Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency - HealthyVibe

Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Beside from being an essential element for the growth and good health of the skeleton, vitamin D acts like a hormone, which is essential to every single cell in our body.

Vitamin D has many functions, including: Keeping bones strong, absorbing calcium and working with parathyroid glands. Several studies have shown that vitamin D plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of certain health conditions such as: Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Causes of vitamin D deficiency:

The main reasons for vitamin D deficiency are: Poor diet, inadequate sun exposure, incapability to absorb vitamin D from the intestines and difficulty to process vitamin D due to kidney or liver disease.

You might also be at an increased risk of developing vitamin D deficiency if you are vegan or vegetarian, have darker skin, are elderly, stay indoors a lot and cover up most of your skin outdoors.

How to get vitamin D?

Few foods naturally contain this vitamin. The sun is our greatest source of vitamin D, where about 80 to 90% of it comes from the sun.

It has been reported that when we expose our skin to sunlight, the vitamin intake is the equivalent of 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin d supplements. The quantity of vitamin D that your skin makes depends on several factors such as: The season, the time of day, where you live, and the melanin content of your skin.

Here are the signs of vitamin D deficiency:

1. You are tired or exhausted

Because vitamin D tends to boost the immune system, a lack of it leads to fatigue and tiredness. If you are having trouble with pumping and drowsiness, you may be lacking vitamin D.

Vitamins D stimulates the absorption capacity of calcium and phosphorus, a mineral, of the intestine by regulating their content in the blood.

It has been reported that vitamin D supplementation has allowed tired patients to get fit. This symptom may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency.

2. Hair loss

Vitamin D seems to play a determining role in the normal growth of the hair (anagen phase), since its absence prematurely ages the hair follicles, rendering them unable to properly re-engage a new cycle of keratinization (3).

Vitamin D deficiency may be an additional risk factor in the development of alopecia and hypersecretion of sebum. This factor would interact with the other factors of hair loss classically listed: heredity, stress, ferric anemia, thyroid problems …

People who lose their hair should check their vitamin D levels, especially in the fall, when the hair tends to fall more, and in the winter. If a deficiency is proven, they should be prescribed by their doctor supplementation adapted to their case.

3. Skin problems

You’ve probably heard that vitamin D is the sun’s vitamin. Indeed, light and sun allow cells to produce vitamin D. Studies have confirmed the existence of a relationship that entangles vitamin D to dermatology.

A lack of vitamin D can hinder the proper healing of your wounds, certain skin conditions and impaired hydration. If your skin tends to be always dry, if your wounds are slow to heal or if you are prone to persistent skin diseases, you may be missing vitamin D.

The more the skin is exposed to light, the happier it is. The secret to having a beautiful skin and a beautiful complexion does not necessarily come from a perfect tan, but also a healthy skin and well hydrated. A good reason to use and abuse moisturizer in the winter. This period is indeed more conducive to vitamin D deficiency, because of the lack of sun.

4. Dark skin

If you have dark skin, you are more prone to vitamin D deficiency. Our skin defends itself against the aggressions of the sun thanks to its pigmentation.This pigmentation is higher for people who have a matte skin.

Your skin will therefore filter many more U.V.B. rays, which are however necessary for the natural synthesis of vitamin D.

When you apply a 30-fold sunscreen, this reduces the ability of the skin to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight by 97%. A person with very dark skin needs ten times more sunlight than a person with fair skin to synthesize the same amount of vitamin D (4).

5. Muscle problems

Everyone suffers from muscle aches, especially when you are getting older. However, vitamin D deficiency is among the causes of muscle pain.

Studies associate muscle weakness, falls and reduced muscle mass with vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause muscle pain, as its deficiency increases, in particular muscles, the sensitivity of the cells responsible for the detection of pain.

It has been reported in another study that muscle pain was relieved after taking high-dose vitamin D supplements in people who are deficient. In case of deficiency, a complementation should then be considered.

6. Fragile bones

You have pain in the bones and your joints are stiffer when you get up in the morning? You may be suffering from vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium. Important for growth but also for the good health of our bones, calcium and vitamin D are two essential substances for our well-being (5).

If you notice that your joints are hurting, that you have regular calf cramps, or that you are recovering less well after your weekly workout, it may be due to vitamin D deficiency.

7. Depression

If you find yourself impatient, nervous and depressed, it may be that you miss Vitamin D. It is known that vitamins are good for physical health. What is less known is that vitamins also impact our morale and good mood.

It has been reported by several studies (5, 6) that there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and mood swings. Indeed, vitamin D plays a decisive role on the improvement of cognitive functions.

Notably on serotonin which is responsible for the regulation of mood. Vitamin D deficiency can reduce serotonin production. To boost your morale, do not skip vitamin D!

8. Irritable bowel syndrome

People with irritable bowel syndrome are reported to be vitamin D deficient, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield in Britain conducted a study to identify the still unknown causes of irritable bowel syndrome in 51 patients.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a functional digestive disorder that often results in bloating, abdominal pain or diarrhea. It often requires a restrictive diet that eliminates a number of irritating bowel foods.

