Wondering why you can’t cure that cold or stomach infection with medicine? Chances are that an underlying vitamin D deficiency could put your recovery at risk.

Vitamin D is stored and synthesized naturally in the body, which is activated by the liver and kidneys when exposed to the sun (hence, the nickname “sunshine vitamin”). It is the key to keeping our immune system healthy along with maintaining calcium and phosphate levels in the body.

Several factors have contributed to the increased incidence of vitamin D deficiency. The main reason is the lack of proper exposure to sunlight – because we don’t spend enough time outside. Our sedentary lifestyle is another problem. It has been found that people who are overweight/obese are more prone to Vitamin D deficiency.

Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble compound (i.e. it only dissolves in fat and is stored in fat throughout the body), a high accumulation of body fat creates a greater demand for vitamin D. Research has also shown people with dark skin pigmentation are at greater risk because the color of their skin blocks the sun’s ability to stimulate the production of vitamin D. (Applying too much sunscreen can lead to a similar problem.) Genetic and other medical conditions such as liver and kidney disease can also cause a deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency is not easy to diagnose, as it does not always cause symptoms until levels become very low or have been low for some time. But some of the more alarming signs to watch for include:

#1 Bone Health

nodular muscles

The body absorbs calcium with the help of vitamin D and calcium deficiency leads to low bone density. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, and reduced bone density, which can lead to fractures. Typically, people who experience muscle or joint pain think they have low calcium levels and take supplements without knowing the real problem is vitamin D deficiency.

According to Bone Health and Osteoporosis OrganizationVitamin D plays a very important role for women during menopause, in which bone density decreases, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.

#2 Gastric infection

gas problem

Problems in the digestive system can cause insufficient absorption of vitamin D. So if you experience chronic gas, bloating and constipation or sensitive gut diseaseYou should get your level checked.

Adequate intake of vitamin D reduces the risk of colon cancer and can help colon cancer patients fight it.

#3 Frequent colds

winter problem

Vitamin D deficiency affects the immune system. So if you find yourself catching a cold more than once or twice a month, it could be because your levels are low. Vitamin D also helps fight acute respiratory problems like asthma and eczema.

#4 Depression

serotonin

Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, declines with reduced sun exposure resulting in vitamin D deficiency.

Another way of looking at it is that people who spend more time indoors are deficient in vitamin D and are more likely to have stressful social lives. The lack of a social circle discourages them to go out and this in turn ties them into a degenerative cycle.

#5 Adverse effects on children’s development,

stunted growth

This especially applies to children. Children who look too short for their age should get their vitamin D levels checked, and a calcium deficiency can stunt their growth. Excessive vitamin D deficiency in children 6-23 months of age and adolescents 12-25 years of age may result rickets,

Rickets is a condition that causes softening and weakening of bones leading to many deformities. Conversely, adding enough vitamin D to the daily routine can help correct many developmental issues in young children.

Inadequate amounts of Vitamin D in children may cause issues like irritability, developmental delay, frequent fractures, etc.

What is the best way to meet vitamin D deficiency?

An average adult needs 100-200 IU of vitamin D daily. While doctors recommend supplements and injections to increase vitamin D levels in the body, it is important to know that spending time in the sun is the best way to reverse a deficiency. Spend at least 15 minutes outside from 8 a.m. to noon. During this exercise or walk, take full advantage of being out in the sun by wearing light colored clothes.

While the number of foods that contain vitamin D is small, remember that without the help of fat, it cannot be absorbed or used in the body. Hence it is important to follow the right diet. Here are some foods you can choose from daily:

  • a 200-300 ml milk glass
  • Two 50 g pieces of oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines
  • 30 grams whole soybeans or dried beans such as Rajma, Chana
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30 g serving of mushrooms

These simple guidelines will ensure that your vitamin D levels stay under control and keep those dreaded symptoms at bay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I increase my Vitamin D level?

While doctors recommend supplements and injections to increase the level of vitamin D in the body, the best way to overcome this deficiency is to spend time in the sun. Spend at least 15 minutes outside from 8 a.m. to noon. During this, exercise or walk by wearing light colored clothes to take full advantage of sunlight.

What causes vitamin D deficiency in adults?

Several factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in adults. The main reason is the lack of proper exposure to sunlight. Our sedentary lifestyle is another problem. It has been found that people who are overweight/obese are more prone to Vitamin D deficiency. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble compound (i.e. it only dissolves in fat and is stored in fat throughout the body), a high accumulation of body fat creates a greater demand for vitamin D. Research has also shown people with dark skin pigmentation are at greater risk because the color of their skin blocks the sun’s ability to stimulate the production of vitamin D. Applying too much sunscreen can also cause a similar problem. Genetic and other medical conditions such as liver and kidney disease can also cause deficiency.

Can Vitamin D Deficiency Be Cured?

Yes, Vitamin D deficiency can be easily corrected. While doctors recommend supplements and injections to increase the level of vitamin D in the body, the best way to overcome this deficiency is to spend time in the sun. Spend at least 15 minutes outside from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. During this, exercise or walk by wearing light colored clothes to take full advantage of sunlight.

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in adults?

Vitamin D strengthens the immune system and helps ward off illness and especially respiratory infections. Thus, the deficiency of this vitamin can make a person fall ill again and again. Other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, back pain, body aches, slow healing of wounds and poor hair health.

Which fruit is rich in Vitamin D?

Oranges are the best source of vitamin D among the few food sources that contain this vitamin in good amounts. Eating an orange or drinking a glass of orange juice will help you meet your vitamin D requirement. Having said that, exposure to sunlight is one of the best ways to meet your body’s vitamin D needs.

Do Bananas Contain Vitamin D?

Among fruits, bananas are the second best source of vitamin D after oranges. Being a great source of magnesium, they activate vitamin D in the body to get its optimum benefits.

Does Vitamin D Affect Sleep?

There is a direct relationship between vitamin D and sleep. Vitamin D deficiency in the body can lead to several sleep disorders such as short sleep duration, and disturbed sleep patterns that reduce the quality of sleep. Inadequate vitamin D in the body can cause the swelling of the nose and nose associated with sleep apnea. Vitamin D is also involved in the production of a hormone called melatonin that regulates human circadian rhythms and thus regulates sleep.

Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Dizziness?

Vitamin D plays an important role in the regulation of blood and fluid balance. The lack of the required amount of Vitamin D hinders these functions making a person feel dizzy and tired all the time.

Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Weight Gain?

No, Vitamin D does not cause weight gain. Vitamin D supports weight loss.

Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Anxiety?

Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, declines with reduced sun exposure resulting in vitamin D deficiency. An imbalance of serotonin can cause a number of mental conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Can Vitamin D Deficiency Affect Your Hair?

Vitamin D stimulates the hair follicles and thus its deficiency can adversely affect hair growth. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to alopecia. Alopecia is an autoimmune condition that causes bald patches on the scalp. In addition, a good level of vitamin D in the body has been found to promote hair growth and improve its quality.

How long does it take to recover from Vitamin D deficiency?

The recovery period of any vitamin deficiency in one’s body depends on corrective measures and individual factors like immunity, age, genetics etc. However, it usually takes 3-4 months to recover from vitamin D deficiency.

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