Vitamin D is a type of vitamin which is fat-soluble. There are very few foods that are enriched with vitamin D. Therefore, it is added in various foods or consumed in the form of supplements. The prime source of vitamin D is sunlight. Therefore, regular exposure to sunlight can meet the vitamin D requirement of the body. Vitamin D is essential for the body in many ways. It helps the body in absorbing calcium from food which is indispensable for bone health and teeth. It promotes healthy cell growth and helps in building muscle mass. It is an important component of the body’s immune system which provides safeguard against diseases like cancer, diabetes and hypertension. It also reduces the chances of cold and flu, depression, heart diseases and respiratory diseases. Adequate exposure of sunlight is beneficial during pregnancy and new-born babies and infants. If anyone has
vitamin D deficiency, it can be detected with the help of a simple blood test. Apart from that, there are some preliminary signs and symptoms that might be helpful in recognizing it. Here are some of the warning signs of vitamin D deficiency.
1. Cold And Flu
Vitamin D helps in avoiding colds and flu. People with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to suffer from cold and flu in comparison to those who have sufficient levels of vitamin D. Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. In fact it is made in the body, in response to the absorption of sun-rays by the body. Vitamin D may play a crucial role in immune boosting and reducing the risks of various medical conditions like lung diseases, respiratory infection or asthma.
Anxiety or depression may be one of the earliest signs of vitamin D deficiency. Depression due to vitamin D deficiency occurs especially in older people, which tends to go up during the winters. Taking vitamin D supplements help in improving the condition. Deficiency of vitamin D is also associated with a condition known as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, which causes mood changes in the absence of adequate sunlight. There is yet another hormone that is inversely associated with the regulation of mood, known as melatonin. It also triggers insomnia, eating disorders and cravings. Adequate sunlight can minimize the impact of melatonin. Exposure to sunlight helps in alleviating our mood.
3. Irritability And Discomfort
Excessive sweating is one of the most common and early symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. However, there are also other issues that may cause sweating. Along with sweating, patients often experience issues like unpleasantness, irritability, restlessness or some sort of discomfort.
4. Poor Bone Health
Vitamin D is necessary for absorption of calcium by the bones and its metabolism levels. When there is a loss of the bone mass or the density of bone minerals become poor, a patient is often prescribed to increase the calcium intake. However, reality may be that the body is unable to absorb it due to insufficient Vitamin D. Along with growing age, the mineral density of bones become lower. In order to combat this, adequate calcium intake along with vitamin D is also important.
5. Respiratory Issues
Adequate levels of vitamin D may cause respiratory disorders and diseases. It may cause lung diseases and asthma. As the immune system becomes weak due to insufficient amount of the vitamin, its anti-microbial and germ-protecting ability goes down, which gives rise to diseases like tuberculosis and respiratory infections.
Getting tired and exhausted easily may be another significant symptom of vitamin D deficiency. However, there are several other health conditions that cause fatigue. It has been seen that people with low blood pressure levels are more prone to be affected by the fatigue due to vitamin D deficiency.
7. Cardiac Issues
Cardio-vascular or heart disease is one of the major causes of death. Vitamin D is effective in promoting heart health. Vitamin D deficiency may cause coronary calcification and heart conditions like stroke, congestion in the heart, heart failure and myocardial infarction. The risk of cardiac conditions due to lack of vitamin D may also be due to obesity, as the vitamins are absorbed and stored in the fat cells instead of allowing it to flow through the bloodstream.
8. High Blood Pressure
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining a healthy heart. Therefore, a deficiency in it is likely to result in conditions like high blood pressure. Hypertension is very common in elderly people who have low levels of vitamin D.
9. Thyroid Issues
If you are having a thyroid disorder, it is likely that you have vitamin D deficiency. It is essential for the thyroid gland to function properly.
10. Renal Anemia
Deficiency of vitamin D may be responsible for inadequate absorption of iron by the body. Therefore, people who suffer from anemia are usually recommended Vitamin C and Vitamin D supplements, along with iron and folate supplements. Patients suffering from kidney disorders are at the additional risk of renal anemia.
11. High Blood Sugar
Our body needs Vitamin D to produce muscle tissues as well as to control the insulin resistance for regulating the levels of blood sugar and lack of vitamin D may cause diabetes. If you are diabetic, adequate intake of vitamin D may be effective in keeping your blood sugar levels under control. If you are not diabetic but it runs in your family, along with weight management and a healthy diet, it is important to ensure that your vitamin D levels are adequate to reduce the risk of diabetes.
Vitamin D is effective in reducing the risks of various types of cancers like prostate cancer, breast cancer or colorectal cancer. Therefore, it is important to keep the body replenished with adequate levels of vitamin D, especially though supplements, following a vitamin D rich diet and direct exposure to the morning sun, regularly. Vitamin D is associated with our immune system. By promoting healthy division of cells, it reduces the chances of abnormal cell division. However, stress should be avoided, as it may interfere with the absorption of vitamin D by the body.