Vitamin D deficiency – symptoms and consequences
Vitamin D can be made by the body itself. However, enough sunlight is required. In Central and Northern Europe, however, the sun’s rays are usually insufficient – and the body can not produce the much needed vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency is therefore inevitable. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency rarely manifests itself in clear symptoms. Instead, chronic diseases can develop over many years. If one were to remedy the vitamin D deficiency now, the corresponding diseases could be improved.
Vitamin D deficiency: first non-specific symptoms
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to very different symptoms. It is usually claimed by the official side that vitamin D deficiency actually affects mainly the skeleton, which is a bad one bone Health recognize. However, those who already suffer from skeletal pain and bone bends, not only has a particularly extreme vitamin D deficiency, but has him usually a long time.
So far you should not even let it come first. So it would not be a bad idea to look for the first signs of vitamin D deficiency.
The following symptoms
These may be quite unspecific symptoms, such as: B .:
The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:
- Frequent infections
- Bad wound healing
- General fatigue
- Bone and back pain
- Chronically bad mood
- sleep problems
- decreasing physical and mental performance
- bad main picture
- bad wound healing
Vitamin D deficiency: typical symptoms
Although these symptoms may have other causes, vitamin D deficiency is one of the leading causes of these disorders, especially in our northern latitudes. One should therefore always – whether with nonspecific symptoms or specific chronic diseases – the Vitamin D levels have it checked and, if necessary, remedy a detected vitamin D deficiency immediately:
1. Symptom of vitamin D deficiency: Common infections
One of the main tasks of the Vitamin D is the support and regulation of immune system , The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency therefore include an increased susceptibility to infection. Bacteria and viruses now have an easier time, and sufferers are constantly suffering from any kind of infections, most of the time respiratory tract , So if you have any cold take it with you, then think about your vitamin D level ( 4 ).
Here we explained that vitamin D deficiency not only increases the risk of flu, but also the risk of dying from the flu: Vitamin D protects against flu
It is important, of course, that you first check the vitamin D level. Because the vitamin D intake can only bring about an improvement of the condition in those persons who previously had a corresponding deficiency ( 10 ).
2. Symptom of vitamin D deficiency: poor wound healing
On weak immune system can also show in poorly healing wounds, z. B. after injury or surgery. Again, think about vitamin D levels. Because vitamin D is directly involved in wound healing and influences – u. a. according to a study from September 2016 – equal to several processes that are in favor of rapid wound healing required are:
It activates the so-called TGFβ1, a connective tissue growth factor and the so-called fibronectin protein , which is responsible for tissue repair. Vitamin D also increases collagen production, fibroblast migration and myofibroblast production. myofibroblasts are special cells that play an important role in wound healing. In addition, vitamin D is considered as anti-inflammatory vitamin What good for a good wound healing is also beneficial.
The supplementation of vitamin D may therefore be an important step to improve hitherto poor wound healing and regeneration. Again, it is important that vitamin D can naturally only improve wound healing for people who have previously suffered from vitamin D deficiency ( 23 . 24 . 25 . 26 ).
3. Symptom of vitamin D deficiency: fatigue
Vitamin D deficiency is also a possible cause chronic fatigue and exhaustion ( 11 . 12 . 13 ). For example, a case report (December 2010) was about a patient with chronic daytime fatigue. She was found to have extreme vitamin D deficiency (her level was only 5.9 ng / ml, a healthy vitamin D level is 40 ng / ml), officially, however, are already mirror from 20 ng / ml as sufficient.
Many people are therefore often told after a vitamin D test: Everything is fine – even if the patient is anything but perfect. If, on the other hand, they had vitamin D levels above 40 ng / ml, they would actually be fine in many cases. Therefore, chronic symptoms may even develop at vitamin D levels, which are significantly higher than those of the patient described.
This now took vitamin D as nutritional supplements on. Her vitamin D level rose to 39 ng / ml and her symptoms disappeared.
Another study found that women with a vitamin D level below 29 ng / ml were more likely to complain of symptoms such as fatigue than women whose vitamin D levels were above 30 ng / ml.
4. Symptom of vitamin D deficiency: back pain to fibromyalgia
Also back pain can be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. In large observational studies at least a clear link between a vitamin D deficiency and back pain was found ( 15 . 16 . 17 ). Who on back pain was suffering from a vitamin D deficiency.
