In this article, I will discuss vitamin D deficiency symptoms in particular, their different complications, neurological and other health hazards, and their treatment with various natural sources.
Vitamin D deficiency means that you lack vitamin D in your body. You need to get more sun exposure if you want to get more vitamin D. In simple words, you get vitamin D from the sun. Fair-skinned people produce vitamin D at a much faster rate than dark-skinned people.
Before discussing the deficiency symptoms, we will discuss what vitamin D deficiency is.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?
Weight loss surgery can cause vitamin D deficiency. You should get regular checkups and consult your doctor if you have undergone weight-loss surgery. They should continue taking vitamin D and other supplements.
There are different causes of vitamin D deficiency. Some of these are:-
- Inadequate production
- Low intake from natural sources
- Chronic systemic diseases
Obese people need higher amounts of vitamin D to get enough of it.
The kidneys and liver are essential organs in our bodies. The liver and kidneys are also involved in the regulation and management of vitamin D production. They help us digest foods, make hormones, and regulate blood pressure. Kidney and liver diseases affect these organs’ ability to function properly, consequently affecting the normal regulatory mechanism of vitamin D in the body.
Symptoms and Health Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem among adults. Symptoms include bone pain and muscle weakness. People who have low blood levels of vitamin D may be more likely to die from heart problems.
But keep in mind that bone pain is not always due to deficiency of vitamin D. There are other reasons which can cause bone pain.
There are various Neurological Problems associated with low vitamin D. Some of them are discussed below:
1-Vitamin D deficiency and depression were linked in international study
A lack of sunlight exposure may be linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This study suggests that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in developing Seasonal Affective Disorder. Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects about 10% of people, according to some studies. People who suffer from this condition experience the same symptoms every year. The use of sources of vitamin D helps prevent seasonal depression.
Dark-skinned people tend to have low vitamin D levels. This could lead them to depression and other mental illnesses. Its deficiency causes osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children, but levels above 50 nanomoles per liter are recommended.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. People who don’t get enough vitamin D may develop osteoporosis or other bone diseases later in life. This study shows that even if you live in a sunny state, you still need to take care of your vitamin D level.
2-Vitamin D and other neurological disorders
There is some evidence that vitamin D may play a role in preventing neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. But it’s not clear whether this is due to its effect on inflammation or if it has a direct impact on the brain.
Vitamin D helps our bodies make serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals that help us feel happy. Low levels of these chemicals can lead to depression.
3-Association Of Low Vitamin D with Schizophrenia
A recent study found that people who had higher levels of vitamin D were less likely to develop schizophrenia later in life. The researchers believe this may be because vitamin D helps protect against inflammation, which has been linked to schizophrenia risk.
4-Dementia and association with Vitamin D
A recent study found that people who had dementia were more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D than those without dementia. The researchers believe this may be because they spend less time outside and therefore don’t get enough sun exposure. They also think it could be due to poor nutrition.
5-Vitamin D Deficiency and Depression
The link between depression and vitamin D deficiency has been known for some time. Some studies show that up to 90% of people with certain kinds of depression have low levels of vitamin D. A recent study found that people who had higher levels of vitamin D were less likely to suffer from depression than those with lower levels.
Respiratory Illnesses association with Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to respiratory illnesses like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and bronchitis. There is a risk of developing heart attack, stroke, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, depression, skin cancer, and some cancers in persons who are deficient in vitamin D.
Osteoporosis association with Vitamin D
Some patients with low vitamin D levels can present with bone pain symptoms. There are various causes of bone pain. But, bone pain can also be due to low vitamin D levels.
Calcium helps build strong bones; vitamin D helps absorb calcium from the gut into the bloodstream so it can reach the bones. Therefore, if you are experiencing bone pain, or any other similar problem, do consult your doctor and have your vitamin D level checked in a blood test.
Vitamin D deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t make enough vitamin D. Rickets happen when bones become soft. Vitamin D deficiency causes bone loss. Vitamin D deficiency is treated by taking more Vitamin D.
The best way to prevent osteoporosis is by getting enough calcium and vitamin D through food sources. Doctors say that adequate vitamin D levels are essential in maintaining bone health.
Diabetes association with Vitamin D
The best way to prevent vitamin D deficiency is by getting enough sun exposure. If you don’t live near the equator, you may want to supplement with a daily dose of 10,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D3.
Sexual Health and Vitamin D
1-Prostate Cancer association with Vitamin D
The prostate gland produces fluid that helps keep sperm healthy and strong. It also produces some hormones that control testosterone levels.
