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Nutrition

The common causes & signs of Vitamin D deficiency

Our body needs a number of nutrients to stay alive. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates and even fat in moderate quantity. In addition, the importance of vitamins cannot be sidelined. Particular emphasis needs to be made on Vitamin D which the body requires for stronger bone and teeth. This vitamin D indirectly helps the body performs this function by aiding calcium absorption. So even if you include calcium in your diet it is of no use until its backed with Vitamin D.

It is important to know the causes and signs of the deficiency of this vital nutrient. In some cases, the symptoms may get too serious that medical treatment might be needed. Let us now look at some of the causes of Vitamin D deficiency and the consequences that develop as a result.

Causes of lack of Vitamin D

Getting less sunlight

Yes, it is true. If you don’t receive enough sunlight, then you might be at a risk of Vitamin D deficiency. One of the most interesting sources remains sunlight which induces the synthesis of this nutrient. If you notice, people who live in Northern areas have lower levels of Vitamin D. This is because these areas have less exposure to the sun. As a result, the people face the problem of weaker bones. As a parent, encourage your children to play more outdoors during certain times of the day.

Ageing

Age is one other factor that is responsible for the depletion of Vitamin D from the body. Older people will suffer from the deficiency more than the younger age group. This is because firstly they tend to spend most of their time indoors. Secondly, at an older age, the body stops synthesizing this nutrient making it important to receive it from other sources like supplements.

People with darker skin

People who have a dark skin tone are more vulnerable to Vitamin D deficiency. The skin contains a pigment called melanin which is present in the epidermal layer. A higher amount of this pigment will result in a darker skin texture also preventing the absorption of Vitamin D.

Kidney related conditions

New research studies have found a relationship between kidney disease and lack of Vitamin D. Patients who suffer from this condition will find that the body stops the breaking down of this nutrient. Particularly, when the symptoms of the conditions worsen and the body develops Fibroblast Growth Factor. In that situation, a person is unable to receive Vitamin D naturally and have to rely on supplements.

Being Obese

It is widely believed that a number of medical illnesses are linked with obesity. Obesity has been one major contributor to serious conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure. A greater amount of fat present prevents circulation of vitamin D throughout the body causing a deficiency. Medical scientists have also argued that BMI (body mass index) also tends to play a role in that regard. A higher BMI (exceeding 30) will make the absorption of Vitamin D far more difficult.

People with Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is a lung-related illness that puts the region at a risk of infection. Over time if the symptoms are not taken control over, a person may find it difficult to breathe. While cystic fibrosis particularly affects the lungs, it also hinders the digestive process of the body. Mainly, as a consequence of this condition, fat absorption is greatly affected. It is important to understand the composition of Vitamin D. It is made up of fat molecules. When the body is unable to absorb fat-soluble molecules like Vitamin D, the deficiency will result. In addition, people with cystic fibrosis are mostly bedridden. They cannot go outdoors much thereby will not receive sunlight.

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency

On an estimate, around 1 billion people in this entire world will have lower levels of Vitamin D. It is a major cause of concern because lack of this nutrient can lead to the development of serious complications. Adults particularly those at the age of 50 or above are at a higher risk of deficiency. They make up a total of 40% of the affected population. Nutrients believe that the daily intake of Vitamin D ranges from 400 to 800 IU (international unit). Children and older people need a higher intake for stronger bones and teeth.

It is important at the same time to be aware of the signs of Vitamin D deficiency. By keeping a note of the symptoms, one can take measures to get hold of the condition before it gets serious. Vitamin D can be obtained from green vegetables (like spinach) as well as from red meat.

The following are some of the symptoms of lack of Vitamin D.

Feeling tired often and fatigue

Do you find yourself feeling tired just after walking a few steps? Do you feel fatigued for the most part of the day unable to get out of bed? The chances are that you might suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. While there is a whole list of reasons for feeling tired, low levels of this nutrient in the blood may be one major contributor.

Weaker Bones

Calcium is needed by the body for stronger bones and teeth. However, as mentioned earlier, the calcium is of no use until Vitamin D is ingested side by side. It helps in the absorption in the bloodstream. People often complain that despite including dairy items in the daily diet, they continue to suffer from bone pain. This is because, while calcium is being obtained from these dairy items, there is a lack of Vitamin D.

In a research conducted, it was found that people who lacked this nutrient in their diet were more prone to chronic back pain. They were twice more likely to suffer from immobility due to severe pain in the bones of the limb region. As a result, it is important to have calcium in your diet which should, in turn, be backed with a good amount of Vitamin D. Spinach is one source that can help yield both the benefits. This green vegetable contains both calcium as well as a considerable portion of Vitamin D.

Frequent Hair Loss

People are often worried about the problem of hair loss. To make matters worse, they are sometimes unable to detect the real cause of this problem. Research studies have now revealed that Vitamin deficiency may be responsible for frequent hair loss from the body.

The reason is that Vitamin D results in rickets. Rickets, in turn, is responsible for a number of related illnesses. One of them being Alopecia Areata which results in severe hair loss from the hair and other body regions. In addition, the lack of Vitamin D is also known to cause a high level of stress. It reduces the serotonin amount in the brain increasing the chances of depression. Research studies have highlighted that there exists a relationship between depression and hair loss.

 Source:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23758943

Samuel Mayer

Samuel has been part of Top Health Journal for quite a while now. He has immense interest in medicine and thoroughly enjoys writing about this theme. His philosophy is: write simple and short, always assuming your reader to be a layman who knows nothing about the topic. Twitter- @SamuelM54534849

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