Vitamin D Deficiency Is Incredibly Common
Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has powerful effects on several systems throughout your body including your immune system and brain. Vitamin D deficiency is very common. It’s estimated that over 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood.
According to a recent study, 42% of adults in the US are deficient. This number goes up to 70 % in Hispanics and 82% in African-Americans. We see vitamin D deficiency in our practice on a daily basis with test numbers well below 20 (normal 20-80). Vitamin D supplementation is a safe and effective way to support health and wellness.
Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
- Increased Frequency of Illness
- Vitamin D directly interacts with the cells that are responsible for fighting infection.
- Vitamin D plays important roles in immune function. One of the most common symptoms of deficiency is an increased risk of illness or infections.
- Chronic Fatigue and Tiredness
- Observational study in female nurses found a strong connection between low vitamin D levels and self-reported fatigue.
- Researchers found that 89% of the nurses were deficient.
- Excessive fatigue and tiredness may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Taking supplements may help improve energy levels.
- Bone and Back Pain
- Vitamin D helps maintain bone health facilitating calcium in the bone.
- Low blood levels of vitamin D may be a cause or contributing factor to bone pain and lower back pain.
- A depressed mood may also be a sign of vitamin D deficiency.
- Depression is associated with low vitamin D levels and some studies have found that supplementing improves mood.
- Impaired Wound Healing
- Slow healing of wounds after surgery or injury may be a sign that your vitamin D levels are too low.
- Inadequate vitamin D levels may lead to poor wound healing following surgery, injury or infection.
- Bone Loss
- Vitamin D plays a crucial role in calcium absorption and metabolism.
- Many older people who are diagnosed with bone loss believe they need to take more calcium. However, they may be deficient in vitamin D as well.
- A diagnosis of low bone mineral density may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Getting enough of this vitamin is important for preserving bone mass as you get older.
- Hair Loss
- Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease characterized by severe hair loss from the head and other parts of the body. It’s associated with rickets, which is a disease that causes soft bones in children due to vitamin D deficiency.
- Hair loss may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency in female-pattern hair loss or the autoimmune condition alopecia areata.
- Muscle Pain
- The vitamin D receptor is present in nerve cells called nociceptors, which sense pain.
- There is a link between chronic pain and low blood levels of vitamin D, which may be due to the interaction between the vitamin and pain-sensing nerve cells.