Since vitamin D deficiency has been shown to affect bone metabolism and muscle function, study results of this kind are not a big surprise. Because weakened muscles and sick bones can of course be used too easily back pain lead, but also to other chronic pain conditions, such as B. in the fibromyalgia to be observed ( 35 . 36 . 37 ).
In a study of 276 women in 2010, it was found that people with vitamin D deficiency are twice as likely to have chronic leg, rib, and leg pain joints than those who had healthy vitamin D levels ( 18 ).
A vitamin D deficiency is now observed in many complaints. It is therefore much more interesting to ask whether a vitamin D supplement can improve the symptoms again. In the case of pain, there are at least two studies showing that high doses of vitamin D (150,000 or 300,000 IU once) can relieve the pain (if the patients previously had vitamin D deficiency) ( 39 . 40 ).
As far as fibromyalgia is concerned, it has already been shown in some studies that a high vitamin D level can alleviate the symptoms – as we have described in detail here: Vitamin D relieves fibromyalgia pain
5. Symptom of vitamin D deficiency: Poor mood to depression
A chronically depressed mood can also be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially in older patients depressions get in touch ( 19 . 20 ). So you should have older relatives who antidepressants prescribed, recommend the appropriate family doctor but also, if not already done, to check the vitamin D level.
In younger women who are at PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome, a common hormone disorder), this association has also been shown. Depression was more likely to occur the lower their vitamin D levels were. (For details, read here: Vitamin D deficiency: cause of depression in PCOS ).
Some studies that looked at whether vitamin D supplements could help reduce depression did not work. However, this could be due to the fact that very low doses of vitamin D were used, which then actually have no effect. Other studies have not been conducted long enough, so again, no effect can be expected.
On the other hand, studies conducted over a year on high doses of vitamin D (20,000 to 40,000 IU weekly) clearly showed that depression improved.
Chronic diseases as symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
If a vitamin D deficiency persists for years, then quite different symptoms can develop as a result, namely specific illnesses. In the meantime, there are studies available for almost every complaint that show that in most cases there is always a vitamin D deficiency – no matter which disease you suffer from.
In addition, it is known that diseases are more likely to develop not only due to vitamin D deficiency, but that they are often more severe if the patient suffers from vitamin D deficiency. Conversely, this means that a vitamin D intake in diseases attenuates their course. So can a good vitamin D supply at Ulcerative colitis for example – one chronic inflammatory bowel disease – prevent further relapses ( Vitamin D in ulcerative colitis ), at eczema the vitamin significantly improves the appearance of the skin ( Vitamin-Diminishes Eczema ) and at diabetes Vitamin D can have a positive effect in several ways:
Vitamin D deficiency has a tremendous impact on diabetes risk and is even more of a risk factor than overweight , It has long been known that overweight diabetics can massively improve their diabetes, if not cure it, when they do lose weight , In 2015, researchers showed the Spanish University of Malaga however, that a good vitamin D supplement can better protect against diabetes than the reduction of obesity (details here: Vitamin D protects against diabetes ).
Because a vitamin D deficiency also causes the organism to store fat more easily and the human body is much more difficult to lose weight ( Vitamin D deficiency causes obesity ), one could reduce the diabetes risk twice as well with a good vitamin D supply: once over the preventive effect of the vitamin and on the other hand on the vitamin D-related facilitated weight loss.
Gestational diabetes also seems to be more pronounced with vitamin D deficiency, as you can read here: Gestational diabetes: calcium and vitamin Dhelfen
The typical sequelae of diabetes include the polyneuropathy , a chronic nerve disorder of the nerves in the arms and legs. A healthy vitamin D level protects against polyneuropathy because the better diabetics are supplied with vitamin D, the less likely they are to get sick of the nerve disease: Vitamin D: protection against polyneuropathy
Vitamin D deficiency is common in people asthma in front ( Asthma: Consequence of vitamin D deficiency ). Conversely, Japanese studies have already shown that Asthma attacks in schoolchildren were significantly less common if they had previously taken vitamin D supplements (1200 IU / day).
Periodontitis and gingivitis
If you take vitamin D, then gum problems can be favorably influenced. Vitamin D stimulates the body’s production of so-called defensins and cathelicidins. These are the body’s own antimicrobial substances , which act on the mucosal surfaces – and so on the gums – against harmful bacteria and thus protect against gum problems.
