14 common vitamin D deficiency symptoms
Vitamin D deficiency is an alarmingly widespread condition in the UK, with 1 out of 6 adults surveyed having low vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient that plays a role in various aspects of overall health. The body requires vitamin D for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. It is also essential for the healthy functioning of the immune system.
While vitamin D is found in plenty of food sources, the body mainly relies on direct sunlight for the vitamin’s production. Due to the cloudy climate in the UK, vitamin D deficiency has become a major public health concern.
Vitamin D deficiency in the UK
According to the NHS website, people in the UK are unable to produce vitamin D from sunlight between October and March.
It is quite common for there to be a shortage of natural sunlight during these months. Plus, these autumn and winter do bring about plenty of rain and chill – meaning people spend most of their time indoors or wrapped in heavy layers of clothing. Subsequently, a high number of the population end up with a case of vitamin D deficiency.
According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, 1 out of 6 adults in the UK have low vitamin D levels. As cases of vitamin D deficiency are so widespread, the government has recommended that adults take daily vitamin D supplements during autumn and winter.
However, a British Nutrition Foundation survey found that 49% of adults in the UK are not aware that the government has advised taking vitamin D supplements during the autumn and winter period. That is nearly half the number of people in the UK.
Vitamin D Test
Why is vitamin D deficiency so serious?
As mentioned earlier in this article, vitamin D plays a vital role in the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. In children, a low level of vitamin D can cause bone deformities such as rickets. In adults, vitamin D deficiency can initiate osteomalacia, a condition responsible for bone pain.
Aside from bone and teeth maintenance, vitamin D is also responsible for helping regulate calcium balance in the body. The vitamin is also an essential requirement for the healthy function of the immune system.
With the multiple roles that vitamin D plays in overall health, a deficiency can potentially cause any of the following:
- Immune system disorders and infections
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Prostate cancer
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
What are the common vitamin D deficiency symptoms?
While there are a number of symptoms associated with a vitamin D deficiency, the following list collects the most common and relevant ones. If you experience one or more of these, it may indicate a vitamin D deficiency.
- Aching bones
Vitamin D is essential for bone health; without the vitamin, bones tend to become soft and brittle.
- Fatigue or exhaustion
A lack of the vitamin can cause you to experience chronic tiredness as it is required by the body for energy production.
- Reduced stamina
Similar to chronic fatigue, you may experience that your stamina is dwindling if your body is not receiving enough vitamin D.
- Muscle aches
Strength and healthy muscle function require vitamin D along with other essential nutrients.
- Hair loss
When the body has low levels of vitamin D, it prioritizes the more essential functions for survival. Thus, no or less vitamin D is directed towards your hair which the body perceives as inessential for survival.
- Low mood
Vitamin D also plays a role in keeping your mood balanced. When there is a deficiency, you may feel down and have frequent mood swings.
- Feeling dizzy
As the vitamin helps regulate balance, a deficiency can affect your ability to perform everyday things that require balance, like walking, cycling, and driving.
- Sleeping difficulties
As a vitamin D deficiency affects your energy levels and your mood, it is very much likely to cause you sleeping problems.
- Excessive sweat
Vitamin D helps keep the body cool. Without it, you are likely to sweat more than normal, especially through your scalp.
- Wounds take longer to heal
Vitamin D provides the immune system with much-required support; a deficiency leads to slower healing.
- Repeated infections
This one also has to do with the immune system not receiving sufficient vitamin D. A recurring infection can be a sign that you are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency.
- Unintentional weight gain
A healthy metabolism requires the vitamin; a deficiency can lead to gaining weight without trying and even health problems like obesity.
- Heart issues
Vitamin D is extremely important for heart health. It keeps your blood vessels and heart in good condition. Without it, you may experience high blood pressure and an increased risk of serious heart disease.
- A decline in cognitive function
You may find you are having a difficult time remembering simple things and experiencing brain fog. Vitamin D is essential for keeping your brain in a healthy, working order.
What can VIVO Clinic offer you?
Whether you are experiencing the vitamin D deficiency symptoms or not, it is always best to be sure. We offer a blood test service that checks the vitamin levels, including vitamin D. With our blood test, you can cast your worries aside and know for sure whether you have a vitamin D deficiency.