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Last Updated: Dec 15, 2021
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Vitamin D Deficiency - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Vitamin D deficiency? Causes Symptoms : Treatment : Recovery Does Vitamin D affect sleep? How can I test my Vitamin D at home?

What is Vitamin D deficiency?

Hypovitaminosis D or Vitamin D deficiency, can happen from inadequate nutritional intake of this vitamin or/and inadequate exposure to sunlight. There are also certain hereditary disorders that limits vitamin D absorption in the body. Impaired vitamin D conversion into active metabolites can lead to several kinds of bone diseases. Like rickets in children or osteoporosis in the adults. Less vitamin D in your body can also play a vital role in development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

What causes Vitamin D to drop?

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient. It is required for the proper functioning of our body. Since it cannot be synthesized by the body, its deficiency can lead to serious health problems. Hence it is important for us to maintain a requirement of Vitamin D in our body and hence we should take sources rich in it. However, due to several reasons, there may be a drop in the level of Vitamin D which is a serious concern. Some of the causes for this deficiency include the following:

  • Wearing sunscreen by people due to fear of exposure to UV radiation and skin cancer is one of the common reasons for this. Due to this, Vitamin D which is synthesized in the effect of the Sun is not able to be synthesized and hence deficiency takes place.
  • Sedentary lifestyles of the people and spending more hours indoors due to office and job is also a reason for deficiency of Vitamin D.
Summary: Vitamin D is an essential nutrient required for the proper growth and development of the body. Its level however can decrease in some individuals due to reasons such as wearing sunscreen and spending more hours indoors.

Does low Vitamin D cause anxiety?

It is important for maintaining the health of bones by playing a role in the regulation of levels of calcium as well as phosphorus in our blood. It also does this by the process of homeostasis. However, a decrease in the level of Vitamin D is responsible for the development of anxiety as well as depression in individuals. In severe cases, the deficiency may lead to Schizophrenia.

Summary: Vitamin D is linked to the normal functioning of our body’s vital systems. Hence, its deficiency can cause a number of health issues including anxiety and depression.

Symptoms :

It is often becomes very difficult to find that whether a newborn or an adult is suffering from Hypovitaminosis D. However, a swift diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency can be made if someone has a sweaty forehead. So if you find that you are ‘glowing’ while your temperature is around 98.6°F and your activity level is remaining steady you may consider doing a vitamin D test. Another sign of vitamin D deficiency is feeling overly exhausted easily. Research on this vitamin has shown that vitamin D supplementation increases muscle control.

Deficiency of vitamin D also results in mood swings and depressions as adequate vitamin D in the metabolism helps in proper secretion of hormones like serotonin.Generally your doctor will start by jotting down the patient’s history to determine if the patient has been experiencing signs and symptoms that can indicate deficiency of this mineral in the patient’s body.

Treatment :

Primarily the doctor can order for a blood test for find the serum concentration of 25(OH)D in the patient. This is the type of vitamin D that circulates in our body. So taking a test of this profile, is considered as a good reflection of how much of vitamin D the patient has absorbed from daily diet and from the rays of the sun.

Levels of this vitamin are expressed in nmol/L (nanomoles/liter) or ng/mL (nanograms/milliliter).

Doctors can also ask the patient for undergoing a special bone density scan, if the patient is suffering from brittle bones or symptoms of osteoporosis. Food that are naturally rich in vitamin D are fatty fishes like salmon, tuna and mackerel. Other than these beef, cheese, fish liver oil, egg yolks, mushrooms are also enriched with vitamin D.Some of the food manufacturers also sometimes fortify foods with vitamin D, especially foods that are often eaten by children, to reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency in infants.

Such foods that are found in the market are yogurt, breakfast cereals, baby milk, orange juice, marmalade and others.

How long does it take to correct a Vitamin D deficiency?