Cardiovascular Diseases & Dementia
Also problems with the Cardiovascular system can be symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Several studies have shown that low vitamin D levels (below 30 ng / ml) are associated with a higher risk high blood pressure to suffer.
Moreover, it is believed that the cholesterol are more closely related to vitamin D levels than previously thought. This suggests at least one study that we have presented here: Vitamin D lowered cholesterol levels
It is interesting that the vitamin D supply in childhood seems to affect the health in later adulthood, as we explain here: Arteriosclerosis due to vitamin D deficiency in childhood
Who was not well supplied with vitamin D even as a child, falls ill later in life rather on one arteriosclerosis as people who were in the sun a lot in the sun and therefore also had plenty of vitamin D available.
Circulatory and vascular problems always affect brain health. Therefore, it is not surprising that even one dementia caused by a long-standing vitamin D deficiency or can be worsened in any case: Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of dementia
cancer may also develop sooner if the sufferer has a vitamin D deficiency. Researcher of the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington DC discovered that women who were well supplied with vitamin D, less often breast cancer got as women with a low vitamin D level.
And even if a woman already had breast cancer, her cancer grew slower when she had healthy vitamin D levels. Likewise, high vitamin D levels can reduce cancer mortality.
Details about cancer – vitamin D can be read here:
Even in the womb often decides for which disease you become particularly vulnerable in later life. smokes The mother, for example, then increases the risk for her children, later barren to be. Takes the mother drugs during the pregnancy , z. B. paracetamol , then it can increase your children’s risk of autism. If the mother suffers from a vitamin D deficiency, then the child is more likely to develop multiple sclerosis later: Multiple sclerosis due to vitamin D deficiency of the mother in pregnancy
But even later, vitamin D helps in the prevention and treatment of multiple sclerosis , In a 2006 study, researchers had shown that the risk was high MS to fall ill with increasing vitamin D levels. And in 2015, a study by the University of Toronto revealed that taking 14,000 IU / day in existing MS could prevent relapses. In contrast, the intake of only 4,000 IU showed no corresponding effect.
Bone loss / osteoporosis
The osteoporosis Of course, this is THE disease, in the meantime, almost everyone thinks immediately of vitamin D. Even in orthodox osteoporosis therapy, the vitamin now has a firm place. Because vitamin D plays a key role in the bone metabolism and also allows in the intestine the absorption of the bone mineral calcium ,
Unfortunately, the prescribed vitamin D doses are usually far too low. In general, preparations containing 800 to 1000 IU of vitamin D are prescribed. The reason is often that one fears a hypercalcemia, so too high a calcium level in the blood, which in turn could be problematic for the kidneys and the heart.
However, this problem arises in particular because older people with osteoporosis are usually recommended far too much calcium. Because doctors still believe calcium is for the bones the A and O and therefore advise to ample dairy consumption and not infrequently also to calcium supplements. Instead, good bone health is high enough Vitamin D doses in combination with magnesium . Vitamin K2 and a lot Move much more important than calcium. Details can be read here: Increase bone density
In any case, observational studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is particularly common in women after menopause contributes to a reduced bone density ( 27 ). Study results on the effect of a vitamin D dose on the bone density are inconsistent, usually again because too low vitamin D doses are given. Therefore – if you have a vitamin D deficiency – discuss with your doctor the procedure described here: Vitamin D – the right intake
Even the calcific may indicate a vitamin D deficiency. In the calcar shoulder painful lime deposits occur in the insertion area of the shoulder tendons. If there was enough vitamin D – the vitamin is known to be involved in calcium metabolism – the risk of calcification would be significantly reduced. Of course, not only a vitamin D deficiency is responsible for the calcarous shoulder, but such – with existing calculus shoulder – delay the healing process. Also think about enough magnesium and vitamin K.
Autism and ADHD
In children, deficiencies in vital signs may also show up in behavioral problems. Is it just a lack of vital substances (not just vitamin D, but also others, such as Vitamin B12 . minerals , Trace elements and essential fatty acids ), then the behavioral disorder forms after the defect has been remedied. Hyperactive or unfocused children therefore do not always suffer from an actual ADHD even if they have been mistakenly given such a diagnosis. But if there really is an ADHD, ADHD symptoms can also be improved by a good supply of vitamin D, because a large part of the affected children suffers from a corresponding deficiency: ADHD due to vitamin D deficiency?
