Vitamin D is one of the vitamins essential for proper body function. That’s why vitamin D deficiency can cause serious health problems.
To start with, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s closely linked to the calcium reserves in the body calcium, and it’s common knowledge that bone health and proper bone development largely depend on this mineral. Moreover, vitamin D strengthens the immunity and, according to recent studies, lowers the risk of cancer.
The thing is, vitamin D doesn’t only prevent the onset of a number of diseases, but it also neutralizes their symptoms.
One of the warning signs of vitamin D deficiency is brittle bones, especially in the first years of a person’s life.
In such cases, even more serious health issues develop including skeletal deformities and fragile bones, as well as an increased risk of injuries and fractures.
However, it’s a misconception to believe that vitamin D deficiency only affects your bone health. Namely, one study found that this vital vitamin can also prevent hypertension, type 1 and 2 diabetes, as well as multiple sclerosis (MS).
Keep your overall health in good condition by knowing these 7 warning signs of vitamin D deficiency:
1# Muscle Pain and Weakness
Vitamin D deficiency triggers muscle pain and weakness which can vary in intensity from mild to agonizing. The intensity of the pain rises along with the increase of vitamin D deficiency. Lack of this vitamin leads to slower muscle contraction and weaker muscle movement.
2# Immune System Malfunction
A drop in vitamin D levels directly affects your immune system function because the immune cells feed on this vitamin, so anything less than the required amount can trigger a serious immunity dysfunction.
A Japanese study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition involved schoolchildren. The subjects were divided in two groups – one group took vitamin D supplements whereas the other group didn’t.
The results of the study showed that the first group was more resistant to flu strain influenza as opposed to the second group which was more susceptible. In a separate study, low vitamin D levels were linked to autoimmune diseases.
3# Elevated Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is also related to low vitamin D levels. The thing is this vitamin neutralizes the effects of peptide – the hormone that increases blood pressure, and prevents water retention.
4# Depression or Mood Swings
A number of studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and mood swings. In fact, vitamin D is closely linked to the seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression associated with late autumn and winter caused by a lack of light.
This changes vitamin D3 levels in the body and requires proper supplementation. Convention treatments of SAD include vitamin D3 supplements.
Aside from reducing mood swings, vitamin D supplementation also reduced other SAD symptoms including food craving, lethargy, hypersomnia, and sleep disturbances.
5# Stomach and Gut Problems
The common denominator of many gastrointestinal conditions, such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease etc., is vitamin D deficiency.
Obese people are also at risk of this vitamin deficiency since the fat reduces the effects and amount of vitamin D in the body.
6# Chronic Sweating
It may sound unrelated, but, excessive sweating, especially in the forehead area, can also point to low vitamin D levels.
7# Cardiovascular Disorders
Vitamin D deficiency has been repeatedly linked to heart disease. Medical experts claim that low vitamin D levels increase the calcium levels in the arteries thus triggering heart problems. What happens is the calcium clogs the arterial walls leading to a heart failure or a stroke.
Other serious conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity, have also been linked to vitamin D deficiency.
Incorporating More Vitamin D
If you experience any of these signs, you may want to have your vitamin D levels checked. On the other hand, you can easily increase your vitamin D intake through proper nutrition.
The three best sources of this vitamin include:
- Orange Juice (Vitamin D fortified)
- Fortified Plant-Based Milks