What happens when your body has low levels of Vitamin D?

Famous as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is an essential nutrient required by your body for the proper functioning of several systems. Experts have gone even farther to classify Vitamin D as a hormone with every single cell in the body having a receptor for it. However, the bitter reality is that Vitamin D deficiency has now become a global concern, where over 1 billion people worldwide are affected by health problems due to its insufficiency.

It has always been recommended by doctors to keep an eagle eye on your vitamin intake because your body cannot make them in adequate amounts and hence you are depended on external sources to comply with the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). One prominent source of Vitamin D is sunlight; your body makes it using cholesterol when you are exposed to sunlight. Other sources include fatty fish and fortified dairy products along with supplements, as diet alone cannot help you reach the RDA

For the reason that Vitamin D showers several health benefits on us, its deficiency poses an equal measure of health risks. Let’s find out in detail what happens when your body has low levels of Vitamin D:


One important function that Vitamin D performs is to keep your immune system strong, which subsequently helps you in keeping diseases and infections at bay. Appropriate levels of Vitamin D minimize the risks of respiratory infections and in some cases even prevent it for good. To the contrary, Vitamin D deficiency hauls you close to infections and diseases such as cold and flu. Therefore, if you often get sick or have a recurring cold or flu, low levels of Vitamin D in your body could be a possible explanation for this.


Often neglected as a potential symptom, if you have been facing unexplained weakness and fatigue, it may be because of Vitamin D deficiency. Low levels of Vitamin D in the blood leads to fatigue which in the long run can have severe harmful effects on the quality of life you lead.

Aching bones

Another significant purpose that Vitamin D serves is to help the body in absorbing calcium. Hence, you see, it aids in maintaining your bone health in more than one way. Traditionally also, the deficiency of Vitamin D was associated with a disease called as osteoporosis or rickets, where the bones became soft leading to severe bone deformities. Hence, aching bones and severe back pain can be a result of Vitamin D deficiency. Besides, low levels of Vitamin D in the blood also acts as a contributing factor in rheumatoid arthritis.

Slower wound healing

Wounds that are healing slowly can be a sign of Vitamin D deficiency. Since Vitamin D helps the body in making the compounds that form the new skin as a part of the wound healing process; its insufficiency is bound to cause jeopardizing results. Besides Vitamin D also assists in controlling inflammation and fighting infection and in the absence of these the wound healing process becomes even more impaired and slow.


Low levels of Vitamin D in the blood can be a cause of depression. Researchers have often established a relationship between Vitamin D deficiency and depressed moods. Particularly in older adults, if they are facing depression or seasonal depression, it can be because of low levels of Vitamin D in their blood.

Since the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are not very prominent and are rather subtle, it becomes hard to detect whether it is caused by low levels of Vitamin D or any other reason. Experts at Park Hospital always recommend a consultation session with your doctor along with a blood test to become sure of the cause. Park Hospital is equipped with a number of professional nutritionists that assist you in overcoming vitamin D deficiency through proper diet and supplements.

Dr. Anshu Makkar

General Medicine

Park Hospital Gurgaon

Small changes make big differences

  • Small changes make big differences

This World Heart Day, let’s pledge for a healthy heart and healthy life. Park Group of Hospitals brings you some quick tips to make your heart even more strong. The best way is to Move your Heart and get on your feet and step out. We all know, a little workout or exercise routine is good for health and gives us healthy heart. Here are some quick tips to keep you healthy and fit.

Running – a 30 minute routine of running can do wonders to you and your fitness. It not only helps you maintain your weight but also brings charm to your personality.

  • Helps reduce weight
  • Improved cardiovascular and respiratory health
  • Reduced total blood cholesterol

Walking – half an hour of brisk walk boosts your metabolism and maintains a healthy weight. Get to the field and get walking!

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Maintains blood pressure

Jogging – a 20 minute of jogging session improves the blood circulation and maintains your blood pressure.

  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Burn plenty of kilojoules
  • Help maintain a healthy weight

Swimming – Get to the waters and swim for at least 45 minutes lowers your body stress, builds stamina and strengthens your body muscle.

  • Keeps your heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off your body
  • Builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness
  • Helps maintain a healthy heart and lungs

Skipping – 200 skips daily tones your upper and lower body and gives you leaner and fitter look. A toned body with strong muscles improves health and bone density.

  • Improves Heart Rate
  • Tones Muscles in Lower and Upper Body
  • Keeps a Check on Osteoporosis by Improving Bone Density

Cycling – Cycling to your work or school is a natural treatment for your diabetes improving the cardiovascular functionality.

  • Improved Cardiovascular Function
  • Diabetes Treatment
  • Lower Cancer Risk

Heart diseases – a widespread epidemic in India

“Healthy heart has been a major concern for India as a nation. According to reports (September 2016) by and, it is estimated that 17.5 million people die each year in India from cardiovascular diseases, amounting to a staggering 31% of all deaths worldwide. 80% of all cardiovascular deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, 74% of urban Indians are at risk of cardiovascular diseases. There are around 40 million heart patients in India of which 19 million reside in urban areas and 21 million belong to rural India. This suggests that heart diseases are fast becoming an epidemic in India and a structured solution is needed to combat this issue.”

