What is Vitamin D Deficiency?
Vitamin D is extremely essential for bone health and vitamin D deficiency identifies by its symptoms. Some amount of vitamin D is also obtained from food, although its main source is the sun’s rays. If there is very little vitamin D in the body, then it is called vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is a very essential vitamin for your body, which affects various body activities. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, bone health, helping with cell growth, and reducing inflammation. Your body automatically makes vitamin D from your own cholesterol when exposed to sunlight. Significantly, vitamin D is actually a real fat-soluble vitamin.
Vitamin D actually helps the body digest and perfectly absorb calcium. To keep the cells of the body healthy, it takes calcium from food and other options.
Vitamin D is also present in some foods such as milk. Apart from this, it is also present in some other food items like fish and dairy products, etc. However, it is difficult to get enough vitamin D through diet alone. Vitamin D deficiency causes fatigue, bone pain, lower back pain, depression, longer wound healing, bone loss, hair loss, muscle pain, etc.
The diagnosis of vitamin D actually depends on its symptoms. Apart from this, by looking at the level of vitamin D in the blood during the blood test, it is ascertained how much the victim is suffering from its deficiency and accordingly its diagnosis is ascertained. Vitamin D deficiency can be corrected by taking vitamin D supplements. Your doctor will determine the dosage and best treatment based on your condition, age and level of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D Supplements – Vitamin D requirement
How many doses of Vitamin D should be taken per day?
|0 से 12 साल||400 IU (10 mcg)||400 IU (10 mcg)|
|1 से 13 साल||600 IU (15 mcg)||600 IU (15 mcg)|
|14 से 18 साल||600 IU (15 mcg)||600 IU (15 mcg)||600 IU (15 mcg)||600 IU (15 mcg)|
|19 से 50 साल||600 IU (15 mcg)||600 IU (15 mcg)||600 IU (15 mcg)||600 IU (15 mcg)|
|51 से 70 साल||600 IU (15 mcg)||600 IU (15 mcg)|
|over 70 years||800 IU (20 mcg)||800 IU (20 mcg)|
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
What are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?
The level of Vitamin D in the body cannot always be kept balanced just by taking a healthy and balanced diet. Note that only 10% of the vitamin D the body gets from food, while the remaining 90% is obtained from direct sunlight. Even if you eat foods rich in vitamin D, you are still at risk of vitamin D deficiency because vitamin D cannot be supplied in the body through diet alone.
If your lifestyle and routine is such that you are not able to take sunlight, then you may feel the following symptoms.
Being depressed or feeling irritable are signs of vitamin D deficiency.
If you suddenly become obese or you gain weight, it means that there is a deficiency of Vitamin D in your body. The special thing is that people who are overweight have a higher need for vitamin D than people who are underweight. If you are overweight because of your muscle mass, you may still need to take more vitamin D, as vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Being vulnerable to frequent infections
You should know that vitamin D strengthens your immunity. When your immune system is strong, it helps you fight off bacteria and viruses.
Feeling more tired
Although there can be many reasons for feeling tired, but lack of vitamins also causes fatigue.
Inability to heal wounds easily
The delay in wound healing after an operation and injury is also a sign that there is a significant deficiency of vitamin D in the body.
Lack of bones
Vitamin D is really essential for the properly absorption of calcium. If the bone density is decreasing in your body, it means that there is a lack of calcium in your body. Calcium deficiency easily increases the risk of fractures.
Vitamin D is a type of fat-soluble vitamin. Any type of digestive disease affects the absorption of fat, which also leads to low levels of vitamin D.
Pain in bones and joints
Vitamin D deficiency affects bone health. Along with this, due to lack of vitamin D, there is also pain in the bones. This pain is really felt more on the knees and back. Apart from this, due to deficiency of vitamin D, the risk of osteoporosis, a type of bone disease, bone pain and easy fracture increases significantly.
The lack of vitamin D often causes sweating in the head. This symptom is common, especially in newborns. Sweating in the head is one of the early symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
Hair loss is often associated with stress, although vitamin D deficiency is also a common cause.
Vitamin D Deficiency Causes & Risk Factors
Why does vitamin D deficiency occur?
Your body mainly supplies vitamin D through diet and sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency in your body can be due to various reasons.
- Not getting enough vitamin D through diet.
- Not absorbing enough vitamin D from the diet.
- Not getting enough sunlight.
- Inability to convert vitamin D into its active form by the liver and kidneys.
- Both the conversion and absorption of vitamin D are affected by the use of drugs taken to treat other diseases.
What increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency?
The risk of vitamin D deficiency is very high in some people such as –
- People having gastric bypass surgery
- Patients with osteoporosis
- People with chronic kidney and liver disease
- Breastfed babies are more prone to vitamin D deficiency because breast milk (breastfeeding) is not a strong source of vitamin D.
- Children under the age of 5 are more prone to vitamin D deficiency.
- People with obesity are affected or bound by vitamin D fat, which makes it difficult for vitamin D to enter the blood.
