Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin is an important vitamin that your body produces.   Vitamin D is produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight.  Vitamin D can be gotten from direct sunlight outside or eating vitamin D rich foods.  This vitamin is essential for strong bones because it pulls calcium from your diet to help with bone growth and the strength of your bones.  Having a vitamin D deficiency is very common, it affects over one billion people worldwide.  

Risk Factors

There are a lot of things that can increase your chance of having a vitamin D deficiency.  One is living far from the equator.  The inability to get outside and get vitamin D directly from the sunlight can really increase your chances of not getting enough vitamin D.  Other things that can increase your risk is having dark skin which lessens the ability for you to absorb sunlight naturally.  Age, being overweight, always wearing sunscreen, or staying indoors can also raise your risk.  Not having a sufficient diet that doesn’t include high vitamin D foods in it can also cause your levels to be low.  

Symptoms

It is sometimes hard to know that you have a vitamin D deficiency because symptoms are something very subtle.  Symptoms can include fatigue and tiredness, bone pain, or muscle pain.  Other symptoms can be a weak immune system or impaired wound healing.  Mood changes or depression can also be a side effect.  Since none of these are extremely severe symptoms vitamin D deficiency can go undiagnosed for some time.  Vitamin D levels can be checked through a blood draw.  

Complications

There are some sicknesses that can be linked to having a vitamin D deficiency.  These include type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or Grave’s disease, an autoimmune thyroid disease. 

Too much vitamin D can also be harmful to your body.  Usually too much vitamin D happens because of misuse of vitamin D supplements.  It can damage kidneys, cause nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, weakness, and weight loss.  The excess amount of calcium can also cause confusion, and disorientation.  You can not get too much vitamin D from excessive sun exposure, because your body will stop producing vitamin D when it has had enough.  

Diagnosis

When being diagnosed after your blood test depending on your levels will depend on what your doctor recommends for treatment.  Usually treatment will include taking a vitamin D supplement.  Which can be bought over the counter.  Your doctor will give you an amount of how much you should take daily to help boost your levels.  Your doctor may also recommend adding in foods to your diet that are high in vitamin D, as well getting outside to soak up natural sun.  There are a lot of foods that are high in vitamin D.  Cod liver oil, swordfish, salmon, tuna, liver, mushrooms, sardines, egg yolk, and swiss cheese.  Orange juice, milk, yogurt, and cereal with added vitamin D can also be added into your diet.  The goal of treatment is to reach an adequate level of vitamin D and then to maintain it.  

Conclusion

Vitamin D deficiency is very common worldwide.  Prevention of adding in high vitamin D foods, and getting outside 2-3 days a week to soak up natural sunlight can help getting an adequate level of vitamin D.  There are over the counter supplements when needed to help boost your levels.  Though a deficiency is very common, having too much vitamin D can be just as harmful so making sure you have a healthy level of vitamin D is important otherwise you could suffer from symptoms of having too much just as you can have symptoms of having too little.  The best source of vitamin D is from direct sunlight, since it is known as the sunlight vitamin.  

 


There are a lot of foods that are high in vitamin D.  Cod liver oil, swordfish, salmon, tuna, liver, mushrooms, sardines, egg yolk, and swiss cheese.


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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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