11 Clear Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
What are the most common Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms?
I am having frequent joint pain & muscle pain, are these Low Vitamin D Symptoms?
Any many more such questions I hear every day. Vitamin D is the most commonly deficient vitamin and more than 80% people has less than the required amount.
Vitamin D or ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’ is the only vitamin that our body synthesizes from cholesterol in the presence of ultraviolet rays. It acts as both vitamin and hormone. As a vitamin, it helps in the absorption of calcium and facilitates bone and teeth development, maintenance etc.
It is converted in hormone by our liver and kidneys. As a hormone, it helps in controlling the levels of potassium and also facilitates neuromuscular function and bone metabolism. Today we will discuss 11 vitamin D deficiency symptoms which will help you find if you are vitamin D deficient and ways to cure it.
What is Vitamin D Deficiency :
Insufficient amount of vitamin D over a period of time which causes insufficient absorption of other essential micronutrients in the body is called as the deficiency of vitamin D.
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency :
The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. There are some vitamin D rich foods which can provide us sufficient amount of vitamin D. But sometimes due to ignorance and lack of knowledge we do not to take sufficient sunlight. Below are some of the causes of vitamin D deficiency.
1.Insufficient Exposure to Sunlight :
Staying indoors for a long period of time and not getting exposed to sunlight is of the major causes of Vitamin D deficiency. Wearing full body covered clothes may also cause insufficient exposure to sunlight.
During your childhood, you might be playing a lot of outdoor games that gave you enough vitamin. But today due to the lifestyle changes it is nearly impossible to get the adequate sun exposure. It is advisable to get sun exposure at least 1-2 days in a week. Plan for weekends if it is not possible for your during weekdays.
2. Use of a Sunscreen with High SPF:
Sunscreens with high SPF does not allow sunlight to penetrate the skin and cause a chemical reaction to form Vitamin D. The fear of skin cancer and getting tanned prevents us from exposing to sunlight which weakens our body.
3. Age Factor:
As our age increases, or immunity decreases and we are exposed to several deficiencies. Vitamin D deficiency is many times due to increasing age. Older people require more amounts of vitamin D as compared to younger ones.
4. Inadequate Intake of Vitamin D Rich Foods:
Vitamin D rich foods contain mainly seafood, dairy products, mushrooms and fortified foods. Many vegans may face this deficiency due to their food restrictions.
Apart from these causes, people with darker complexion may have this deficiency. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children below 5 are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. (1)
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms :
1.Drying of Skin:
Vitamin D plays a vital role in reducing the free radical effects and prevents premature ageing. If your skin cells are not getting sufficient supply of anti-oxidants, it causes your skin to dry and dull. Vitamin D is also essential in preventing acne and other skin disorders. Be aware if you are facing drying of skin or acne more often and check the levels of vitamin D in your blood.
2. Malfunctioning of Thyroid Gland:
Vitamin D facilitates proper neurological functioning. If there is a deficiency of vitamin D, pituitary gland may not function effectively and this may lead to thyroid malfunction.
If thyroid levels get high in your body it can result in various health problems like weight gain, fatigue etc.
3. Neurological Disorders:
Vitamin D is crucial for controlling the relaxation of skeletal and involuntary muscles. Vitamin D deficiency may cause constriction of blood vessels which increases blood pressure and causes headaches and migraines.
4. Rickets or Osteomalacia:
Since the basic function of vitamin D is assisting the binding and absorption of minerals like calcium and potassium, the deficiency of it causes a direct effect on bones. This may result in bone loss or softening of bones.
It is advisable to include calcium-rich foods in your diet.
5. Poor Mental Function:
As vitamin D affects our neurological health, deficiency of it causes improper mental functioning. It may result in poor decision making, anxiety, insomnia, hopelessness etc. This is one of the clearest vitamin D deficiency symptoms. (2)
6. Back Pain:
Insufficient absorption of calcium may cause a backache due to bone loss. The muscles surrounding our bones can also cause pain and unease. This is one of the clearest vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
If your back pain is not due to low level of vitamin D but a normal back pain you can try yoga asanas for back pain.
7. Hair Fall:
Vitamin D deficiency causes our scalp to dry out and thus it promotes dandruff and hair fall. It weakens our hair follicles. If you notice excessive hair fall over a period of time it may be due to lack of vitamin D. You can also try yoga asanas for hair growth if your fall is not because of any vitamin deficiency but a lifestyle problem.
Here is an informative video from Dr. Axe on Vitamin D deficiency symptoms
Vitamin D deficiency causes numerous neurological disorders one of which is depression. Your ability to think positively is hindered and you end up feeling low more often. If you are going through this then get a vitamin D test done and consult the doctor.
9. Weak Immunity:
Vitamin D deficiency makes you more susceptible to infections. Cold, flu, irritability in the throat is caused to you again and again. This is one of the clearest vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
Fatigue or tiredness is one of the main outcomes of deficiency of vitamin D. Although it may be due to many reasons and vitamin D deficiency is one of them.
11. Muscle Pain:
Many times de to strain or improper sleeping pattern we face muscle pain. Excessive gymming might be one of the reasons but these pains are cure easily with time. But a person with vitamin D deficiency may not have the same experience.
The muscle pain is not healed with time and since the bones become weak, the muscle surrounding the bones cause more pain. This is one of the clearest vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
Vitamin D Benefits :
Vitamin D Benefits includes strong bones, clear skin, strong immune system etc.
How to Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency :
Vitamin D deficiency can be avoided by getting a proper amount of sunlight every day and including vitamin D rich foods in your regular diet. If you find the above symptoms, start sitting in sunlight in the morning for at least 1 hour. Let your body heat up to a proper level. You can also take vitamin D supplements but make sure you do not take excess amounts as it can cause serious problems.
How to Detect and Cure Vitamin D Deficiency :
Do a vitamin D test from a recognized laboratory. If the amount of vitamin D in your blood is between 30 to 100 ng/ml, there is no deficiency. If Vitamin D is less than 30 ng/ml, morning sunlight is the best therapy. You can also take vitamin D supplements prescribed by your doctor.
So these were the 11 symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. If you find any such symptoms, consult your doctor.