Vitamin D deficiency symptoms occur when there is an inadequate store of vitamin D in the body.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. The sun is the main source of vitamin D. The skin produces vitamin D because of the sun’s rays exposure. Vitamin D can also be found in foods such as: eggs, dairy products, liver, and oily fish.
This fat-soluble vitamin is essential in different health aspects. It aids in the absorption of phosphorus and calcium from food which is needed for building strong bones. Furthermore, vitamin D is also important for nervous system function and hormone regulation. This vitamin also aids the body’s immune system with regards to anti-inflammatory responses. It is important for the development of our body’s cells, teeth, and bones.
Vitamin D deficiency has become very common these days. As the sun’s rays are the main source of this vitamin, certain lifestyle changes have hindered a person from getting out for sunshine. Furthermore, certain health risks also have imposed limitations for sun exposure. Because of this, people prefer staying indoors to avoid the sun and using a lot of sunscreens. People living in the northern hemisphere also find it difficult to get a sufficient amount of vitamin D because the sun’s rays in these areas are not strong enough especially during winter making it hard for the body to create adequate amounts of vitamin D.
What are Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms?
Vitamin D deficiency, if left untreated, may lead to very dangerous disorders. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are warning signs that mean there’s something wrong with the body. It is important to make sure you have a sufficient amount of vitamin D from foods rich in vitamin D, direct sunlight exposure, and vitamin supplements.
In children, rickets is one of the most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Because of insufficient vitamin D, there is a deficiency of calcium absorption in the bones. As a result, the bones become weak leading to deformed bones.
Similar to rickets, osteoporosis is another symptom of this vitamin deficiency. Unlike rickets, osteoporosis affects adults more than children. It commonly affects women who are in their mid-30s and late 50s. The low levels of vitamin D in the body lead to deficient calcification in the bones making them soft and brittle.
According to studies, depression may also be a result of vitamin D deficiency. It is said that low levels of serum 25(OH) in the body is a result of insufficient sunlight exposure thus leading to depression. Seasonal affective disorder is also said to occur during the winter due to inadequate direct sunlight exposure. Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency is also caused by abnormal levels of parathyroid hormone which is also linked to depression.
The parathyroid hormone is one of the most important calcium regulators. Hyperparathyroidism is a result of abnormally low levels of vitamin D causing hypocalcemia.
Fatigue may also be a result because of the absence of vitamin D. According to old health practices, fresh air and sunshine is very essential for good health.
Obesity is also being linked to vitamin D deficiency. Abnormal levels of vitamin D cause an alteration with leptin production, the hormone responsible for regulating fat in the body. Furthermore, inadequate sunlight exposure disrupts the body’s normal functions which sometimes makes the individual eat more than what is needed for the body.
Other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, heart diseases, cancer, and chronic pain.
What are the Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency occurs for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is diet. People with a strict vegetarian diet are most likely to develop vitamin D deficiency. This is because many sources of vitamin D are animal-based, which includes: beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, a6nd fish oil.
Limited sunlight exposure may also increase your risk of developing this vitamin deficiency. A person who lives in the northern hemisphere, homebound, wears head coverings or long robes for religious purposes, works in an office that has less sun exposure is more likely to have a deficiency with this vitamin.
Melanin is a pigment that gives our skin its skin color. However, melanin also reduces the ability of the skin to produce vitamin D. Studies show that people who have dark skin are the most at risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency.
Discrepancies in certain organs in the body also may cause vitamin D deficiency. Problems in the digestive tract can affect the body’s ability to absorb vitamin D. Conversion of vitamin D to its active form is also impossible with aging or damaged kidneys.
What is the Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency?
The treatment for vitamin D deficiency symptoms is possible with early diagnosis and treatment. Vitamin D deficiency patients may expect a good prognosis as well as avoid serious complications if diagnosis and treatment begins early. Treatment of vitamin D deficiency includes: increasing the diet with vitamin D, increasing sun exposure, and taking vitamin D supplements. Treatment of the cause of the deficiency is essential. The patient should also have regular consultation for monitoring purposes.