If you are a person who does not get adequate exposure to sunshine and also fails to have foods rich in it vitamin D, deficiency is the end result. This is very common in vegetarians, as this vitamin is mostly present in fish and eggs. Many products are now fortified with this vitamin to reduce the risk of its deficiency. It is very important for the growth and development of strong bones. Insufficient amounts of it in the body will lead to the formation of soft, brittle bones, and a host of other health issues along with it.
Vitamin D deficiency may not have very obvious symptoms. The most common symptoms, when present, are pain in the bones and weakness. Deficiency of this vitamin may increase the risk of heart diseases, affect intelligence, cause asthma, and even cancer. Many studies have shown that vitamin D plays a very important part in controlling Type 2 diabetes, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.
A blood test is the best way to check whether you have vitamin D deficiency or not. There are a number of self-test kits available in the market, which may be convenient.
Look out for the following associations of this vitamin with other health issues:
- Flu – Deficiency of this vitamin increases the risk of flu.
- Muscle weakness – In the absence of vitamin D, functioning of the skeletal muscles are affected.
- Psoriasis – Studies show that vitamin D deficiency is associated with enhanced risk of this skin condition.
- Advanced kidney disease – People with condition are prone to vitamin D deficiency.
- Diabetes – Deficiency of sunshine vitamin is associated with increased risk of Type 1 diabetes.
- Respiratory disorders – Frequent attacks of respiratory diseases are common with vitamin D deficiency.
- Gum diseases – Increasing the levels of this vitamin is found to be effective in controlling the condition, suggesting its role in oral health.
- Cardiovascular diseases – Deficiency of vitamin D is associated with heart diseases.
- Depression – This vitamin is important in the mental functioning and cognitive development in the early stages.
The major causes of vitamin D deficiency are:
- Insufficient intake through diet
- Limited exposure to sun
- Dark skin
- Impaired functioning of kidneys