7 Signs of a Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in many important
body functions. It is best known for working with calcium in your body
to help build and maintain strong bones. Vitamin D is also involved in
regulating the immune system and cells, where it may help prevent
cancer. – University of Maryland Medical Center

Vitamin D is perhaps the most important nutrient when discussing bone or
immune system health. Not only does adequate consumption of vitamin D
preserve bone and immune system health, it’s also thought to prevent a
number of serious health conditions.

A deficiency of vitamin D is best known for causing rickets (brittle
bones) in children, a condition in which the tissue of the bone doesn’t
fortify or mineralize. This condition often leads to fragile bones and
skeletal deformities, frequently coinciding with increased risk of
injury. However, more recent research is uncovering the link between
vitamin D deficiency and a host of other health conditions.

Research suggests that vitamin D may play a role in both the prevention
and treatment of hypertension, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, multiple
sclerosis (MS), and hypertension.

Given the importance of consuming vitamin D, we’ll identify seven
different ways to uncover a potential vitamin D deficiency. Armed with
this knowledge, we’ll be in a better position to correct any shortfall
and safeguard our health.

HERE ARE 7 WARNING SIGNS OF A VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY:

1. PAIN AND MUSCLE WEAKNESS
The degree of pain and muscle weakness can vary from subtle to severe.
Initially, symptoms of this type are almost non-present; however, as the
deficiency becomes longer in duration, associated symptoms tend to
become worse. The reason is that vitamin D, when metabolized, enhances
muscle contraction – an essential mechanism for strengthening bones.

2. IMPAIRED IMMUNE SYSTEM
When vitamin D levels are low, our immune system is inextricably
affected. A high concentration of vitamin D receptors can be found in
the immune cells, an area of the body that requires sufficient vitamin D
supplementation. In one Japanese study published in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, schoolchildren that were given vitamin D
supplements recorded fewer instances of the flu strain influenza A than
those who did not receive supplements.

In another study, individuals diagnosed with an autoimmune disease also tested for low levels of D vitamin.

3. HYPERTENSION
Hypertension (high blood pressure) often results when the body’s levels
of vitamin D are low. Our body formulates a peptide that increases blood
pressure through arterial restriction and water retention. Vitamin D
serves as a countermeasure, suppressing this enzymatic reaction and
reducing the body’s inappropriate and exacerbated response to this
peptide, thus normalizing blood pressure levels.

4. FEELINGS OF SADNESS/DEPRESSION
A link has been made between sadness/depression and low levels of
vitamin D. One particularly interesting discovery involves the
correlation between seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a seasonal
depressive condition, and fluctuating levels of vitamin D3.  In one
study, participants given D3 supplementation experienced enhanced
positive effects and a reduction of negative effects – both physical and
cognitive. Participants reported a significantly diminished presence of
various symptoms, including food cravings, hypersomnia, lethargy, and
sleep disturbances.

5. GUT TROUBLES
Certain gastrointestinal conditions affect vitamin D absorption. Those
with celiac, Crohn’s, inflammatory bowel disease and other conditions
are likely to be at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency because of
these interactions. Furthermore, those with high amounts of body fat are
prone to vitamin D deficiency since fat dilutes the vitamin and reduces
its physiological effects.

6. EXCESSIVE SWEATING
A strange addition to this list is the tendency of people to sweat more
without sufficient vitamin D levels. Contrary to many of the items on
this list, medical experts aren’t quite certain why we sweat more with
low vitamin D levels. All that’s known is that there seems to be an
inseparable link between low vitamin D and excessive sweating,
especially around the forehead.

7. HEART CONDITIONS
There exists a probable correlation between low vitamin D levels and
cardiovascular disease. Medical professionals believe that low levels of
the vitamin result in higher concentrations of calcium buildup in the
arteries; calcium buildup is plaque that forms in the arteries and
increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Other conditions linked to
low vitamin D levels – hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity and high
cholesterol – appear to solidify the connection between vitamin D levels
and heart health.

Sources of Vitamin D

Now that we’ve discussed seven symptoms associated with vitamin D
deficiency, we’ll list some common sources of the nutrient. Remember to
get the recommended daily amount of vitamin D on a daily basis.

– Sunlight

– Orange Juice (Vitamin D fortified)

– Fortified Plant-Based Milks

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