Table of Contents
What is a lack of vitamin D?
Lack of vitamin D in your body is referred to as vitamin D deficiency. Your bones and muscles are the main organs affected.
Your body requires vitamin D to maintain and develop your bones normally. Your nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and immunological system are all impacted by vitamin D.
There are several ways to receive vitamin D, including:
Sun exposure, albeit elderly persons and those with darker skin, may not obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight. Your geographic location could also limit your ability to receive enough vitamin D from sunlight.
by way of the food you consume.
by way of dietary supplements.
Despite all of these ways to obtain vitamin D, vitamin D insufficiency is a widespread issue in the world.
Why is vitamin D essential?
One of the numerous vitamins your body requires to keep healthy is vitamin D. It is essential for preserving the equilibrium of calcium in your blood and bones as well as for the formation and upkeep of bones.
You need vitamin D, especially so that your body can utilize calcium and phosphorus to promote healthy tissues and create bones.
Hypocalcemia results from a decrease in your intestines’ ability to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which is a symptom of chronic and/or severe vitamin D insufficiency (low calcium levels in your blood). Due to this, secondary hyperparathyroidism develops (overactive parathyroid glands attempting to keep blood calcium levels normal).
If they are both severe enough, hypocalcemia and hyperparathyroidism can both produce symptoms including weariness, sadness, and muscle cramps.
Your body removes calcium from your bones to try to balance the amount of calcium in your blood (through secondary hyperparathyroidism), which speeds up bone demineralization (when a bone breaks down faster than it can reform).
Additionally, this may lead to rickets in youngsters and osteomalacia (soft bones) in adults.
You are more likely to sustain a bone fracture if you have osteomalacia or osteoporosis. Similar to osteomalacia, rickets only affects youngsters. Demineralization results in bowed or bent bones since a child’s bones are still growing.
Who is impacted by a vitamin D deficiency?
Anyone, including infants, toddlers, and adults, can be vitamin D deficient.
People who wear clothing that covers a lot of their skin and have darker skin, especially in Middle Eastern nations, may be more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
How frequent is a vitamin D shortage?
The lack of vitamin D is a widespread problem worldwide. Around 1 billion people globally lack enough vitamin D, and 50% of people are vitamin D insufficient.
In the US, a little under 35% of people are vitamin D deficient.
What symptoms and indicators indicate a vitamin D deficiency?
Rickets develops in youngsters who severely lack vitamin D. Rickets symptoms include:
bowed or bent bones that cause improper growth patterns.
a bone ache.
alterations to joints.
This is quite uncommon. Mild vitamin deficiencies in children may just cause their muscles to be weak, uncomfortable, or painful.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency is less noticeable. Some warning signs and symptoms include:
a bone ache.
weakness, pains, or cramps in the muscles.
changes in mood, such as depression.
You could not exhibit any symptoms or signs of a vitamin D deficiency, though.
What results in a lack of vitamin D?
In general, there are two basic reasons why people lack vitamin D:
not consuming enough vitamin D through food or sunlight.
Your chance of acquiring vitamin D insufficiency can also be increased by several different biological and environmental factors, such as getting older and having more melanin (pigment) in your skin.
Diseases that may result in vitamin D deficiency
The following medical problems can result in a lack of vitamin D:
- Cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease: If left untreated, these illnesses can hinder your intestines from properly absorbing enough vitamin D from supplements.
- Obesity: Lower vitamin D levels are linked to a body mass index above 30. Vitamin D is kept sequestered in fat cells so that it cannot be released. Vitamin D supplementation in higher doses is frequently necessary for obese people to achieve and maintain normal levels.
- The liver enzyme 25-hydroxylase from your liver and the kidney enzyme 1-alpha-hydroxylase that your body requires to convert vitamin D into a form it can utilize are both decreased by kidney and liver diseases. Both of these enzymes must be present for your body to have enough active vitamin D.
- Surgical weight loss and vitamin D deficiency
- The ability of your body to absorb enough of several nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is hampered by weight-loss procedures like gastric bypass surgery which reduce the size of your stomach and/or bypasses a portion of your small intestine.
It’s crucial to visit your doctor frequently if you’ve undergone weight-loss surgery so they can check your vitamin D and other essential levels.