Vitamin D - What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which is known as the “sunshine” vitamin because the human body produces it during exposure to the sun. It is also the only vitamin that functions as a hormone.

In recent years, the dangers of UVA and UVB rays have become well-known by the public. This has led to decreased sun exposure and, in turn, to an increased prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency. Even the American Academy of Dermatology has become concerned and has cautioned that some people may be at risk of “insufficiency”, and may need to consume higher doses of the vitamin.

Why is this so alarming? Because low-levels of Vitamin D can cause symptoms with varying degrees of discomfort and, in extreme cases, even illness or death. It has become a vitamin that shows great promise in the prevention and treatment of many diseases.

What are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?

The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are often subtle but can include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fractures
  • Depression
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Periodontal disease
  • Rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults

Medical research has uncovered evidence that vitamin D plays a vital role in helping to prevent or treat conditions such as osteoporosis, hypertension, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and glucose intolerance. Low levels of vitamin D can also complicate serious diseases such as cardiovascular conditions, cancer, severe childhood asthma, and cognitive disorders of the elderly.

There are several factors affecting vitamin D levels in addition to decreased sun exposure. These factors are:

  • Obesity. Since vitamin D is extracted from the body from fat cells having too many fat cells causes the body to release excess amounts of the vitamin.
  • Medical conditions such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and cystic fibrosis.
  • Following a strict vegetarian diet. Vitamin D is found in animal-based products such as dairy foods, beef liver, eggs, fish, and fish oils.
  • Decreased kidney function. As people age, their kidneys become less adept at converting vitamin D to its active form.
  • Skin color. Darker skin contains more melanin which reduces the body's ability to absorb sunlight.

How do I know if my levels of vitamin D are too low?

If you suspect that you are not getting enough vitamin D, visit your healthcare professional for a blood test. Normal levels of vitamin D range from 20 to 50 ng/mL. Your physician can advise you on the best ways to increase your intake of vitamin D. - Consult Your Doctor before doing anything... 

Deficiency of the vitamin in our body results in multiple conditions. Every single organ in our body system requires a certain amount of Vitamin D to function well. Without it, organs might lead to failure thus causing serious diseases like cancer, cardiovascular, and kidney diseases. 

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