D vitamin deficiency

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Our well-being depends on the presence of necessary vitamins. Inadequate amounts of vitamin D can result in musculoskeletal pain, as well as being associated with other health problems. During summer the sun is the primary source of vitamin D while in winter you can secure your vitamin D level through fatty fish, fortified foods such as milk or supplements.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for the body's well-being and function. There are several forms of vitamin D but the two main ones are D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D has several important roles in the body but the primary source of vitamin D for the body is sunlight. When the skin is exposed to the sun's UVB rays, vitamin D is formed in the skin. Vitamin D can also be obtained through the diet including fish (especially oily fish such as salmon and herring), eggs, dairy products and fortified foods. In some cases, dietary supplements may also be recommended to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D, especially if there is a risk of deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency can occur for several different reasons. Here are some common causes of vitamin D deficiency:

  • Lack of sunshine: Vitamin D is formed when the skin is exposed to the sun's UVB rays. People who have limited exposure to the sun, for example due to prolonged indoor time or use of sunscreen, may be at risk of deficiency.
  • Dark skin: People with darker skin have a natural protection factor against the sun's rays, which can affect the formation of vitamin D. Dark skin can therefore increase the risk of deficiency.
  • Age: Older people sometimes find it more difficult to produce and utilize vitamin D. The skin's ability to produce vitamin D through sunlight can decrease with age.
  • Dietary habits: A diet with an insufficient amount of vitamin D-rich foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks and fortified products can lead to a deficiency.
  • Medications: Some medications can affect the body's ability to produce or use vitamin D, which can increase the risk of deficiency.
  • Gastrointestinal problems: Certain diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract can reduce the body's ability to absorb vitamin D from the diet.
  • Increased need: Periods of increased need for vitamin D, such as during pregnancy or the growth phase in children, can increase the risk of deficiency if the intake is not adapted.
  • Certain diseases: Certain diseases and medical conditions can affect vitamin D metabolism and thus increase the risk of deficiency.

It is important to be aware of these factors and to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect you have a vitamin D deficiency. A doctor can recommend tests and advise on appropriate measures to correct any deficiency.

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include:

  • Fatigue and low energy: People with vitamin D deficiency may feel unusually tired and lack normal energy.
  • Muscle weakness and pain: Vitamin D is important for muscle function. Deficiency can lead to muscle weakness, aches and pains in the muscles.
  • Bone and joint pain: Vitamin D is linked to bone health. Low levels of vitamin D can result in aches and pains in the legs and joints.
  • Weakened immune function: Vitamin D plays a role in the function of the immune system. Deficiency can affect the immune system and increase susceptibility to infections.
  • Mood swings: It has been suggested that vitamin D can affect mood. People with a deficiency may experience mood swings, depression or anxiety.

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