SYMPTOMS OF VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
Vitamin D Deficiency: This is the lack of vitamin D or the production of vitamin D in a very low quantity that is not enough for the body. Vitamin D Deficiency is also known as Hypovitaminosis D.
Unique: Among other vitamins, vitamin D is unique because it has the ability to function as a hormone. When our skin gets in contact with sunlight, vitamin D is formed from cholesterol.
Vitamin D Deficiency can be very difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are cunning or subtle. It is so people who have vitamin D Deficiency might not notice it because it doesn’t have an obvious effect on their daily lives.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency (Hypovitaminosis D)
- Hair loss
- Slow wound healing
- Bone loss
- Muscle pain
- Increased risk of getting sick
- Back pains
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Frequent falling in older ones
Source of vitamin D
- From sunlight: getting in contact with sun rays for 15-20 minutes 3days in a week, is sufficient
- From food supplements.
- From some foods.
Myth: many people think that this sun contains vitamin D, but the truth is “vitamin D is produced when our skin gets in contact with ultraviolet-B(UV-B) that the sun discharges”.
The amount of vitamin D that our skin produces in relation to sunlight depends on these factors:
• Time: the sun discharges UV-B between 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. The quantity of cloud cover and air pollution should also be considered
• Melanin: Melanin is a brown-black pigment that exists in our skin, eyes, and hair. It is a color pigment. The color of our skin is being determined by this pigment hence, the darker our skin, the more sunlight exposure we will need to get sufficient vitamin D.
• Residence: cities that are located near the equator have higher Ultraviolet light which in turn helps the skin in the production of vitamin D.
Vitamin D does not occur naturally in many foods that is why so man prefers taking supplements to complement the one produced by the body.
Causes of vitamin D deficiency
- Liver and kidney disease
- Weight loss
- Cystic fibrosis
- Skin color
- Breast milk
Medications that reduce vitamin D level in the body
- Weight loss drug(orlistat)
- Drugs to control seizure(phenytoin)
- Tuberculosis drugs
- Drugs for lowering cholesterol
Diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency
Blood test can be done to know the vitamin D level in the body after which the doctor will determine if it’s sufficient or Deficiency.
Treatment of vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can be treated by taking vitamin D to the appropriate level in the body. In addition to eating vitamin D, containing foods, and getting a little more sunlight, the doctor usually prescribes vitamin D supplements. This supplement can either be D2 or D3.
D2 supplements are obtained from plants while D3 supplements are obtained from animals.
D3 is more available over the counter, stay longer in the body, and is more readily absorbed by the body. Worthy of note is the importance of following the doctor’s prescription and guidelines in taking this supplement.
Too much vitamin D hypercalcemia
It’s rare but very possible to have too much supply of vitamin D in the body. It happens when a person uses too many of vitamin D supplements. But it’s impossible to get hypercalcemia (too much vitamin D) from the sun.
These are some symptoms of excess vitamin D :
- Lack of appetite
- Excess thirst and urination
- Ataxia(a health condition in which a person slurs words)