8 Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is a very common condition, and it’s estimated to affict about 1 billion people worldwide. The most common cause is insufficient sunlight exposure, but there are many others, such as not getting enough of the vitamin in your diet, and the body’s inability to absorb or convert the vitamin because of disorders such as certain liver or kidney diseases. Vitamin D is actually a steroid that functions like a hormone; its main purpose is to facilitate the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. It also serves several systems throughout your body, including regulating mood and fighting disease. It is also present in the nerve cells called nociceptors, which are pain-sensing nerve cells.

You get the majority of Vitamin D from sun exposure, as there are only a few foods that supply enough to support your health needs. Foods that are sources of vitamin D include salmon, herring, and mackerel. You will find that some foods like bread or dairy products are fortified with vitamin D, and it’s also available in varying quantities in multivitamins. Your skin actually produces large amounts of Vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet B rays from sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to serious bone disorders if left untreated.

Diseases like rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults, can increase the chances of bone fractures, broken bones, and skeletal deformities. Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include being overweight, elderly, and dark complected, as well as low to no consumption of fish or milk. Also, living in a place where there’s a small amount of sunlight throughout the year, constantly using sunscreen when outdoors, or not getting enough sun by staying indoors.

1. Muscle Pain

It’s often difficult to determine the exact cause of muscle pain, but studies have shown a connection between vitamin D deficiency and chronic muscle pain. It’s thought to be due to stimulation of pain-sensing nerve cells in the muscles, that occur during interaction with the vitamin. Patients sometimes mistake bone aches for muscle pain, as they may be unfamiliar with the concept of achy bones.

Illnesses are also sometimes misdiagnosed, in cases where symptoms are vague or subtle and common to many different sicknesses. An example is fibromyalgia. Chronic muscle pain is a common symptom of fibromyalgia, as well as fatigue and sleeping problems. These are also symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Some patients may be mistakenly diagnosed with fibromyalgia when they actually have vitamin D deficiency. High doses of vitamin D are currently being used successfully to treat patients with low blood levels that are suffering with muscular pain.