Home | Articles | Vitamin D deficiency

By Dr P. Kiranmayi
Consultant General Physician
Published on 12/09/2022

Did you know Vitamin D deficiency can harm your body in many ways?

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, mood changes like depression, anxiety, etc.

Don't worry! These conditions can be treated.

This article talks about what is vitamin D deficiency is, why it is caused, and how it can be treated.

Vitamin D deficiency is a kind of common vitamin deficiency that causes bone and muscle problems. It can affect any age group. It is a treatable and manageable Condition

What is the importance of vitamin D?

Vitamin D is among those vital vitamins that the body requires to function properly. It is essential for maintaining the calcium balance in your blood and bones, as well as for bone building and maintenance.

One needs Vitamin D so that the body can absorb calcium and phosphorus to build bones and support healthy tissues.

Hypocalcemia occurs when there is low levels of Calcium in Blood that absorb less calcium and phosphorus due to chronic and/or severe vitamin D deficiency. As a result, secondary hyperparathyroidism develops (overactive parathyroid glands attempting to keep blood calcium levels normal).

If severe, both hypocalcemia and hyperparathyroidism can cause symptoms such as cramps, muscle weakness, depression and fatigue.

To balance calcium levels in the blood (via secondary hyperparathyroidism), your body takes calcium from your bones, causing bone demineralization to accelerate (when a bone breaks down faster than it can reform).

This can lead to osteomalacia (soft bone disease) in adults and rickets in children.

Osteomalacia and osteoporosis(fragile & Brittle Bones) increase your risk of bone fractures. Rickets is a form of osteomalacia that only affects children. Demineralization causes bowed or bent bones in children because their bones are still growing.

Why is it necessary to get vitamin D, and how much should it should be taken?

Calcium absorption is aided by vitamin D. Calcium is one of the primary components of bone. Vitamin D is also important for your nervous, muscular, and immune systems.

Vitamin D can be obtained in 3 ways: through the skin, through the diet, and through vitamin D supplements. The body will naturally produce vitamin D after being exposed to sunlight. However, excessive sun exposure can cause aging of Skin and further Complications can lead to skin cancer, So many people seek vitamin D from Various other sources.

What causes a lack of vitamin D?

Vitamin D deficiency can developed due to various reasons such as:

  • When an individual does not consume enough vitamin D.
  • Does not get enough vitamin D through food(a malabsorption problem).
  • Does not get enough sunlight exposure.
  • Vitamin D cannot be converted to its active form in the body by the liver or kidneys.
  • Use of medications that impair the body's ability to convert or absorb vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency-related problems

A lack of vitamin D intake can cause a loss in bone density, which can contribute to osteoporosis and fractures.

Severe vitamin D deficiency can also lead to the development of other diseases. Like,it can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Rickets is a rare disease in which the bones soften and bend Osteomalacia is characterized by weak bones, bone pain, and muscle weakness.

Vitamin D is being studied for its possible links to a variety of medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Foods that can increase vitamin D intake

The following foods are natural sources of vitamin D:

  • Salmon, tuna, and fatty fish.
  • Liver of beef
  • Cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Egg whites

Some fortified foods contain vitamin D as well. You have to read and check food labels to see if a food contains vitamin D. The following foods are generally fortified with vitamin D:

  • Milk
  • Cereals for breakfast
  • The juice of oranges
  • Yogurt and other dairy products
  • Soy beverages

Many multivitamins contain vitamin D. There are also vitamin D supplements available in pill as well as liquid form for babies.

The treatment for vitamin D deficiency is to take supplements. Consult your doctor about When and how to take Vitamin D Supplements.

Book Your Appointment with our expert General Physician and get yourself tested for Vitamin D Deficiency