fact, a common treatment for these disorders is the controlled use of ultraviolet (UV) light, which encourages the production of vitamin D in the skin.

Who is at risk of vitamin D deficiency?

Humans receive at least 80 per cent of their vitamin D from sunlight exposure (1). The rest comes from foods that are naturally high in vitamin D. However, even in sunny Australia, low vitamin D levels (associated with bone conditions, bowel cancer, heart disease and auto-immune diseases) are still a concern.

You’re most at risk if:

  • You don't consume the right amount (particularly prevalent in those who follow a strict vegan diet)
  • You have limited exposure to sunlight
  • You have dark skin
  • You have a health condition, or take medications, that affect the way your body metabolises vitamin D

Increasing your vitamin D levels

You can increase your vitamin D levels in a number of ways:

  • Sun exposure – the best way to increase your vitamin D levels is through sensible exposure to sunlight. Aim for 10 minutes of every day in the early morning and/or late afternoon
  • Supplementation – talk to your healthcare practitioner about the right supplement and dosage for your body
  • Diet - increase your consumption of vitamin D-rich foods. Good sources include fortified margarine, oily fish, milk or yoghurt, egg yolks and cheese.

Do you suffer from allergies?

At HWA, we perform a natural allergy treatment called Positive Association Technique (PAT), which may help reduce your reactions and help manage the symptoms of allergy-related conditions like asthma and eczema.

PAT is a non-invasive holistic therapy, which:

  • draws on acupressure and kinesiology techniques
  • aims to re-train your body
  • may reduce your reactions to food and environmental substances that may be causing or exacerbating your allergy symptoms

This blog is intended as general information only. PAT cannot diagnose or cure allergies – it is intended to decrease reactions and help manage symptoms. It is not intended to raise unrealistic expectations. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2914320/

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2866800/

(3) https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/asthma/#sthash.ANsCBJGy.dpuf

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406411/

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