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What are the Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Getting the right amount of various vitamins and nutrients each day is very important to physical and emotional well-being. In many instances, the failure to ingest at least the minimum daily amount recommended by various experts can lead to the development of a number of symptoms. This is true with vitamin D as well as other nutrients. There are a number of examples of vitamin D deficiency symptoms that indicate the need to increase daily consumption of this important vitamin immediately.

Rickets is one of the diseases that are most often triggered by a lack of vitamin D. The bones become weaker and as a result, the legs will often begin to bow under the pressure of the body's weight. Along with the development of rickets in children, this particular vitamin deficiency can lead to a similar condition in adults known as osteomalacia. While the bones soften, osteomalacia normally does not lead to bowed legs; instead, the general skeletal structure becomes very weak, making the incidence of broken bones much more common. A loss of bone strength is easily one of the most common of all symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency.

A vitamin D deficiency syndrome may also be evidenced by an upswing in the incidence of colds and flu. Since a lack of D in the body can help to lower the natural immune system, the body is less able to fend off viruses and bugs. Along with colds, asthma and other breathing difficulties are also common vitamin D deficiency symptoms.

When left untreated, a lack of vitamin D can lead to the development of life threatening diseases. There is a link to D deficiency and breast cancer. In addition, colon cancer and ovarian cancer have also been listed among the several sins of a vitamin D deficiency. Even seemingly healthy people may find that the sudden onset of high blood pressure can be traced back to the depletion of vitamin D in the body.

Not all vitamin D deficiency symptoms are concerned with the function of the body alone. The emotional well-being of an individual can also be compromised by a lack of vitamin D. Anxiety and depression can be caused or exacerbated by the lack of this important vitamin, since it is necessary in creating the building blocks that produce the neurotransmitters that help to maintain emotional balance. Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that is more common during cold weather, may be triggered by a lack of vitamin D and other essential nutrients. This is because one excellent source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight, something that many people lack when staying indoors more during the winter months.

Fortunately, the treatment for vitamin D deficiency is simple. Getting out and spending a little time in natural sunlight will help jump start the healing process. Speaking with a physician and determining how much vitamin D to take in capsule or pill form each day will also help restore a proper balance. Depending on which of the vitamin D deficiency symptoms are involved, additional treatment of both the condition and the deficiency may take place concurrently.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By anon355219 — On Nov 14, 2013

The sunscreen will block the ability to get the proper narrow band spectrum that produces D and you must be in the sun between 11-2. It is advised to get 15 minutes or so of sun in the afternoon and then use sunscreen or cover up after. Supplements can help, but, also are extremely hard to regulate, come with problems such as overdose risks (blood toxicity), kidney issues (kidney stones), gastrointestinal issues and potential for liver damage that is not reversible. So use supplements cautiously. Your body really was meant to get D from the sun, not orally. However in northern climates (San Fran area and north) you cannot receive the right spectrum in winter and fall to get D from the sun, so, supplements are probably the best alternative. Take small amounts four or five times a day. Sorry, wish there was a better answer.

By anon106517 — On Aug 26, 2010

Sunscreen will likely block at least 99 percent of the UVB rays required for Vitamin D production. Enjoy the sun, moderately of course, without any protection. There has been anecdotal evidence that Vitamin D actually protects against sunburn.

Dietary habits, specifically high fat (healthy fats, including saturated such as coconut oil) intake, have been reported to be beneficial in this regard for some. Supplementation is also recommended; a bare minimum of 1000iu is good. You cannot generalize the duration of sun exposure to 15 minutes; skin pigmentation and the angle of the sun are crucial parameters. 15 minutes may be the minimum for a Caucasian, although at the opposite of the spectrum in terms of pigmentation, blacks may need up to two hours of exposure for sufficient Vitamin D. Also remember that a tan does not necessarily mean that you have adequate Vitamin D levels. The only way to check is with 25(OH)D levels.

By raresteak — On Jul 13, 2010

It is important to realize that in order to obtain the adequate amount of vitamin D, one does not have to compromise the skin's health. Constant, unprotected exposure to the sun's harmful rays can still result in cancer. A healthy dose of vitamin D can be obtained from just fifteen minutes in the sun each day. It is still recommended that sunscreen be worn as directed during this bit of necessary sun exposure.

By laluna — On Apr 16, 2009

Breast fed babies are more susceptible to rickets because human milk does not contain much of vitamin D. Therefore, guarded sunlight exposure is important.

Older people are susceptible too since the skin is less able to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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