Vitamin D deficiency is a common deficiency in the United States, which can lead to problems with bones and muscles. Approximately 50% of Americans are deficient in vitamins A, C, and magnesium. About 50% of the overall population is deficient in vitamin D, regardless of age. This figure is even higher among Americans of color, with around 90% being deficient in vitamin D. Elderly Americans also have a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, with approximately 70% being deficient in this vitamin. Fortunately, it’s preventable and treatable, but first, you must learn how you can recognize vitamin D deficiency.
What Is vitamin D Deficiency and Why Is It Important?
Vitamin D deficiency occurs when there is not enough vitamin D in the body. This deficiency can lead to problems with bone and muscle health. Vitamin D is an important vitamin that plays a role in various body systems, including the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and immune system. There are several ways to get vitamin D, including sunlight exposure, dietary intake, and supplements.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that helps the body maintain healthy bones and tissues. It is necessary for regulating calcium levels in the blood and bones, and it helps the body absorb and use calcium and phosphorus to build and maintain strong bones. Chronic or severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to reduced absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the intestines, which can cause low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia). The body may try to compensate for this deficiency by increasing the activity of the parathyroid glands, a condition known as secondary hyperparathyroidism. This is the body’s attempt to maintain normal blood calcium levels.
Cause of vitamin D Deficiency
There are several reasons why someone has vitamin D deficiency. Causes include:
- You don’t consume the recommended levels of the vitamin over time
- Your exposure to sunlight is limited.
- You have dark skin
- Your kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to its active form
- Your digestive tract cannot adequately absorb vitamin D
- You are obese
- You take medication that has vitamin D deficiency as a side effect
- You underwent weight loss surgery
Continue reading on the next page, and discover how you can recognize a vitamin D deficiency and what you should do next.