Let’s answer one of the FAQ:
Q: Does vitamin D affect the prostate?
A: Vitamin D levels were shown to be lower in people with prostate cancer in a 2017 study.
In men who have had prostate surgery, the risk of developing prostate cancer increases. And in older men, it may increase the risk of getting prostate cancer.
2-Severe Erectile Dysfunction Linked to Low Vitamin D levels
The link between vitamin D deficiency and erectile dysfunction (ED) has been known for decades. It has been observed that men who are deficient in vitamin D often develop impotence or erectile dysfunction.
There are primarily two ways that vitamin D can affect your sexual health:
- Directly Affecting the penile function
- Affecting the Neurological Function contributing to psychological impotence.
For further information, please check out this link.
Heart Disease association with Vitamin D
The increased risk of heart disease associated with vitamin D deficiency may be due to its role in regulating inflammation, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
Breast Cancer association with Vitamin D
There is some evidence that suggests vitamin D may play a role in breast cancer prevention. A recent study found that women who had higher levels of vitamin D were less likely to develop breast cancer than those with lower levels.
However, this was only true for postmenopausal women. The researchers suggest that further investigation into the relationship between vitamin D and breast cancer is warranted.
What Is The Normal Value Of Vitamin D In A Blood Test?
The normal value of vitamin D is between 20 and 40 ng/mL.
So, a healthy person will show a normal range of vitamin D in the blood test. A blood test that shows less than the normal value will indicate vitamin D deficiency.
Tests for Vitamin D Deficiency
The 25-hydroxy vitamin D test is the most accurate way to measure vitamin D. Blood levels of vitamin D should be measured regularly if someone is suffering from liver or kidney disease. Levels below 20 ng/mL indicate vitamin D deficiency.
Can too much vitamin D be harmful?
Yes, it is harmful. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Therefore, it cannot be easily removed from the body.
Vitamin D toxicity is dangerous because it can harm your body. You should take care when you get too much vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Too much calcium in your blood can lead to hypercalcemia, which causes confusion, disorientation, and problems with heart rhythm, among other things.
Most cases of vitamin D toxicity occur when people take too much vitamin D.
Excessive sun exposure does not cause vitamin D toxicity because the body limits how much it makes.
Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency
Prevention is always better than cure. Vitamin D deficiency should be treated by eating foods rich in vitamin D. A concentration of less than 20 ng/ml is generally considered insufficient, requiring treatment.
Vitamin D is important because it helps your body absorb calcium. You need enough calcium to help your bones grow strong.
Vitamin D is important for bone health and immune system function.
What are the sources of vitamin D?
There are various natural as well as synthetic sources from which you can get vitamin D.
- Sunlight is the most common source.
- The food is also a great source.
- Supplements are another source.
You need to get enough sunlight exposure to produce vitamin D. Sunscreen blocks out the ultraviolet B rays needed to make vitamin D. Therefore, enough sunlight exposure is essential to make vitamin D.
Aim for 10–30 minutes of midday sunshine many times per week to maintain appropriate blood levels. People with darker skin may require slightly more. Your exposure time should be determined by your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.
Food Sources Of Vitamin D
- The Fish and seafood are the richest natural source of Vitamin D.
- Egg yolk contain more than twice as much vitamin D than chicken meat.
- Cheese also contains significant amounts of vitamin D.
- Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin D, but most commercial varieties do not contain enough to meet recommended daily intake.
- Fortified milk and cereal provide substantial amounts of vitamin D.
- Cod liver oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish oils contain high amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fats help maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels. Omega-3s also lower triglycerides. Triglycerides are bad fats found in your blood.
There are various supplements available in the market that are used for the treatment of vitamin D deficiency. Some are in tablet formulations, some are in injection forms.
Always consult your doctor before using the supplements.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need Per Day?
You should take a vitamin D supplement if you’re deficient. The recommended daily dosage is 2000 IU. Your doctor may recommend higher doses depending on your needs.
Older adults need less vitamin D than younger adults.
Your doctor might recommend you take more than 4,000 IUs if you’re having trouble getting enough calcium. Talk to your doctor about getting a vitamin D supplement.
It’s easy to get vitamin D from food. If you eat fish or drink fortified milk and cereal, you will probably have enough. But if you don’t, you still can get plenty of vitamin D from supplements. The best way to ensure adequate vitamin D intake is through sunlight exposure.
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