Are you suffering from vitamin D deficiency? If yes, then this article is for you. Here we are going to explain the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency along with its causes and treatments. Poor nutrition is the prime cause of Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones. The best source of this vitamin is a proper diet and prompt exposure to the sun. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms generally include pain in bones and muscle weakness. We will also be discussing the causes and treatment of vitamin D deficiency.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It supports calcium metabolism that helps the body absorb calcium from the food. Vitamin D keeps our bones healthy and strong.
However, supporting calcium metabolism is not the only function of vitamin D. It helps us in many different ways, such as:
- Promoting muscle health
- Supporting cell growth
- Maintaining blood pressure
- Reducing inflammation
Vitamin D is an essential element for the human body. Your body produces vitamin D from cholesterol when the skin is exposed to sunlight. It supports the immune system and provides protection from several health problems.
You should try to consume a sufficient amount of vitamin D to avoid various health problems.
Sources of Vitamin D
You can get vitamin D from a variety of sources. Some sources are as follows:
- Sun exposure.
- Foods that contain vitamin D
There are diverse food options to deliver a sufficient amount of vitamin D to your body.
Fatty fishes like salmon and fish liver oils are generally high in vitamin D.
You can also consume egg yolk, milk, and cereals to overcome vitamin D deficiency. In addition, Vitamin D supplements are available in the market for speedy results.
How to Get More Vitamin D?
You can get vitamin D from a wide spectrum of natural sources. Some of them are fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, beef liver, cheese, mushrooms, egg yolks and so on. You can also get vitamin D from fortified products. The food items that contain added vitamin D are:
- Breakfast cereals
- Orange juice
- Other dairy products, such as yogurt
- Soy drinks
Before choosing a food product, check its label to know the quantity of Vitamins present.
Surprising Benefits of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D is essential to human beings as it regulates calcium in the blood. It is also responsible to maintain the level of phosphorus in the blood. These two factors play an important role in maintaining healthy bones.
- Vitamin D supports our immune system, brain activities, and nervous system.
- It also regulates insulin levels and provides aid for diabetes management. Vitamin D supports lung function and cardiovascular health as well.
What is Vitamin D Deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency means that your body is lacking the required amount of Vitamin D to stay healthy. The quantity of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age and health condition. The recommended amounts of vitamin D for different age groups are as follows:
- Birth to 12 months: 400 IU
- Children 1-13 years: 600 IU
- Teens 14-18 years: 600 IU
- Adults 19-70 years: 600 IU
- Adults 71 years and older: 800 IU
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 600 IU
In order to know the appropriate amount of Vitamin D for your body, it is suggested that you consult with a doctor. The patients at high risk of vitamin D deficiency require more amounts of the said vitamin along with medical help.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is acutely essential for a healthy body. The deficiency of vitamin D may lead to several health disorders. So it is important to recognize the signs of its deficiency. Here are few vitamin D deficiency symptoms-
- Bone and back pain
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
- Getting sick and infected
- Impaired wound healing
Vitamin D deficiency is on the increase these days. Sadly, most people tend to ignore it. Whenever you find any symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, do consult with your doctor soon. Ignorance is not always bliss, it could be harmful to your health in this case.
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
There are numerous reasons behind Vitamin D Deficiency in a person. Some of the Vitamin D deficiency causes are listed below:
- Staying indoors for longer periods of time: Sun is the fundamental source for Vitamin D. Our bodies generate this vitamin from cholesterol. When our bodies are exposed to sunlight, our skin creates Vitamin D using the cholesterol present in our body. Staying indoors meaning less exposure to sunlight. This results in Vitamin D deficiency.
- Poor Diet: What we eat reflects how healthy we remain. If you intake food items which lack in Vitamin D then you may have higher chances of vitamin D deficiency. A diet with poor nutritional components is a leading cause of vitamin D deficiency.
- Overweight: Being overweight would mean that you have more body fat. Excess body fat affects vitamin D absorption. If you are obese, your risk of being Vitamin D deficient is higher.
- Kidney and liver health: The health of your kidneys and livers determines your overall health. If these organs of your body have concerning conditions then you would most likely have vitamin D deficiency.
- Breastfeeding: Milk from female breasts is low in Vitamin D. This is why infants who are breastfed may need vitamin D supplements to avoid its shortage.
- Pregnancy: Similar to the case of infants, pregnant women or mothers who breastfeed generally have low Vitamin D. Thus, in order to balance their overall health, vitamin D supplements and a rich diet would be required.
- Age: After a particular period of time, the ability of your body to absorb vitamin D may declines. Growing old means Vitamin D deficiency and thus requires proper care.
- Ambient temperature: Your body’s temperature decides how well you would be able to absorb sun rays. Warm skin is better at absorption compared to cooled skin.
- Overuse of sunscreens: Excessive use of sunscreen can block the UV rays. Therefore, the body will not be able to produce enough vitamin D from the sunlight.
- Living at a high latitude: Another cause of Vitamin D deficiency is life at places of high latitude. The reason behind this is again less exposure to sun rays.
NOTE: People with dark skin colors are more prone to being deficient in this vitamin. This is because their skin requires more sun exposure. So it is mandatory for people with dark skin colors to spend more time under the skin to gain enough Vitamin D. They also require a better diet than those with lighter skin.
Also, Read About: How to get Healthy Beautiful Skin?
Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can target people of all age groups. But it can be cured easily. Try to intake vitamin D rich diet and spend at least 15-20 minutes in sunlight each day as prevention. Here are some vitamin D deficiency treatments:
- Healthy body weight: As we know that being overweight is one of the reasons for vitamin D deficiency. It affects the absorption and production of vitamin D. Thus, it is significant to manage body weight to avoid vitamin D deficiency. Try to maintain healthy body weight.
- Use Vitamin D supplements: You can supplement for better and faster results for vitamin D deficiency treatment. Particularly, breastfed infants and breastfeeding mothers need these supplements.
- Sun Exposure: Sun exposure is a must to recover vitamin D deficiency. The sunlight during early morning hours is best suited to make up for this deficiency.
- Diet: Take a vitamin-rich diet to get enough vitamin D. Add food products such as fatty fish, liver oils, cheese and so on to your meals.
- Consult a healthcare specialist: If the above treatments do not help you, it is advised to consult a specialist. You should not ignore your symptoms and visit a doctor at the earliest.
Side effects of excessive Vitamin D
We hope you know by now that vitamin D is extremely important for your health. But an excess of anything can be harmful. So is the case with Vitamin D.
We should only intake a required quantity of vitamin D. Excess intake may cause harmful side effects. Some of them are nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. It can also damage the kidney. Excessive use of vitamin D may increase the level of calcium in the blood.
Vitamin D toxicity happens with the overdosage of vitamin D supplements. Too much of vitamin D can also result in the following disorders:
- Bone loss
- Elevated blood levels
- Stomach pain
Vitamin D is as essential as air for our lives. In the above post, we have tried to describe the main sources of vitamin D. These include sunlight, fatty fish, egg yolks, fish liver oils, fortified foods, and supplements.
We have also discussed several symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. If you face any of these symptoms, do visit your healthcare provider for the best treatment.
Vitamin D deficiency is easy to fix. But if ignored for a long time, the symptoms can get worse. You should consult your doctor before consuming any supplements. Take a vitamin D rich diet to prevent vitamin D deficiency.
For more information and free personalized guidance, talk to Credihealth Medical Experts.