People who have vitamin D deficiency problems are strongly advised to take these problems seriously. Vitamin D deficiency can cause serious complications. The worst thing about vitamin D deficiency is that it shows no symptoms in the beginning. This condition is very common, but most people don’t even know they have it.
Vitamin D Deficiency Causes
People who do not spend time in the sun are at risk of getting deficient in vitamin D. In countries that have cold weather, vitamin D deficiency is very common. Doctors say that a person with white skin needs to spend at least twenty minutes in the sun (without sunscreen), at least three or four times a week. Dark-skinned people should spend even more time in the sun because more time is needed for dark skin to produce vitamin D. Therefore, if you live in the northern countries and you are dark-skinned, you may lack vitamin D. Older people can have this problem because the body becomes less capable of producing vitamin D as we age.
Vegetarians may lack vitamin D because they do not consume animal-derived foods. Eggs, animal meat, dairy products and fish are some of the foods that contain vitamin D. If you don’t consume these foods, you have to find some alternatives. Talk to your doctor about vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D Deficiency Problems
In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to problems like:
● Constant fatigue
● Low energy levels
● Muscle pain
● Bone fractures
● Severe deficiency can cause depression.
● Immune system will get weak, and the body will be unable to defend itself from infections.
● Vitamin D deficiency can cause problems in people who suffer from diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
In children, vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets.
Infants who exclusively eat breast milk are at risk of getting deficient in vitamin D. Formula milk contains sufficient amount of vitamin D (and it contains other important nutrients), so it should be included in the baby’s diet. Breast-feeding is important and it is always encouraged; however, babies should also consume formula.
The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in babies include soft skull, tooth delay, irritability, pain, weakness and slow growth. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your baby to the doctor as soon as possible.
How to Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can be prevented. If you think that you lack vitamin D, visit your doctor and check the levels of vitamin D in your blood. If you are deficient in vitamin D, your will be advised to take supplements, consume more foods that contain this vitamin and spend more time in the sun.
In the winter, vitamin D levels are likely to get low, because we can’t get enough sunlight. Sun showers can be a good alternative to natural sun. However, you should not use sun showers without talking to your dermatologist. If you have sensitive skin (or you are advised not to use sun showers for any reason), it will be better to choose some other method of getting vitamin D.
If you are a vegetarian, you can start consuming fortified breakfast cereals and energy bars that contain vitamin D.
During the winter months, vitamin D supplements are probably the best solution. There are many different products in drug stores, so you should consult your doctor before buying any of these. Although vitamin D overdose is rare, you should be careful when taking supplements. The dosage will depend on several factors (your condition, environmental factors, other illnesses), which is why you need to consult your doctor before you start using supplements.