- People who have an enlarged thyroid or hyperthyroid patients
- TB Patients
- Cancer patients with lymphoma
- Vitamin D metabolism is affected in people who take antifungal drugs, AIDS medicine, cholesterol medicine, etc.
- The risk of vitamin D deficiency is also higher in the elderly over the age of 65. As you get older, your skin doesn’t produce as much vitamin D from exposure to the sun as younger skin does. In addition, your kidneys are unable to convert vitamin D into its active form.
- Compared to fair people, dark-skinned people are less able to produce vitamin D from sunlight.
- Those with Crohn’s disease or Cohn’s disease are not able to digest fat easily, while the absorption of fat is very necessary for vitamin D.
Prevention of Vitamin D Deficiency
How is vitamin D deficiency prevented?
Eating vitamin D rich foods and getting 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight daily is the best way to overcome vitamin D deficiency. Spending some time in sunlight daily reduces the chances of getting vitamin D deficiency.
Along with sunlight, lifestyle also helps in maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D in the body.
- Keep your weight balanced. Exercise daily and take sunlight or sunshine.
- If there is a disease related to stomach, liver, and kidney, then take medicines to cure them and improve their condition.
- Use a vitamin D supplement. Feed a vitamin D supplement, especially to breastfed newborns.
- Consult your doctor if anyone in your family is genetically predisposed to osteoporosis (bone disease) or vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D rich foods
Fish is considered the effective and best source of vitamin D.
- Cod liver oil
Some other sources of Vitamin D –
Vitamin D rich other foods
- Dairy products
- Orange juice
- Soy milk
- Cereals etc.
Diagnosis of Vitamin D Deficiency
Testing for Vitamin D Deficiency:
How is Vitamin D Deficiency Diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose vitamin D deficiency through symptoms, habits and previous medical information.
- If there is a possibility of vitamin D deficiency, then a vitamin D test may be required.
- Vitamin D test is a type of blood test, through which the level of vitamin D in your blood is detected. This test is done when you are at risk of osteoporosis.
- If you want to do a vitamin D test, consult your doctor.
- The best time to get a vitamin D test is at the end of winter or early spring, as the level of vitamin D in your body is very low in both these seasons.
- 20ng/mL to 50ng/mL is considered sufficient for healthy individuals. But a level of less than 12ng/mL indicates a deficiency of Vitamin D in the body.
Some other tests you may need are –
- Serum calcium level
- Kidney Function Test
- X-ray of log bone (eg X-ray of foot)
- Bone densitometry (to measure bone density)
Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment
How is Vitamin C deficiency treated?
To overcome vitamin D deficiency, eat more and more vitamin D rich diet. Also, take a vitamin D supplement.
The amount of vitamin D you should take depends on different things like age, how much work you do, and how strong your digestive system is. Therefore, before taking vitamin D medicine, please consult your doctor.
If the level of vitamin D in your body is slightly less than normal, then the doctor may advise you to do the following things –
- Eat more calcium-rich foods
- Spend more time in sunlight
- Exercise regularly
- Eat Vitamin D Supplements
If the level of vitamin D in your body is very low, then you should pay attention to the following activities like –
- Getting more and more sunlight: Increase your exposure to sunlight to get enough vitamin D.
- Eat foods rich in Vitamin D: Fish, eggs, mushrooms and cheese are excellent sources of vitamin D. Milk contains sufficient amount of vitamin D, apart from this it is also found in cereals and oranges.
- Eat Vitamin D Supplements: Vitamin D supplements are easily available in drug stores. Doctors recommend you to take supplements and multivitamins to make up for your vitamin D deficiency.
- Get Vitamin D Injection: A small injection of vitamin D works for about 6 months. It is a very effective and convenient treatment. It is very useful for those people who do not want to take medicine every month or those who forget to take medicine on time.
- Take Vitamin D in tablet or liquid form: There are many types of vitamin D tablets available in medical stores, which you can take daily, weekly, or even in a month according to the dosage. Vitamin D deficiency is solved very quickly by taking high-dose tablets. High dosage tablets are considered very good for small children.
- Standard dosage of vitamin D – tablet, powder or liquid: You have to eat them daily for 12 months so that your body can compensate for the deficiency of vitamin D. However, it is a very slow process to overcome vitamin D deficiency. But when your body has a little less than normal vitamin D, this treatment is considered very good for that condition.
Vitamin D deficiency diseases
What diseases can be caused by vitamin D deficiency?
Many types of diseases can occur if the level of vitamin D in the blood is low for a long time:
- Asthma in Children
- Cancer etc.
- Many types of diseases occur due to very low levels of vitamin D in the blood. Due to deficiency of vitamin D, there is a disease called Rickets in children. Due to rickets, the bones of children become soft or twisted.
- Heart disease increases the risk of death.
- In older adults, the brain begins to weaken.
- Vitamin D deficiency in adults causes a disease called osteomalacia. Due to this disease, there is weakening of bones, bone pain and muscle pain.
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