Vitamin D Deficiency: Symptoms and Causes
Vitamin D deficiency is real. Although our bodies naturally produce vitamin D, they do it under specific circumstances. If we’re not meeting our body’s needs for that process to occur, vitamin D levels are likely to drop, which could lead to vitamin D deficiency.
Symptoms and Associated Health Risks
What happens to the body when it is not getting enough vitamin D? For most people, the signs may be so subtle they are hard to perceive at all, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pose a certain level of risk. Some people will experience muscle weakness and bone pain. Some of the health risks associated with vitamin D deficiency are severe asthma in children, cognitive impairment in adults, higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?
Melanin is the pigment responsible for the color of your skin. Darker skin means there is more melanin in the body, and melanin can decrease the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun.
Fat cells extract vitamin D from the blood, preventing it from being released into circulation. When a person’s BMI is 30 or above, they are likely to suffer from low levels of vitamin D.
Limited Exposure to Sunlight
The body produces vitamin D when exposed to UVB rays. During the winter, those who live in northern latitudes or whoever spends most of their time indoors will likely have lower levels of vitamin D.
Low Consumption of Vitamin D Through Diet
In addition to naturally producing this vitamin, it is good to complement that intake with foods that are high in vitamin D, such as oily fish, egg yolks, and milk, especially during times of low exposure to sunlight. Otherwise, you risk a drop in your vitamin D levels.
Inability to Absorb or Convert Vitamin D
The body may lose its ability to convert vitamin D into its active form as the kidneys age. Also, sometimes due to specific medical issues, the digestive tract cannot properly absorb vitamin D from the food you consume.