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Vitamin D : Deficiency,Symptoms And Treatments

Updated: Apr 24, 2021

What is Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is a Fat soluble vitamin that is it is absorbed through the Fat globules and transported to the small intestine and from there it is synthesized and circulated to the body.

Vitamin D2 and D3 are not biologically active.So,They are metabolized in the body and converted to active form.

Function of Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is an Important vitamin needed by the Body for various function:

  • Bone formation and its growth

  • It regulates the plasma levels of calcium and phosphate

  • It minimizes the excretion of calcium and phosphate through Kidney

  • Boost immune system

The Recommended Dietary allowance(RDA) of Vitiman D for a average Human is About

400-800 IU or 10 to 20μg/day but for countries where Sunlight is in good amount RDA is about 200-400IU or 5 to 10μg/day.

You can get vitamin D in three ways: through your skin, from your diet, and from supplements.

Causes of Vitamin D deficiency :

  • Not enough Vitamin D in Diet

  • Not enough exposure to sunlight

  • Liver and Kidney unable to convert Vitamin D to active form

  • Strict vegetarians(Many vegetables have less or no Vitamin D)

  • Chronic alcoholics

  • Kidney and Liver Diseases

  • Fat melabsorption syndrome or Obesity(Fat prevents Vitamin D to get into the blood)

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms:

  • Loss of Bone density leading to osteoporosis and fracture

  • In adults, it can cause Osteomalacia (causes weak bones, bone pain, and muscle weakness)

  • In children,it causes Rickets(bones to become soft and bend)

  • Fatigue.

  • Bone pain.

  • Muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps.

  • Mood changes, like depression.

Health effects of Vitamin D deficiency:

  • Heart disease and high blood pressure.

  • Diabetes.

  • Infections and immune system disorders.

  • Cancer, such as colon, prostate and breast cancers.

  • Multiple sclerosis.

Food sources of Vitamin D:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel

  • Beef liver

  • Cheese

  • Mushrooms

  • Egg yolks

  • Breakfast cereals

  • Orange juice

  • Other dairy products, such as yogurt

  • Soy drinks

Vitamin D deficiency treatment:

There is no particular Treatment for Vitamin D deficiency but these are some of the methods taken to increase Vitamin D in the Body:

  • Exposure to sunlight(Sunlight boost Vitamin D, but increased exposure may result in skin cancer.Consult a doctor for appropriate method for safe exposure)

  • Using Dietary Supplements(Some people may need to take supplements, but it is best to talk to a doctor before doing so, as some can have adverse effects.)

  • Eating Vitamin D rich foods

Preventing Vitamin D deficiency:

  • Staying fit and healthy: Cycling or walking can provide both exercise and exposure to sunlight.

  • Treating medical conditions: People with health conditions that affect the absorption of nutrients may find that treating the underlying condition helps boost their levels of certain nutrients, including vitamin D.

  • Being proactive about preventive health: People with a family history of osteoporosis or vitamin D deficiency may wish to consider speaking to their doctor about screening.

Is too much Vitamin D harmful for Health:

Overdose of Vitamin D is harmful for Health as it may result in buildup of higher amount of calcium in the Body causing nausea and vomiting, weakness, and frequent urination.also it might progress to bone pain and kidney problems, such as the formation of calcium stones.

High Vitamin D Toxicity occurs only when overdose of Vitamin D supplements but Excessive sun exposure doesn't cause vitamin D poisoning because the body limits the amount of this vitamin it produces.

It is always necessary to seek advise a doctor if you face these symptoms and before taking supplements.

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