Depending upon the condition of how deficient a person is, it usually takes around two to three months or in many cases three to four months to acquire the recommended levels of Vitamin D. A smaller proportion of the requirement is fulfilled by the diet while a major proportion is fulfilled by exposure to the sunlight. The recommended dosage of Vitamin D according to the guidelines as per RDA is considered to be 600 IUs for adults and 800 IUs in the case of older individuals.

Summary: The time duration which is required to replenish levels of Vitamin D in the body depends upon the condition of how deficient a person is. On average, it usually takes around two to three months to fulfill the requirement of Vitamin D.

Does Vitamin D affect sleep?

Vitamin D levels in our body are closely linked to the quality of our sleep. Usually, low levels of it in our blood levels adversely affect our sleep and cause disturbances in our sleep. Sleep duration is sufficiently reduced and becomes poorer in quality also. An increase in Vitamin D levels is responsible for the decrease in levels of melatonin which in turn is responsible for the regulation of our sleep cycle.

Summary: Vitamin D is essential for the overall growth and development of the body. It is linked to the quality of sleep. Deficiency of Vitamin D causes poor and disturbed sleep by affecting the sleep cycle adversely.

How can I test my Vitamin D at home?

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient. Any deficiency of it can lead to serious health issues, hence it is important to ensure the correct levels of Vitamin D in our body from time to time. We can check levels of Vitamin D ourselves at home by several at-home Vitamin D tests which are effective and as precise as the medical professional’s ways of testing. The levels of Vitamin D are measured in units of nanogram per liter or nanogram per milliliter.

Summary: It is important to maintain a required level of Vitamin D in our body so as to maintain the normal and proper functioning of the vital systems. Regular monitoring of it needs to be done by several at-home Vitamin D tests.
Summary: Vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients which is required for our body for normal functioning and metabolism. Any deficiency of it can lead to several complications and consequences related to health, hence, it is important for us to maintain a requirement of Vitamin D in our body, and hence we should take sources rich in it.

Popular Questions & Answers

Hello doctor I have a problem of hypothyroidism for late 10 years and currently taking tab. Thyronorm 125. Many times I need pain killers like aceclofenac 200 od and etoricoxib 90 od for legs pain and back pain which exist because of hypothyroidism as I was told. That caused me a problem of gastritis. Confirmed by endoscopy. So my question is what pain killer options are available to patients of gastritis. Because sometimes I really need them for pain in both the legs. Because paracetamol is not that useful.

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Dharwad
Hello, thanks for the query. I have seen the details mentioned. As I understand you have hypothyroidism since 10 years and you are on 125 mcg. However, there is no mention of current t3, t4 & tsh levels. Because if hypothyroidism is under good con...
1 person found this helpful

Sir I am 29 years old and have pcod with submecosal uterine fibroid of 3.5x3.9x2. 5 cm measurement. I am currently taking cystohit m and duoluton l. But after 6 months of treatment size is not reducing. What should I do.

MBBS, Diploma in Advanced Obstetrics and Gynaecological Ultrasound
Gynaecologist, Hyderabad
If it is not causing any problem wait andsee ,if it is causing problems like excessive bleeding andpain abdomen u can remove fibroid only by muon myomectomy

Hi, initially I have 16lmiu/ml. My doctor prescribed me thyronorm tab at the dosage of 12. 5 mcg. And now I have 4miu/ml. Do I need to continue with dosage? Or do I need to stop consuming tablets? Is there any specific diet for it?

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Dharwad
lybrate-user ji, thanks for the query. I have seen the details mentioned. From that it appears you are referring to the tsh values as nothing is written about what are these levels. Plus there is no mention of t3 & t4 levels. So without knowing th...

My son is 9 years old. He's getting wound like thing inside his mouth often and he's having pain because of that he's unable to eat properly. Is this any serious problem?

MD - Paediatrics
Pediatrician, Bareilly
You should give him multivitamin for 15 days aling with oracep gel for local application, if still persists or recurs it needs to be evaluated with detailed history, examination and investigations.

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