Vitamin D Insufficiency: Symptoms, Risks, and Treatments


Vitamin D, also sometimes called the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, is a water-soluble chemical compound that is necessary for healthy and strong bones. It basically helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphorus from food. Studies conducted by medical and health experts suggest that can help prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart attack, rickets, skeletal deformities, and arthritis.

Sources of Vitamin D

There are two types of vitamin D, namely, D2 and D3. The main source of Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is plant foods, while vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) can be obtained from animal food including eggs, fish, and liver. The amount of vitamin D acquired through foods is sometimes not sufficient for proper body functioning.

It is also produced internally when skin is exposed to sunlight and its ultraviolet (UV) rays. It is then stored in our fat cells and body retrieves it as and when needed. While this vitamin performs many functions in the body, its main function is to consistently restructure and remodel the bones.

Do not shun from Sun

Exposure to the sun can get you adequate amounts of vitamin D. If you are homebound, dark-skinned, wear head coverings or long robes, have an occupation that makes you stay indoors, or live in a region where the sun shines only for a few months, your risk of insufficiency is higher than other people.

Symptoms of Deficiency

If you frequently experience pain in your joints, bones, muscles, or lack the energy to carry out the usual routine activities, you may be in need of some dietary supplements. However, the symptoms may not be visible in some people until the disease has taken a serious form. In elderly people, it causes cognitive impairment, which is characterized by a brain function syndrome. In addition to that, children who suffer from asthma should also be medically examined as this disease is also closely related to lack of vitamin D in the body.

Who need Vitamin D Supplements?

Deficiency of this important vitamin can result in serious illnesses. Broadly speaking, you may be asked to take vitamin D supplements if you fall into the following categories:
• Your body requires a higher level of Calcitriol
• The body is unable to produce Calcitriol by itself
• The diet that is being taken does not carry enough of Calcitriol
• You are 50+ years
• You live in northern areas of the country where sun does not shine around the year
• You are overweight or obese