Heart diseases can be classified into 5 major types:

  • Coronary artery heart disease affects the arteries to the heart
  • Valvular heart disease affects the functioning of valves which regulate the blood flow in and out of the heart
  • Cardiomyopathy affects the heart muscle squeezes
  • Heart rhythm disturbances (Arrhythmias) affects the electrical conduction of the heart
  • Heart infections are the situations where the heart develops structural problems before birth

Coronary heart disease is a situation when the cholesterol plaque builds up inside the coronary artery walls. Gradually, this plaque blocks the artery reducing the blood flow through it. Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle and coronary artery disease occurs when there is a buildup of cholesterol plaque inside the artery walls. Over time, this buildup of plaque may partially block the artery and decrease blood flow through it. A heart attack occurs when a plaque ruptures and forms a clot in the artery causing a complete blockage. That part of the heart muscle that is denied blood supply starts to die.
Classic signs and symptoms of coronary heart disease may include:

  • Chest pain (angina) – This pain may radiate or move to the arm, neck or back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat

Not all people with coronary artery disease have chest pain as a symptom. Some may have signs and symptoms of indigestion, or exercise intolerance where they cannot perform activities that they normally once could. Coronary heart disease is initially diagnosed by patient history and physical examination. ECG blood tests, and tests to image the arteries and heart muscle confirm the diagnosis. Treatment for coronary heart disease depends upon its severity. Many times lifestyle changes such as eating a heart healthy diet, regular exercise, no smoke along with a regular check on high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes may limit the artery narrowing.

Awake Craniotomy

  • Awake Craniotomy

A surgical procedure for tumour close to the functionally important part of brain

– By Dr. Manish Kumar MBBS, DNB (Neurosurgery)

An awake craniotomy is a surgical operation carried out similarly to any conventional craniotomy however in this surgery the patient is awake during the procedure. Awake Craniotomy is one of the most preferred techniques for operations for excision of tumors which involve or are close to the eloquent regions of the brain. This technique of craniotomy allows the neurosurgeons to test the brain region before incision / excision along with a regular check on the patient’s functionality during the surgery. An awake Craniotomy minimizes the risk for the patient during the operation.

Awake Craniotomy Process

A drip is inserted in patient’s body for the purpose of giving local anesthesia when the patient is in the anesthetic room. The local anesthesia comforts and relaxes the patient body after which the patient is taken to operation theatre where the Neuronavigation system is used to mark areas for incisions (cuts). Through the line incision, small amount of hair would be shaven off for clear incision and to avoid infection. The patient will be in a slightly numb state however being able to hear surrounding noises and move limbs. After the incision is done the brain area is exposed Cortical Mapping is performed.

“Establishing the relationship between various structures of the brain and their functions, Cortical Mapping is a technique used in neurosurgery to determine which parts of a diseased brain may be safely excised.”

Post operation and removal of tumour the bleeding is stopped the thick membrane around the brain is closed with the help of sutures. Mini plates are used to replace the bone flap and to close scalp. The skin is stapled to close the wound and apply a head bandage.

Post Awake Craniotomy

The recovery period is much shorter for the patients of awake craniotomy compared to conventional craniotomy. The patient is able to consume food and liquid and move around. The discharge is usually the same day after surgery or after a day once the neurosurgeon confirms. It takes few weeks to completely recover after any major surgery. In case of Awake Craniotomy, for first few weeks, the patient might suffer from headaches which can be controlled with general painkillers. There are chances of dizziness, and it is must to rest properly. A little exercise or walk is however generally preferred.

Consult your doctor in case, you see following symptoms:

  • Progressively worsening headaches
  • Fits
  • Fever & Rashes
  • Wound problems
  • Weakness or Numbness
  • Increasing drowsiness

Complications after Awake Craniotomy Surgery

The risks for the Awake Craniotomy are similar to that of conventional surgery, however there is also a chance of seizures during the surgery which might require the awake surgery to be transformed into conventional surgery with general anesthesia. Surgeries are always risky and while the awake surgery is considered to be a safer option, the slight risk involved depends on the factors like size, location and the type of tumour along with patient’s generic health and medical history.

Complications after awake surgery include, however not exclusive to:

  • Temporary or permanent paralysis of limbs or loss of speech
  • Blood clot
  • Brain swelling
  • Infection
  • Fits

Chikungunya – a disease similar to dengue yet more dangerous

Chikungunya is one of the similar diseases to dengue, yet is more harmful

Chikungunya is another viral disease which spreads by mosquito bites. The dengue mosquito Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus bite the human body and spreads RNA virus (Alpha virus Genus of Togaviridal) causing chikungunya. Similar to dengue, there is no specific cure for chikungunya, but relieving symptoms from the affected human body. The disease was first diagnosed in Southern Tanzania in 1952 and affects the areas of Africa, Asia, Indian Sub-Continent and Latin America. The closeness of the human habitation to that of mosquito breeding sites is hazardous.

Chikungunya Causes:

Chikungunya is caused mainly due to the spread of RNA virus (Alpha virus Genus of Togaviridal) via the bite of Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes.

Chikungunya Symptoms:

The onset of illness and symptoms usually take 4 to 8 days; however can be persistent for a longer period of 2 – 12 days.

  • Joint Pain
  • Abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied with joint pains
  • Painful Muscle
  • Headache & Back Pain

Chikungunya Fever Complications:

  • The RNA virus can cause acute, sub-acute or chronic disease
  • Most patients recover fully, however in some cases the joint pain may continue for months
  • There might be cases of eye, neurological and heart complications with gastrointestinal complaints
  • In elderly people, this disease can even cause deaths

Chikungunya Diagnosis:

  • Serological test – ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immuno-absorbent Assays) is performed to confirm the presence of IgM and IgG
  • The IgM levels during the disease are highest around the time period of 3 – 5 weeks and usually lasts for 2 months
  • The Virological method which is also known as Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), can also be performed to confirm the presence of RNA Virus

Chikungunya Treatment:

Similar to dengue there is no specific treatment for chikungunya. The focus is to relieve the symptoms of the patient. The joint pain is relieved through anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids. The patient body has to be hydrated all the times to be able to prevent severe damage.