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Are you aware of the importance of vitamin D in your body, and why you should keep away from vitamin D deficiency? Vitamin D, referred to as the sunshine vitamin, is produced by your body in response to your skin’s exposure to sunlight. It is found naturally in certain food items such as egg yolks, fish liver oils, and fish. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones as it helps your body in using calcium from your diet.
Causes of vitamin D deficiency
There are various reasons that lead to vitamin D deficiency. The most common ones are as follows:
- It happens when you are a vegan and do not consume any animal-based products, as it is common in foods like fish, egg yolks, beef liver, and fortified milk.
- You have limited exposure to sunlight, in such a case your body fails to make required vitamin D
- If you spend a lot of time indoors or live in the northern latitudes, or wear robes and covering as part of religious requirements, you may become vitamin D deficient.
- In case you have dark skin, as a pigment known as melanin reduces your skin’s ability to make vitamin D based on your exposure to sunlight.
- Aged adults having a dark skin tone are more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
• The primary symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include muscle weakness and pain in the bones.
• In some people, the symptoms are not prominent.
Management of vitamin D deficiency
- The treatment of vitamin D deficiency aims at getting more vitamin D via diet and health supplements.
- Usually, there is no consensus about vitamin D levels that are required for optimal health, and it depends on a person’s health condition or age.
- The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D is stated to be 600 international units for all people within the age of 70.
- For people above the age of 70, the allowance is stated to be 800 international units.
- It is also possible for a doctor to prescribe over 4000 international units for correcting vitamin D deficiency.
It is recommended for you to consult a doctor regarding vitamin D deficiency in case you do not spend enough time in the sun, or when you always cover your skin by applying sunscreen, which restricts the production of vitamin D. You may need to take vitamin D supplements, as prescribed by the doctor.