Vitamin D is produced in the skin under the influence of the body’s exposure to sun rays. This vitamin is very important not only for healthy skin, but it also provides the body’s absorption of calcium, thus helping in building strong and healthy bones. It is also helpful when it comes to hormone regulation and immune system strengthening. It plays a key role in proper development of cells, bones and teeth. Vitamin D deficiency is a condition which emerges from insufficient amounts of this vitamin in the body.
Today vitamin D intake is available through many dietary supplements and it can also be enhanced through proper nutrition. Dairy products and oily fish are good sources of vitamin D, as well as liver and eggs. Vitamin D deficiency is a common state. The insufficient exposure to sunlight today has made the absorption of this vitamin more difficult than before. The consequences of vitamin D deficiency may take a serious course and even lead to the development of some types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, bone deformities and fractured bones. The main cause of vitamin D deficiency is insufficient sun exposure since the body produces vitamin D under the influence of sun rays.
This condition is also very common in vegetarians, vegans and infants. The development of vitamin D deficiency may also be intensified when a person has a condition in which their kidney cannot transform the received vitamin D into a usable form for the body. This is why elders are at a risk too, because this condition is intensified with aging. Some diseases, such as celiac disease may also decrease the absorption of vitamin D as well as obesity, which lowers the amount of stored vitamin D in the body. There are many symptoms of vitamin D deficiency which may not always be easily noticed. Depending on individual characteristics, the symptoms may take a mild or a severe form.
This may be somewhat dangerous because mild symptoms do not show the real state of the body and they are not noticed until this state leads to a serious condition. Some of the symptoms include: muscle cramps, bone pains, bone and dental deformities, slow growth in children and loss of height, weakness and fatigue, high blood pressure. There should be additional precautions when it comes to women in menopause because vitamin D deficiency may lead to osteoporosis in some cases.
The general causes of this condition are: insufficient exposure to sunlight, low cholesterol levels, certain medication intakes, obesity, living in the far North or far South (the sun rays are weaker). If the liver is in a poor state, it may also lead to vitamin D deficiency because the liver is not able to convert vitamin D into its active form. Vitamin D deficiency is commonly treated with dietary supplements. It can be taken in the form of an injection or medicines. It is of great importance to consult a doctor in order to get the proper treatment for this condition.