Vitamin D deficiency symptoms can be caused by not eating foods with Vitamin D. It can also be caused by lack of sunlight, as sunlight allows for D production
in the skin.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms can take months to years to show themselves. People with only slightly low levels may not even know about it and show no symptoms at all.
We in the medical profession did too good of a job! For years doctors have been counseling people: 'Stay out of the sun...use sunblock..don't get skin cancer!'
And what happened? Well almost everyone listened and now due to lack exposure to sunlight, many people are Vit D deficient. All of us need 10 minutes a day in the sun just to manufacture
this in our skin.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
Be aware of the fact that it can take a few years to become vitamin deficient. Below are the deficiency symptoms:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle aches
- Bone pain at any age
- Muscle spasming
- Mental confusion in older adults
- Worsening asthma symptoms in children
The above listed symptoms, if not treated, can eventually lead to bone disease. In children, ricketts or bowing of the bones, may develop. In adults, osteopenia (low bone mass) and eventually osteporosis (bone loss) may happen. This then leads to fractures, most commonly the wrist, vertebrae and even the hips. If you already have osteoporsis, consider asking your doctor to screen you with a blood test.
Recent studies have shown that prolonged vitamin D deficiency symptoms can lead to certain types of cancer such as colon cancer and breast cancer. This could be due to the fact that Vitamin D may initiate apoptosis, or cellular death in cancer cells. Without it the cancer cells grow. We all have cells that mutate for one reason or another, but our immune system generally keeps a check on those problems. Immune deficienies and vitamin deficiencies play a key role in cancer.
Newer research suggests that Vitamin D also plays a role in Type I and Type II diabetes, glucose intolerance, hypertension and even multiple sclerosis. Additionally, it may play a role in folate breakdown(folic acid) within the body. Without folic acid, cardiac disease goes up as does depression and anxiety. Folate is a precursor for neurochemicals in the brain that help with mood.
When patients are diagnosed with Vit D deficiency, the recommendation is to start prescription level dosing of 50,000units oral dosing. This is taken once a week for 8 weeks then the person starts 1000units or 2000units a day, depending on how severe was the deficiency.
Although some people retest blood levels, generally I do not recommmend this unless the patient is still symptomatic after the 8 weeks of treatment at prescription levels of Vitamin D.
1. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health; "Dietary Supplement Sheet: Vitamin D."
2. Melamed M.L. Archives of Internal Medicine, August 2008; vol 168, 1629-1637.
3. WebMD Health News: "Low Vitamin D Linked to Severe Asthma."
4. Garland C.F. Annals of Epidemiology, July 2009; vol 19: pp 468-483.
5. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus: "25-hydroxy Vitamin D Test."
6. Harvard School of Public Health: "Vitamin D: How Much Is Enough?"