The most common symptoms of low vitamin D levels will be described in the following article. When vitamin D levels get very low, this condition is called vitamin D deficiency. It can result in serious problems. Let us first say something about vitamin D.
What is vitamin D? There are two main forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 is produced by fungi. It is available in the form of supplements, although it is considered less effective than vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is found in animal-derived foods, such as eggs, dairy products, meat and fish. The quantities of vitamin D found in these foods are not sufficient, but they are certainly helpful. That is why vegetarians are at risk of having low levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin, during the sun exposure. You need to spend at least twenty minutes in the sun without wearing any sunscreen. White skin needs less time to produce vitamin D, compared to darker skin. Dark-skinned people need to spend more than thirty minutes in the sun, several times a week. Vitamin D deficiency is common in cold countries. Older people and dark-skinned people are at higher risk of becoming deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency is usually asymptomatic in the beginning. Even if the symptoms occur, they are usually mild and non-specific, which is why people do not pay much attention to these signs.
The symptoms usually include:
● Bone fragility
● Muscle cramps
● Rickets in children
Severe deficiency can be accompanied by constant fatigue, depression, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, and rickets in children. These symptoms indicate severe condition, which has to be treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, vitamin D deficiency can cause serious problems, and it can also affect other health problems (in people who already suffer from diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, etc).
How to Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency
Spend more time outside! If the weather is sunny, go for a walk or just sit in your backyard. Of course, you should not be outside if the sun is too strong, because you can get your skin burnt. It will be best to go outside in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Foods that contain vitamin D can be very helpful in preventing vitamin D deficiency. However, these amounts cannot be considered satisfactory. Sun exposure should be combined with a well-balanced diet that includes eggs, meat, dairy products and fish.
Vitamin D supplements are considered very effective in vitamin D deficiency prevention. These supplements are also used in treating this condition. If vitamin D levels are very low, the only way to get them back to normal is to use vitamin D supplements.
According to some researches, low vitamin D levels are closely related to depression. If you start feeling depressive, but you cannot think of any logical explanation for this, perhaps it will be best to visit your doctor and check your vitamin D levels. Most people think that depressive state is caused by something else, so they usually treat depression – the symptom, instead of looking for the real cause.
Several studies have shown that there is a connection between obesity and low levels of vitamin D. It is still unclear which one comes first – obesity or vitamin D deficiency, but we do know that there is a connection. If you are starting a weight-loss diet, you will have more success in loosing weight if your vitamin D levels are normal. People who have low levels of vitamin D are likely to have difficulties, when it comes to losing weight.