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Symptoms to Know about Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which is essential for the improvement of your health. It keeps your bones stronger, improves mental health and helps you sleep peacefully. Studies show nearly 1 in 4 adults have low amount of Vitamin D and the symptoms will depend upon how severe the deficiency seem to be. It is important to conduct Vitamin D deficiency blood test and know the amount of Vitamin D present in the body.

Symptoms you have deficiency of Vitamin D

When you have the deficiency of Vitamin D, your muscles become weak, you have mood swings and your bones start hurting. This denotes there is something unusual within your body. Certain symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bone pain
  • Not sleeping well
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Falling sick easily

Foods which are rich in Vitamin D

  • Canned fish such as sardines and herring
  • Fish liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon and trout
  • Beef liver

Types of Vitamin D fortified food items

As there aren’t much naturally occurring Vitamin D foods, various products should be enriched with vitamin D. You need to go through nutrition label to ensure the addition of Vitamin D.

  • Almond milk
  • Breakfast cereals 
  • Orange juice 
  • Milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Soy milk

The Vitamin D challenge: How to get it from sunlight 

When the skin gets exposed to the ultraviolet sun rays, your body will be creating its own Vitamin D. But when you go out, apply sunscreen to cover your sensitive areas. Getting a little bit of sun is good for everybody. If you are not getting proper sunlight during the winter months, you may have to increase the dietary intake or take a supplement.

How safe are Vitamin D supplements?

Vitamin D supplements do not lead to several adverse effects on the suggested dosages. Your body urinates out what you do not use and so, it is difficult to take Vitamin D in excess unless you are already taking huge doses. Side effects of vitamin D supplements include – dry mouth and constipation.

Taking high levels of Vitamin D can be harmful and lead to confusion, nausea, kidney stones, excessive thirst and vomiting. The supplements of Vitamin D may interact with some medications and so, you need to check with the doctor before starting one.

How same are Vitamin D and D3?

There are two forms of Vitamin D and these are – D2 and D3. You may absorb both the types in your body though studies reveal Vitamin D3 increases your levels more effectively in comparison to Vitamin D2. You may take a cod liver oil supplement when you prefer that to taking a pill.

According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance, children in the age group of 1 to 18 years, pregnant women, and non pregnant adults till 70 years should take Vitamin D by upto 600 international units. When they are above 70, it is suggested to increase to 800 international units. When the levels are extremely low, there is the prescription-strength dosage of Vitamin D.

Who is at greater risk for the deficiency of Vitamin D

People who have darker skin are better protected from the UV rays but they have to spend long time in the sun for producing same amount of Vitamin D as people with lighter skin would. So, the darker your skin may be, the less Vitamin D you make due to exposure of sunlight. People who are obese, old people who remain in the indoors, those who have osteoporosis and people who suffer from malabsorption disorders such as – inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease are at greater risk for the deficiency of Vitamin D.

The breastfed infants should take additional amount of Vitamin D too. Infants who are within 12 months need to consume 400 international units regularly as the content of human milk is low for Vitamin D. When parents do not want to give any supplement to their baby, the breastfeeding parent may take a supplement for fortifying their milk.

Most infant formulas have a minimum of at least 400 international units/L of Vitamin D. So, the formula-fed infants need supplementation to fulfil this ultimate goal till they take at least 1000 mL daily of formula. 

How to take more amount of Vitamin D

When there is insufficient Vitamin D, this can make the bones soft and brittle. Here are three ways to increase the intake of Vitamin D:

  • Eat foods which have high amount of Vitamin D such as fortified breakfast like orange juice, cereals, milk and fish
  • Take Vitamin D supplement
  • Include cod liver oil
  • Get vitamin D from the exposure of sunlight daily

You need to see a doctor at Private Blood Tests London and know about the deficiency of Vitamin D in your body. This will enable you to consume sufficient amount of Vitamin D for improved health.