Similar to all other vitamins that are naturally present in many edible products, vitamin D also holds certain specific benefits which makes it an essential body requirement. Although Vitamin D is found in some food products, its main source is pure sunlight, which is why it is often called as sunshine vitamin. Some of the food products from where you can get Vitamin D are
- Egg yolk,
- Fish oil,
- Some cheeses and
- Some kinds of grains.
Vitamin D happens to be a fat soluble vitamin which is created in the body when it is exposed to certain amounts of sunlight daily. So if you are a vegetarian who avoids sunlight then you can be under serious risk of suffering from Vitamin D Deficiency.
Although it is not obtained from dairy products, yet it has a lot to do with calcium and phosphorus absorption in the body; which means that the mere intake of calcium-rich foods is not enough to have healthy bones and teeth. The body requires enough of Vitamin D to get the calcium absorbed in the bones. It also helps in regulating normal cellular differentiation; the lack of which can increase the risk of cancer.
- Reducing inflammation
- Regulating blood pressure
- Boosting the Immune system and
- Keeping the heart healthy.
Since Vitamin D is linked with a lot of vital processes in our body, therefore its deficiency can lead to numerous serious health issues; some of which are,
- High Blood Pressure
- Chronic fatigue
- Heart Diseases.
The above mentioned health issues are quite severe in nature which is why Vitamin D deficiency or the risk of it should also be taken seriously. There are many situations which can easily lead to Vitamin D deficiency in kids and adults; therefore one should be aware of the Vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
It is also important to note here that Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are also hard to get detected by people because they can easily be mistaken for muscular, autoimmune or gastrointestinal problems. This article therefore takes a look at the many symptoms which can help in spotting the deficiency.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
1. Sometimes people experience an unusual pain which they cannot spot. It is best to get it checked and to have a laboratory checkup. If the results are negative then it could be because of Vitamin D deficiency.
2. Another common one from the vitamin D deficiency symptoms is the pain which is in the bones. If it is in the adult then it could be because of osteoporosis as lack of vitamin D can lead to calcium loss. This can be associated with pain in lower back, neck, short height or fractures that happen easily. It is easier to observe this in kids as their bones can start to bend, whereas in adults it is usually not witnessed unless the situation has gained in severity.
In kids, vitamin D deficiency can manifest differently. It can lead to weakening of bones and one of the most common Vitamin D deficiency symptoms is the deformation or bending of bones which is a characteristic of rickets in children. In this condition, the bone tissue gets weakened and therefore fails to mineralize. The bones of the kids remain soft and are thus more susceptible to breakage or bending.
3. Mood swings is also prominent amongst the vitamin D deficiency symptoms. A change in the normal behavior can be witnessed if someone is suffering from vitamin D deficiency. It’s no wonder that this can be linked to “winter blues.” People are exposed to very less sunlight during the winter months, which is when it is most commonly seen.
4. Muscle cramps or general weakness in muscles is also registered if there is vitamin D deficiency in the body. As the muscles get weak, then a feeling of fatigue takes over. This feeling should not be mistaken with a constant feeling of sleepiness as being tired all the time is different than wanting to sleep.
5. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms also include sleep irregularities. This is again another symptom which is mistakenly associated. Generally people think that sleep irregularities result from the general stresses of life; however it can very well be linked to vitamin D deficiency.
6. Kids often show difficulty in breathing which is also one of the vitamin D deficiency symptoms. Other than that, if you notice that the kid’s growth is halted then it is better to get it checked by the physician to run some tests on his calcium level. Late teething is also one of the symptoms.
It is obvious from above mentioned facts that Vitamin D is vital for many of the important functions of the body. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms should definitely be monitored in kids as well as adults as the deficiency could lead to some serious illnesses.
If certain seemingly insignificant things in our life are neglected then it could result in risky health issues. Just as it is important to know what the vitamin D deficiency symptoms are, similarly one should be aware of what causes this deficiency in the body. There are a number of causes of vitamin D deficiency and some of the prominent ones are listed below,
Causes of vitamin D deficiency
1. Your body does not get enough exposure to direct sunlight. This can either be because you don’t like to go out in the sun, you miss out on the sunny timings because you are in the office the whole time or you simply live in a place where due to extreme cold weathers sunlight hits for a very short time.
2. Foods that offer Vitamin D are usually non-vegetarian dishes like fish, fish oil, egg yolks and red meat; therefore you miss out on them because you are a vegetarian. Or perhaps you consume such foods but in a very less quantity which does not equal to the body’s requirement.
3. The process where Vitamin D is actually changed into its active form takes place inside the kidneys. Maybe your kidneys are not functioning properly to make this process possible. This can be age-related as well. With an older age the kidneys often perform this way.
4. Those of who have dark skin can also show vitamin D deficiency symptoms because the melanin in their skin does not actively produce Vitamin D thereby resulting in low levels of the vitamin in the body.
5. Since Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin it can easily get absorbed in the fat cells. Therefore if one is obese, there are chances that the Vitamin D which enters his/her body will not reach the bones and ultimately the bones will get weak and fragile.
These are some of the common causes which result in the manifestation of Vitamin D deficiency symptoms. If you realize that you or someone in your family is suffering or can be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency then it is better to get it checked right away. Your physician will probably recommend you to take a Vitamin D supplement or to do a little bit more of sun bathing.