Vitamins are essential nutrients and they play an important role in our health. Deficit of certain vitamins could cause several diseases and complicated health conditions. So called “sunshine vitamin” (vitamin D) is very important one and vitamin D deficiency could trigger health problems. This is why it is crucial to know vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
Nowadays the vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is becoming the global public health problem affecting millions of people (especially in north countries with limited sunshine).
Most known consequences of vitamin D deficiency are rickets in children and osteomalacia (softening of bones) in adults. Unfortunately during last decades health experts discovered many other diseases which connected to the deficit of vitamin D including cancer (especially breast cancer), skeletal diseases, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disturbances, autoimmune diseases, several infections and some cognitive disorders.
There are two forms of vitamin D – D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 (so called “ergocalciferol”) comes from fortified foods and plant foods. Vitamin D3 (so called “cholecalciferol”) can be produced by our body when skin is exposed to UV (ultraviolet radiation) from the sun. In addition, vitamin D3 could come also from fortified foods and certain animal foods (fatty fish, cod liver oil, eggs, and liver).
Although vitamin D deficiency symptoms sometimes can be considered as a sigh of vitamin D deficit, the only way to be absolutely sure is to take a blood test. Recent studies show that optimal levels of vitamin D are 30-50 ng/mL – adequate for optimal health.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms
Most women with vitamin D deficiency even don’t know about it because slight deficiency usually does not produce noticeable symptoms. It is always better to know all possible vitamin D deficiency symptoms:
Muscle and joint pain
Fibromyalgia (muscular or musculoskeletal pain) is very specific chronic health condition of body-wide pain. Weak points are the joints, muscles, tendons and some other soft tissues. In addition, people with fibromyalgia could also suffer from fatigue, memory and mood disorders as well as from insomnia (inability to sleep). Several studies report reduced levels of vitamin D in people with fibromyalgia.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms
Vitamin D helps to maintain power in every fiber of the body. Noticeable and unexpected weakness could be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Harvard researchers have linked vitamin D supplementation with increased muscle control. It was noted that just few months vitamin D supplementation can eliminate muscle weakness.
In ancient medicine books already was mentioned correlation between broken bones and sunshine. Medical experts know that our body stops building bone mass at 28-30 and deficit of vitamin D could not only speed up or worsen osteoporosis but could also trigger chronic bone pain.
Epidemiologic studies showed that frequency and mortality rates for certain types of cancer were lower among people living in south countries with high sunlight exposure. At the same time, it was noted increased numbers of cancer in north countries with limited sunshine.
Several experimental studies demonstrated possible association between vitamin D and cancer risks. In laboratory mice experiments vitamin D has been found to have several activities that might slow or prevent the development of cancer – by promoting cellular differentiation, decreasing cancer cell growth, stimulating cell death (apoptosis) and reducing tumor blood vessel formation (angiogenesis).
Often depression linked to the lack of sunshine and reduced levels of vitamin D. Best example is Seasonal Affective Disorder (so called “SAD” or “winter depression” or “winter blues”) which is a type of depression which has a seasonal pattern – usually episodes of depression appear at the same time each year (during dark winter time).
Several scientists suggested that the main cause of SAD is linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter days of the year – actually lack of sunlight could trigger disturbances in body sleep-wake cycle and in circadian rhythms (the body’s internal clock). Disturbed cycles provoke problems in serotonin (brain chemical) responsible for mood.
Sweaty head is typical for vitamin D deficiency. Many pediatricians used to ask new mothers about head sweating in their newborns as it is a visible sign of vitamin D deficiency. Excessive sweating in newborns due to neuromuscular irritability is still described as a common early symptom of vitamin D deficiency – excess sweating in the head vs. the rest of the body has been associated with low Vitamin D levels.
According to scientists vitamin D deficiency could trigger several serious life threatening diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and certain types of depression.
Vitamin E refers to a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities – they include both tocopherols and tocotrienols. Vitamin E is the powerful antioxidant that protects cells from…
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.