9. You are overweight

Several studies (7, 8) suggest that there is a link between obesity and lack of vitamin D: obese or overweight people have a lower vitamin D status, although it is difficult to say whether it is a cause or consequence.

It is possible that vitamin D is linked to obesity by its action on adipokines, molecules secreted by adipose tissue and involved in many physiological functions such as appetite regulation, energy expenditure, lipid metabolism and glucose.

In a Norwegian study of 1779 participants, researchers showed that those with the highest body mass index had a lower level of vitamin D (Journal of Nutrition, news release, Dec. 14, 2010). In another study, 1200 participants were followed over a period of 12 years: those who had insufficient levels of vitamin D had a higher risk of becoming obese in the following years. The researchers concluded that lack of vitamin D precedes obesity.

10. Getting sick frequently

People tend to fall sick more often in the winter when temperatures drop and it becomes difficult to avoid the germs that swarm inside. If you get sick every week, your body tries to tell you something.

Studies show that vitamin D promotes stimulation of the immune system and reduces the risk of respiratory infections such as colds or flu.

A recent study also found that vitamin D supplements might make a person less likely to have an acute respiratory tract infection.

11. Respiratory problems

Vitamin D supplementation appears to have a protective effect against acute respiratory tract infections, particularly in people who were very deficient in this vitamin, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in the medical journal British Journal of Medicine.

Researchers have analyzed whether vitamin D could prevent millions of cases of influenza and colds. The results of the study provided evidence that daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation is effective in preventing respiratory tract infections, and recall the value of supplementation for people with very low levels of vitamin D.

12. Hypertension

Too little vitamin D increases the risk of hypertension.A study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, proves a causal relationship between vitamin D deficiency and high blood pressure, at least in people with a genetic mutation.

The researchers studied the genetic data of more than 146,000 Caucasians living in Europe and North America.They looked for genetic variation that causes a drop in the concentration of vitamin D in the blood.

In carriers, each 10% increase in the amount of vitamin D is associated with an 8.1% decrease in the risk of hypertension. Indeed, this nutrient contributes to the reduction of the diastolic pressure and the systolic pressure, underlines this study.

13. Chronic headaches

Apparently, vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of chronic headaches (9). The importance of vitamin D for bones and muscles is well known.

A Finnish team (University of Eastern Finland) recalls that it has been suggested that vitamin D may play a role in the development of certain neurovascular diseases. The intention was to determine if an association could be established between vitamin D deficiency and sensitivity to headache.

After taking into account a series of factors, it appears that, relative to the highest rate, people with the lowest level of vitamin D are at high risk of suffering from frequent headaches.

14. Sleep disorders

The lack of vitamin D can have a significant impact not only on your good physical but also mental health. Vitamin D receptors in our brain are also found in the place that controls sleep.

If the level of vitamin D is optimal, it can have a positive impact on the quality of sleep (10). Although the correlation between vitamin D and sleep is debatable, there is evidence that vitamin D deficiency can cause increased bone sensitivity and a weaker immune system that can result in sleep disturbance.

15. Impaired Wound Healing

Another sign of vitamin D deficiency is slow healing of wounds after surgery or injury. According to a study, the creation of the crucial compounds responsible of forming new skin, is increased with the vitamin D intake.

Another study shows that certain aspects of healing were compromised by vitamin D deficiency after dental surgery.

A study that analyzed the role of vitamin D in skin scarring in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice concluded that vitamin D supplements can significantly accelerate the rate of healing.

16. Health risks of vitamin D deficiency:

According to medicinenet, many other health benefits of vitamin D and risks associated with deficiency have been reported. These include the following:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease

Research has shown that people suffering from these health conditons have a higher chance of having a vitamin D deficiency compared with the general population.

How to Get enough vitamin D intake:

  • Regular exposure to the sun: it takes just a day’s exposure to the sun to make enough vitamin D reserves that our body needs. The exposure time depends on the rate and intensity of sunshine in the area where you are.
  • Foods rich in vitamin D: there are several foods that contain it, mainly fish. Fat fish for example (salmon, sardines, anchovies, trout, mackerel, herring) contain 100 to 300 IU, and fish oil 1000 to 2000 IU per 100 g. Other foods are also rich in vitamin D such as Paris mushrooms, raw egg yolk, beef liver, soy or enriched rice beverage, or cow’s milk.
  • Complements: If these natural solutions are not enough to cover the vitamin D needs of a person, it can be prescribed a supplement such as Fultium D3. Sold in easy-to-swallow capsules and available in two strengths, this medicine contains cholecalciferol (or vitamin D3)

Effective vitamin D intake:

Vitamin D exists in two forms: vitamin D2, of vegetable origin or vitamin D3, of animal origin.

Vitamin D3, similar to that synthesized by the body, is three times more effective and its action is longer because of better bioavailability, which is why it is recommended for supplementation(11).

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to many serious health problems. Therefore, it is important to know the most common symptoms that develop when the vitamin D deficiency.

The Bottom Line

Vitamin D is one of the rare fat-soluble vitamins that is synthesized in significant quantities by our body, and more particularly by our skin.

It participates in the growth and structure of our bones in association with calcium. It also plays on the immune system and on the muscular level.

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