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.
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
Park Hospital Gurgaon