The same is true of autistic symptoms, which often improve with vitamin D supplementation: Vitamin D Improves Autism Symptoms
Apart from that, a study from the USA showed that children with vitamin D deficiency are much more likely to suffer from severe illnesses than children who have a healthy vitamin D level: Sick children due to vitamin D deficiency?
Prevention is better – fix vitamin D deficiency with the sun
So there are very good reasons why you should pay attention to your personal vitamin D supply. So take care of it in the warm season to regular sunbathing , Do not worry. The right vitamin D supply does not require that you lie in the sun for hours and thus the risk of Skin cancer have to accept.
For stimulating the formation of vitamin D in the skin in the summer with an intense sunlight and fair-skinned people already a few minutes. Yes, it is even true that a much longer sunbathing would not increase the vitamin D production and therefore would not make sense, because the organism automatically protects against vitamin D overdose. When the sky is overcast, the stay outdoors must be longer, but then the risk of skin cancer is low or even absent.
Note that Sunscreens block the UV-B radiation necessary for vitamin D formation (especially sunscreen with a high sun protection factor), so you should stay without sunscreen for the first few minutes of your sunbathing session. Details about this: Sun Milk – The Vitamin D Enemy
If regular outdoor stays are not possible for you, you should definitely consider vitamin D supplementation with vitamin D3 capsules.
Take into account that the Organism in the winter must take the necessary vitamin D from its own reserves, since the sunlight in winter is not sufficient for vitamin D formation in Central Europe. The intake of vitamin D is therefore highly recommended especially in the winter months, because the diet can not cover the vitamin D requirement.
Eliminate vitamin D deficiency: Foods provide too little vitamin D.
Who at one vitamin deficiency can usually handle this easily with one targeted diet remedy. However, vitamin D is different. The vitamin is contained in only a few foods and these usually provide only small amounts of the vitamin.
Vitamin D traces are found in milk – and meat products However, these are not sufficient to meet the vitamin D need, unless you like 1.5 kilograms of chicken liver daily, 20 kilograms yogurt or 10 kilograms cheese eat.
Relevant vitamin D levels only provide some fish species , such as eel, sardines, sprats, herring u. a. What you most probably do not want to eat every day – especially when you consider the poison load of many fish, the drug residues in fish from aquaculture and overfishing of the seas takes into account.
Vitamin D source mushrooms
In the case of mushrooms, the vitamin D content depends on whether the fungi had contact with daylight or not. If you want, you can enrich your purchased mushrooms with vitamin D at home. This is possible if you put the mushrooms in the sun for a while. The exact procedure we have described here: Mushrooms: The vegan vitamin D source
However, mushrooms that are consumed without this extra treatment or even avocados do not provide enough vitamin D to meet the need.
The vitamin D need
The vitamin D requirement for adults is officially stated as 20 μg (= 800 IU). However, more progressive physicians recommend a multiple of this amount of vitamin D – not least, as experience has long shown that a vitamin D deficiency with these low vitamin D supplements can rarely be corrected in a manageable period, if at all.
The actual demand for vitamin D is therefore likely to be as high as 7,000 IU per day, as noted a few years ago: Previous vitamin D recommendation: A calculation error
It is no wonder that in the case of severe illnesses, one has long since demanded much higher quantities than the officially stated one. In multiple sclerosis, it is 9 times the amount of vitamin D (about 180 μg) and 12 times that for cancer prophylaxis (about 240 μg).
Remedy vitamin D deficiency: The procedure
If you want to clarify whether some symptoms or illnesses that you are suffering could possibly also have something to do with a vitamin D deficiency, we recommend
- have the vitamin D level checked (at the doctor or with a home test) and
- depending on the result of the blood test, take a vitamin D preparation in the individually required dose.
How the vitamin D test works, how you can then assess your result and what dose of vitamin D you need now, we have explained in detail here: Vitamin D – the right intake
Vitamin D deficiency: Remedy the symptoms
Of course, you will often see tremendous progress in your condition with just enough vitamin D, especially if you have previously had a marked vitamin D deficiency. Many symptoms can subside or even disappear completely.
But do not forget all the other factors that are also part of good health care. Because vitamin D is of course important, but a good vitamin D supply is not the only aspect that is part of the health.
Other holistic measures to help you stay healthy or become healthy are the following:
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