Vitamin D also known as “sunshine vitamin”, as people are able to synthesize most of their required intake of vitamin D through proper exposure towards sun. Vitamin D can help produce hormones that are responsible for regulation of body’s calcium levels. Hence, proper amounts of this vitamin are essential for bone strength and vitamin D deficiency can lead to further health risks. If you are suffering from milk allergies or if you shun from sun, you might be at a risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms can be spot easily thereby helping individuals avoid other uneven consequences of not availing enough of this vitamin.
Etiology of Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D is important for bone strength as it helps body use calcium from regular diet. Traditionally, deficiency of vitamin D has been related with rickets where the bone tissues do not materialize properly leading to skeletal deformities. Research studies indicated that vitamin D can help protect against other health risks as well.
VDDS or Vitamin D deficiency syndrome is a condition where a group of symptoms is associated with vitamin D deficiency. Sometimes, few symptoms can be an indication of existing health issues. While one or few signs do not actually indicate this condition. However, ongoing symptoms when combined with some kind of bone disorder either family or personal history of osteoporosis could indicate nutrition deficiencies.
Symptoms such as muscle weakness, bone pain indicate vitamin D deficiency. However, symptoms are subtle for many people. Low Vitamin D levels can also lead to several health risks even without showing symptoms. Reduced vitamin D levels in blood can lead to cardiovascular diseases, asthma; cognitive impairment that is also seen in older adults, cancer, hyperparathyroidism etc.
Common Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency
- Muscle cramps
- Chronic pain
- Muscle weakness and pain
- Joint pain
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Poor concentration
- Bladder problems
- Restless sleep
Symptoms & Signs of Vitamin D deficiency
Few signs that you need more Vitamin D:
Pain in Bones
Adults feel pain in bones and muscles especially during winter, if they are suffering from deficiency of Vitamin D. Joints are little stiff especially when they wake up during morning says Dr. Holick, a renowned American scientist and researcher. Low vitamin D levels will lead to low calcium absorption from intestines. Hence, calcium is withdrawn from bones and teeth and hence dental health is affected as well.
People suffering from gut conditions such as celiac, Crohn’s or inflammatory bowel disease are at a greater risk of this condition because of the way these gastrointestinal conditions affect absorption of fat i.e. you may have lower absorption of such fat soluble vitamins( like Vitamin D).
You may have dark skin
Vitamin D deficiency shows great impact on skin tone. If you are having darker skin tone, you may need at least 10 times more sun exposure to generate the same amount of this vitamin as someone with pale skin tone has. Also, research states that a sunscreen with spf30 can reduce the ability of skin to produce vitamin D by 97%.
Sweaty Head is a classic sign of vitamin D deficiency. Often, physicians ask mothers about this symptom in their newborn babies for this reason. Excessive sweating when observed in newborn babies is due to the neuromuscular irritability. This is an early and a common symptom found in deficiency of vitamin D.
You are obese or overweight
If you are overweight or obese, then you will need more Vitamin-D than a person who is lean. This is in fact true for people with excess body weight due to heavy muscle mass. Higher concentrations of body fat will affect levels of vitamin D in blood because it is a fat-soluble vitamin. The more body fat you have, the more it will be diluted.
You have got “Blues”
Neurotransmitter serotonin, a hormone related to brain is associated with elevation of mood changes according to the exposure of sun. This hormone level rises on exposure to sun and falls with decrease in exposure towards sun. Also, this hormone can lift up your mood levels. Scientists have proven that elder people with lower vitamin D levels were 11 times more likely prone to be stressed and depressed.
You are 50 or older
You are 50 or older, your skin will not be able to produce vitamin D in response to the exposure towards sun. In addition, your kidneys cannot effectively convert Vitamin D into a form that will be used by your body. According to NIH, older adults spend more time indoors.
In addition, If you have vitamin D deficiency, you might suffer from any of the below ailments. So, you need to consult your doctor regarding the curative and preventive options.
Deficiency of vitamin D increases the chances of respiratory diseases in children. This condition would predispose children to several respiratory infections such as cold and flu.
Pain in muscles or muscle weakness is due to Vitamin D deficiency because this vitamin is essential for proper functioning of skeletal muscles.
Deficiency of vitamin D increases the risk of breast cancer. American Cancer Research studies revealed the fact that increase in dosage of vitamin D helped reduce cancer growth by 75% and tumor by 50% among patients who are already suffering from the disease.
Patients suffering from this gum disease that causes bleeding and swelling of gums need to increase daily dosage of vitamin D to produce cathelicidin and defensins because these compounds have microbial properties.
Chronic kidney disease, psoriasis, cardiovascular disease, asthma, type 1 as well as type 2 diabetes, depression and schizophrenia are other possible ailments found due to vitamin D deficiency.
How to check if you are deficient of Vitamin D
The best way to check whether you are deficient of vitamin D or not is to take a blood test for analyzing the vitamin D levels in your blood. The only test, which can diagnose this condition, is 25OH Vitamin D. The ideal blood level range for optimal health is around 50 to 80ngml. You need to undergo this test once a year particularly before winter. However, if you are taking supplements you need to undergo this test for every three months until the levels are optimal.