In our school days, we were taught that a deficiency of Vitamin D causes rickets. What we didn’t know was rickets is the most severe form of this deficiency during childhood which can delay growth and lead to visible skeletal deformities. And this is quite rare.

But Vitamin D deficiency, especially in the last few years has become very common. A recent study conducted by The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association reported an astoundingly high figure of vitamin D prevalence worldwide. Approximately 1 billion individuals worldwide, nearly 15% of the world’s population, are vitamin D deficient or insufficient.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure, and poor pregnancy outcomes.

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency

According to the Vitamin D Council, symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can be subtle—or even nonexistent in the early stages. You might experience some tiredness and general aches and pains, but these symptoms are easy to dismiss because there are many things that cause them.

Here are some signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency you should look out for. If you experience one or more of them it would be a good idea to get your levels checked.

Muscle weakness and body pain

Body aches and muscle weakness are caused due to deficiency of vitamin D. But then, body aches are also caused due to many other reasons. If you are experiencing more pains than normal, for long periods of time then chances could be that you are vitamin D deficient. Also look out for pain in a specific area that continues to linger. Constant back pain (upper or lower back) is another symptom for this deficiency.

Respiratory problems

If you are experiencing respiratory problems suddenly, having no history in your childhood, there is a high chance that you are vitamin D deficient. Breathlessness, short small breaths, inability to take full breaths or asthma are signs that point toward getting your vitamin D levels checked.

Depression or mood swings

Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin and is essential to help you be in a good mood and smiling.  According to the Vitamin D council, brain’s neurotransmitters produce serotonin, which affects our feelings of happiness. Studies have linked low levels of vitamin D with episodes of depression. Also, reduced levels serotonin could result in frequent mood swings and crankiness or wanting to snap at people without reason.

Infertility

Research suggests that vitamin D plays an important role in the development of PCOS which is one of the causes of infertility in women.  Studies have also found vitamin D deficiency to more prevalent among men with low semen production, quality, and motility, along with lower inhibin B levels.

Recurring infections

If you feel that you are falling sick more often and your immune system is getting weak, a deficiency of vitamin D could be one of the reasons. When there’s a healthy amount of vitamin D being processed by your body, your immune system is resilient and able to fight off infections and disease. However, a lack of vitamin D leaves you vulnerable to constant attacks and health problems.

Reduced endurance

Vitamin D is important for the body to create energy. So, if your levels are less than normal, you will feel that you tire out easier.  You would feel tired and weak all day even though your day does not involve any physically strenuous activities. Regular activities like walking a few floors up on stairs or strolling a few meters (that were your normal activities) will make you feel exhausted.

Hypertension

Research also points to high blood pressure and anxiety attacks to be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency.

Hair loss

A sudden increase in hair loss or quality of hair is also one of the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency.

Weak bones

Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and bone metabolism. Severe vitamin D deficiency causes softening of bones which causes pain and increases of osteoporosis.

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Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash, Photo by Jacob Postuma on Unsplash, Photo by Ryan Whitlow on Unsplash, Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

About Author

I am a stay at home mom, having worked in the software technology services space for over 10 years. In my professional life I used to enforce quality standards like CMMi & Six Sigma to make developers and testers jobs easier & process oriented.In my current stint I am using similar techniques coupled with age old wisdom from my mom and grand mom to make our living healthier and medicine free. To start any new stint it helps if you read and train and so I got myself a diploma in Naturopathy from Mumbai.

6 Comments

  1. Vitamin D deficiency is indeed very serious. I have seen its devastating effect on someone very close. You are doing a great job by awaring people. Kudos, Sabeeka 👍

  2. Another great post. I discovered a Vitamin D deficiency in a blood test. Even though I live in Southern California where there is plenty of sun, and get outside, it was terribly low! My acupuncturist gave me a pretty aggressive dosage of Vitamin D to take to get my levels back up to normal, and they’re finally pretty much there. You put together a nice list.

    I will add that I had eczema, starting around the same time when my kids were born. It is also a sign of nutrition and stress and a signal to immune deficiencies, so there’s a lot going on. The acupuncture helped a lot, as did herbs and changes in diet, but I will say that adding the Vitamin D to the mix really made a difference. (Again, under my doctor’s advice… as were the herbs and the diet changes… they were all done under the supervision and suggestion of a health care professional.) I think it was a combination of everything that helped the most, but D was right there! And it was interesting to me that even though I live in a sunny place and get outside, I was still so deficient!

    ~Alana
    (also posting A-Z at http://www.ofloveandlight.org)

  3. Novemberschild on

    If you shun the sun, suffer from milk allergies, or adhere to a strict vegan diet, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It is also occurs naturally in a few foods — including some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks — and in fortified dairy and grain products. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue doesn’t properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. But increasingly, research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health problems.

  4. Well, I was not aware of vitamin D’s relation to mental ailments like depression. I did not know about its role in keeping our moods stable or the serotonin part. Thanks for a very informative article.

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