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Vitamin D Deficiency: What It Entails And How To Recognize It

How is lack of vitamin D perceived, and what results might it at any point have on the body? How about we find the primary side effects that portray the absence of vitamin D and the potential repercussions on our well-being?

Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Lack of vitamin D recognizes an inadequate level of this substance inside the body, which could have extreme repercussions for the condition of the insufficient person. Vitamin D, as a matter of fact, assumes a vital part in protecting the robustness of the skeletal framework and for other fundamental capabilities, including:

  • The absorption of calcium by the intestine;
  • Maintaining correct levels of calcium and phosphorus;
  • Promote kidney function;
  • Strengthen the bones and increase their ability to retain calcium.

It is, subsequently, fundamental to evaluate its presence in the body should explicit side effects show up. Through straightforward blood tests, distinguishing a deficiency is conceivable. In any case, a few admonition signs can be thought about. Among them, the principal ones are:

  • Joint pain ;
  • Muscle weakness, especially in the arms and legs;
  • Bone pain ;
  • Bone fragility and high propensity to breakage following modest traumas;
  • Mental confusion. If the lack of vitamins is severe, neurological and neuromuscular symptoms may occur, which are directly responsible for manifestations such as tiredness, weakness, anxiety, and difficulty falling asleep;
  • Tiredness ;
  • Increased sensitivity to pain ;
  • Tingling in the hands or feet;
  • Involuntary muscle spasms ;
  • Tremor.

Also Read: Vitamin D: A Hormone For Health

The Consequences Of A Vitamin D Deficiency

Among the main effects of a vitamin D deficiency are bone fragility and weakness that affects the skeletal system; however, recent studies have highlighted how this can also have repercussions on other areas of the body. The main consequences of a shallow level of vitamin D include:

  • Osteoporosis, particularly in elderly subjects and in menopausal women. Osteoporosis causes bone weakening, which then leads to bones that are particularly fragile and subject to breakage ;
  • Osteomalacia. It is a metabolic disease that makes bones particularly fragile and subject to breakage even following modest trauma;
  • Rickets are mainly present in developing children and young people. Rickets is caused by poor bone mineralization, which causes, over time, deformations in the bone structure ;
  • Increased vascular risk ;
  • Diabetes and tendency towards insulin resistance ;
  • Hypertension ;
  • Increased risk of developing an autoimmune thyroid disease, such as hypothyroidism ;
  • Immunosuppressive effect and, consequently, increased likelihood of contracting infections and diseases;
  • Increased likelihood of suffering from depression or mood disorders ;
  • Hair loss and thinning scalp. Vitamin D plays a vital role in the well-being of the hair, and when lacking, it can cause excessive weakness of the hair follicles and thinning of the hair. It also seems that this deficit can lead to an overproduction of sebum;
  • Itching and urticaria: some studies have associated itching and vitamin D deficiency, highlighting how a deficiency of this vitamin can cause a worsening of the conditions of subjects suffering from urticaria and skin rashes;
  • Blurred vision: vitamin D deficiency also causes symptoms in the eyes, which can develop a form of chronic inflammation, blurring of vision, difficulty seeing at night, and other pathologies affecting the eyeballs.

Detecting the concentration of vitamin D is not difficult and is done by analyzing the level of calcidiol (or 25-OH-D) using a blood sample.

Vitamin D Deficiency: What Causes

Vitamin D can be introduced both through the diet and synthesized from exposure to sunlight. The causes of its deficiency, therefore, can be traced back to either:

  • Nutritional deficits and failure to consume foods rich in this substance;
  • Presence of pathologies (kidney disease or liver damage);
  • Taking certain medications that increase the body’s demand for vitamin D;
  • Lifestyle that does not allow you to absorb a good amount of UV rays;
  • Dark skin;
  • Geographical distance from the Equator and, consequently, exposure to few and low-intensity sun rays;
  • Excessive use of sunscreens that do not allow the body to absorb the vitamin;
  • Aging. Older subjects synthesize less vitamin D;
  • Smoking and alcohol addiction ;
  • Crohn’s disease ;
  • Presence of gastric bypass, which reduces the ability of the intestine to absorb the vitamin;
  • Subjects suffering from serious pathologies such as tumors, chronic pancreatitis, and cystic fibrosis.

Vitamin D Deficiency And Pregnancy

Lack of vitamin D during pregnancy uncovered both the pregnant lady and the baby to negative well-being results. A lady who is expecting a youngster and who has a low level of this substance could, for instance, experience the ill effects of osteoporosis and osteomalacia. In any case, the repercussions of this lack on the infant are similarly severe. How might a lack of vitamin D affect an infant? Among the potential results :

  • Increased chance of the newborn developing rickets. In fact, due to a too-low level of calcium, newborns can suffer from rickets and have difficulty in physical growth and a soft skull for a long time;
  • Muscle spasms and, in the most severe cases, convulsive seizures;
  • Difficulty learning to crawl and then sit and walk;
  • More time for the fountains to close;
  • In older children, i.e., those aged between one and four years, vitamin D deficiency can cause an abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis) or varus/valgus of the knees;
  • Flattening of the pelvic bone in girls, resulting in narrowing of the birth canal.

Doctors use blood tests and X-rays to diagnose vitamin D deficiency in infants and children.

Vitamin D Deficiency And Thyroid: What Is The Link?

A lack of vitamin D can likewise have pessimistic repercussions in individuals experiencing thyroid issues. This substance is essential for the proper working of the thyroid organ, to such an extent that its lack could be a critical reason for the improvement of immune system infections. What has risen out of different examinations is that patients experiencing AITD and Hashimoto’s thyroid all the more much of the time present shortfalls in this substance.

A similar relationship between low vitamin D levels and thyroid problems has likewise been noted in patients experiencing Graves’ illness, which is a hyperthyroid sickness related to an overproduction of chemicals, recommending that there may, in this way, be a connection between these two circumstances.

Also Read: Can I Take Vitamin D And Calcium To Prevent Osteoporosis?

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