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Vitamin D Deficiency is a Serious Condition

Updated on October 27, 2012

Why do I need Vitamin D?

Glad you asked. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. As a result, when Vitamin D is absorbed normally, you end up with strong bones and teeth. You probably have experienced the benefits of bones when you use them to schlep around all the other non-bone stuff that makes up your body and how helpful teeth are when it comes to enjoying food. Because teeth and bones are handy, you probably are wondering.......

How and where do I get vitamin D?

Vitamin D is known as the sun vitamin, because when sun hits your skin, vitamin D is formed. This can be inhibited by sunscreens, special sun blocking clothes, big hats, burkas, etcetera. People who use sun inhibitors, or never go outside, live on the North Pole, or work the night shift can feel out of sorts because they need the vitamin D and humans are not nocturnal. This is a recipe for a vitamin D deficiency. The sun is good for you, but how much should be determined by your doctor.

In addition to the sun, vitamin D is in beef, beef liver, fish, fish oils, egg yolks, dairy products, and certain fortified cereals. If these items are not part of your diet, like with certain vegetarians and vegans, it is likely you will have an insufficient amount of vitamin D. If a diet change is out of the question, then adding a Vitamin D supplement is recommended.

If you are seriously deficient, your doctor might recommend a high dose prescription of vitamin D in pill form or injections if necessary. These strong steps underscore the importance of having a normal level of Vitamin D.

What causes vitamin D deficiency?

Source

It would be irresponsible to say all of these conditions are because of a vitamin D deficiency, which doctors know not to be the reason, but low levels of vitamin D have been found in cases of depression, fatigue, seasonal affective disorder, asthma, osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, glucose intolerance, multiple sclerosis, kidney failure, and certain cancers. Vitamin D can be a component in the mix of several different conditions.

What do I do if I think I might have a vitamin D deficiency?

You need to consider the following factors:

Do you have an adequate amount of natural sunlight hitting your skin and giving you vitamin D? Are you eating vitamin D rich foods (see above)? Do you have other health conditions that might inhibit vitamin D absorption?

If your kidneys are not able to process or convert vitamin D, this can lead to a deficiency, which is more common in the elderly, but can happen to anyone.

If you have a digestive disease like Crohn’s or Celiac, where your digestive tract isn’t converting nutrients properly, it is easy to have a low level of vitamin D.

Obesity can cause a vitamin D deficiency, because it hinders absorption.

What are the symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency?

"Grateful for Blue Sky"
"Grateful for Blue Sky" | Source

Depending on how old you are and to what extent you are deficient in vitamin D, there are a number of potential symptoms. The annoying but less serious conditions are fatigue, moodiness, and depression. More serious conditions include heart disease, osteoporosis, asthma, and cancer. This might have you asking yourself what do I need to do to avoid low levels of Vitamin D.

What happens when a vitamin D deficiency goes untreated?

If you have questions about your vitamin D level, see your doctor, who can discuss all of your symptoms with their holistic approach. A professional can do the best job determining if a blood test is needed. The normal amount of vitamin D should be around 50ng/mg. The test will verify the situation, and inform your next move.

Full Disclosure

I am not a Physician – Doctor – Nurse practitioner - Physicians assistant - Nurse - CNA - Tech- or anyone in the medical field.

But, I do have a Vitamin D Deficiency.

What is your Vitamin D experience or knowledge?

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    • Jessay profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks for your comments. Guess less is more.

    • 4FoodSafety profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      6 years ago from Fontana, WI

      Our Mother in law who is 80 has a vitamin D deficiency. This is a pervasive problem for women - especially aging women.

      She was taking a D supplement and then switched to a multi vitamin and how her blood pressure is scattered. She is returning to the simple vitamin D supplement.

      I think her example is true, we need to know our bodies and take exactly what we need, not more for the sake of more.

      Vitamin D is critical - great post. Thank you!

    • Jessay profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica 

      7 years ago from USA

      Hi Rehana,

      I hear you on vit d only being from the sun. It never occurred to me where it came from until it turned out I didn't have enough. The great thing is most people have adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals in their diets and lifestyles, eliminating the need to wonder about where it comes from. They are lucky.

      Jessay

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 

      7 years ago

      For some reason, I thought the only source of Vit D was the sun. I was clearly wrong. Voted this hub up and useful.

    • Jessay profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica 

      7 years ago from USA

      Hi Kasiapl,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Does this mean you have high levels of vitamin D?

      Jessay

    • kasiapl profile image

      Kathy 

      7 years ago from New Jersey , USA

      Interesting Hub good to know

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