Vitamin D Deficiency, Causes & Treatments
Vitamins are essential nutrients of the body because they are not synthesized by the body, or they are synthesized in such inadequate amounts, so a negative impact on health or disease may not occur.
So, it is important that vitamins are given to the body either in the form of food or through supplements. Vitamin D is considered essential for the treatment of rickets. Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K).
Two forms of vitamin D are present, D2 and D3. Ergocalciferol, which is vitamin D2, is present in plant foods, fortified foods, and over the counter supplements.
Cholecalciferol, which is vitamin D3, comes from fortified foods, animal foods (fatty fish, cod liver oil, eggs, and liver), supplements, and is synthesized within the skin when it gets exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation of the sun.
Vitamin D deficiencies
Different medical conditions lead to vitamin D deficiency, such as:
1. Cystic fibrosis, and Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease
These diseases restrict the absorption of vitamin D into the intestines through supplements.
2. Weight loss surgeries
Reduction in the size of the stomach or other parts of small intestines by weight loss surgeries results in difficult absorption of adequate quantities of specific nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Individuals that are suffering due to this should be monitored by their doctors and should regularly take vitamin D or other supplements their entire life.
Low levels of vitamin D levels are related to increased body mass index. Vitamin D is kept separated due to fat cells, so they are not released. Obese people are more likely to get vitamin D deficiency. In order to maintain normal levels of vitamin D, supplements are taken in the obesity condition.
4. Kidney and liver diseases
These diseases result in low amounts of an enzyme that is needed to convert vitamin D to a form that can be utilized by the body. An insufficient amount of vitamin D occurs due to a decrease in this enzyme in the body.
5. Osteoporosis and Bone vitamins
Vitamin D is essential for the development of bones so the deficiency of vitamin d can lead to osteoporosis.
What other factors can lead to vitamin D deficiency?
- Age: Skin is unable to make vitamin D with an increase in age.
- Mobility: People who do not go out of the house, like those present in nursing homes and other facilities, are not exposed to sun rays, so vitamin D is not made.
- Skin color: Fair-colored skin is able to make more vitamin D than dark-colored skin.
- Human breast milk: Trace amounts of vitamin D are present in female’s breast milk. Similarly, infant formulas also contain small amounts of vitamin D. So; there is a chance that infants may not get enough of vitamin D. This happens more often in kids who are breastfed.
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency
- The symptoms of deficiency of vitamin D are:
- Bone pain
- Muscle weakness
- Mood changes
Sources of Vitamin D
The sources of vitamin D are:
Vitamin D Sunlight
Exposure to the sun for 15 to 20 minutes at least three days a week.
Foods high in vitamin D
You can take foods that contain Vitamin D.
Vitamin D supplements
You can take dietary supplements that contain vitamin D.
How is vitamin D deficiency treated?
The treatment and prevention goals are similar, that is, to attain and maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D in the body.
Best Vitamin D Supplement
Even though you might start taking food containing more vitamin D or even get a bit of sunlight, you will still be recommended to consume vitamin D tablets. Vitamin D is available in different amounts in form of capsules such as vitamin D 1000 IU, Vitamin D 10000 IU, Vitamin D 5000 IU. Best vitamin d supplements are available at pharmacy stores such as Life Pharmacy store.
There are two forms of vitamin D: D2 and D3.
Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3
Ergocalciferol, which is D2, is found in plants, while D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is found in animals.
A prescription is needed to get D2. D3 is accessible over the counter. It is also readily absorbed than D2 and stays for longer in the body. Your doctors will decide whether you need supplements or not and in what amounts.