Not Enough Vitamin D
Research shows that about half of the elderly and 9 out of 10 residents in care homes/ nursing homes have a vitamin deficiency. Even young children get too little vitamin D daily in their diet. The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. Your body can produce this vitamin itself under the influence of sunlight. In addition, foods such as oily fish (salmon, mackerel and herring), butter, meat and eggs are important sources of vitamin D.
To avoid health problems and complaints, it is advised to take a daily supplement with extra vitamin D. This is especially true for young children, the elderly, people who don’t go outside regularly, people with dark skin and pregnant women.
Symptoms of a Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D ensures that the body can absorb calcium and phosphorus from food. A deficiency of this vitamin is, therefore, detrimental to the maintenance of strong bones and teeth. A prolonged deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, a less functioning immune system and weak muscles. In addition, studies show that there are links between vitamin D and the onset of prostate, breast and colon cancer.
When do you have a vitamin D deficiency? If you recognise one or more of the following characteristics, it makes sense to go to the doctor. He or she can do additional research to determine whether you really have a vitamin deficiency.
10 Signs of a Vitamin D Deficiency
A vitamin D deficiency can cause several complaints. Below, you will find 10 Signs of a deficiency of this vitamin.
- Chronic lack of energy
When having a short-term deficiency you may suffer from fatigue and lack of energy.
It may cause you some “vague” symptoms, such as lethargy and a lethargic feeling. It is often difficult to determine the cause. A prolonged deficiency can even lead to depression.
- Weak muscles
This Vitamin plays a role in the functioning of the muscles. A deficiency can cause weak muscles.
- Sore muscles and joints
If you have too little of this vitamin may cause your muscles and joints can start to ache, even when you are not (over)exerting them. Due to the reduction of bone tissue, there is more pressure on the joints, causing the complaints.
- Bleeding gums
Take care of your teeth properly and if you still have bleeding gums, it can indicate a vitamin deficiency.
Together with calcium, vitamin D ensures strong teeth and bones and stimulates the conversion of calcium in bone tissue. A prolonged deficiency of vitamin D leads to a decrease in the bone tissue, making it more likely to get a bone fracture.
- Anxiety attacks
This vitamin is essential for a good mental state. A deficiency can cause anxiety attacks and stress.
Hyperventilation is associated with a deficiency of this vitamin . If you suffer from hyperventilation and you cannot find any other cause, ask your doctor to check the vitamin D levels in your blood.
- Heart problems
It appears to increase the risk of a heart attack if this vitamin is deficient. This is mainly caused by problems with the coronary arteries. Also, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to high blood pressure.
This disease can occur in children as a result of a vitamin D deficiency. This manifests itself in stunted growth and limbs that grow crooked.
Treatment for a Vitamin D Deficiency
A vitamin D deficiency can only be treated by supplementing the deficit again. For example, through nutritional supplements, by eating foods that are rich in this vitamin, or by sitting more often in the sun (please remember to use sunblock in the summer!).
Light therapy can also help. The body produces vitamin D under the influence of UV-B radiation from the sun, the same radiation that causes skin burns and skin cancer. For this reason, this radiation is largely filtered out by tanning lamps. Special light bulbs contain radiation, so they can have a beneficial effect on vitamin D production. However, there is no conclusive evidence for this. What does definitely work is to spend more time outdoors, which is not only positive for the vitamin D production in your body?
Sources: Vitamin D council, Ms Society, Wellness Mama