We all experience some aches and pains from time to time, and joint pain is also common. These symptoms and the like can have such a wide range of underlying diseases and conditions that it is hard to attribute them to one particular problem. Vitamin D deficiency can manifest itself in a variety of subtle and diverse symptoms, especially in its early stages.
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Severe D-ficiency is quite rare in this day and age. Its serious complication, rickets, halts the skeletal development in children and impairs growth. In adults, it can increase the risk of osteoporosis (the fact that bones do not grow any more does not mean that they cannot be damaged through vitamin D deficiency, as bone mass is constantly being rejuvenated, and having insufficient supplies of the vitamin can hit the process for six). Besides, it can make you prone to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases, and affect your pregnancy.
It is estimated that around 40% of Americans have vitamin D deficiency, so it is a common condition affecting nearly half of people (in other countries, the figures are often similar, with much more affected in Northern countries).
Here are some of the ways D-ficiency can manifest itself.
1. Aches and pains
Muscle weakness is one of the common symptoms associated with vitamin D deficiency. In more advanced stages, moderate muscle weakness can transform into joint and muscle pain. This symptom can also develop in the form of general fatigue. All these manifestations are not specific to the health problem in question, which makes its diagnosis difficult, as there are a lot of conditions calling for differentiation.
A study in which 150 patients presenting musculoskeletal pain were enrolled showed that as many as 93% of them had low levels of vitamin D.
2. Frequent respiratory flare-ups
It is not only people suffering from asthma that are liable to have such problems: people who are D-ficient can also find it hard to breathe normally or get out of breath faster than before. The vitamin in question helps protect the body against respiratory diseases, and if the body craves for it, symptoms related to the respiratory tract may develop.
3. Head sweating
This symptom can also point to the lack of vitamin D in the body, especially in children. If your newborn baby is presenting it, consult a doctor and try to consume more foods rich in vitamin D, such as fatty fish or dairy enriched with extra vitamin D – you can share your supplies with the baby through breastfeeding. It is rarely found in foods, but there are some sources which you can use. However, it is not only babies who can develop the symptom due to insufficient D levels: adults are prone to it too.
Many a study has shown that not exposing your body to sunlight for a long time can lead to depression, and vitamin D plays a significant role in it. Most of the vitamin D people get is produced by the body, and that is why spending some time outdoors to get enough supply of it is crucial.
5. Cardiovascular diseases
Of course, vitamin D deficiency is not the only factor contributing to the risk of cardiovascular diseases, but it is needed by the body to keep blood vessels healthy. There is evidence suggesting that vitamin D supplements can even help repair damaged blood vessel lining.
Now that we know that most supplements not only fail to be beneficial but can also increase the risk of some health problems, it is clear that many Americans need to overhaul their approach to supplementation. But there is a supplement which many people can still benefit from, and that is vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular diseases: a narrative review – clinicalhypertension.biomedcentral.com
Vitamin D deficiency linked to greater risk of diabetes – sciencedaily.com
Prevalence of Severe Hypovitaminosis D in Patients With Persistent, Nonspecific Musculoskeletal Pain – mayoclinicproceedings.org