SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — If wintertime has you feeling unhappy, experts say you may be dealing with low levels of Vitamin D.
But, experts say you don’t have to wait for summertime to come around to give your mood a boost.
When going outside requires a hat, gloves, a big coat, and so on– staying indoors may seem more appealing.
But throughout the winter months the lack of sun can lead to low levels of vitamin D.
“I work 12 hour shifts at my job, so I go in when it’s dark and I go home when it’s dark,” Jason Blom said.
Because of that, Jason Blom says he makes an effort to get outside as much as he can when the sun is out.
And that’s one way Lewis Drug pharmacist Jackie Thomas says you can keep the winter blues at bay.
“That’s always a good thing to help. I mean especially just kind of lift the mood in general if you’re out there doing stuff that just seems to have a positive effect,” Thomas said.
In areas like the Midwest, she says we get a lot less sun exposure in the winter– resulting in your body making less Vitamin D.
“There’s usually a link between low vitamin D, and low mood,” Thomas said.
If getting outside when the sun is out isn’t an option, she says don’t worry. Instead, she says supplementing with Vitamin D can be a big help for those feeling down this winter.
“It just boosts your supply that you already have, so it’s something you already have in your body it’s just giving you more of that,” Thomas said.
She recommends healthy individuals take 600 international units, and people over 70 take 800.
But before taking any supplements be sure to speak with your pharmacist or doctor to avoid any complications.
“A lot of them are safe. They’re over-the-counter, you can just get them but they can sometimes interact with prescriptions that you’re already taking, so best to have someone look at that and kind of help you determine if they’ll affect you or anything that you’re taking,” Thomas said.
Which is why she suggests checking your vitamin levels with your doctor before purchasing any supplements.
Thomas adds that each person’s levels and needs may vary, stressing the importance of checking with your doctor first.