19 Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency

You should be well aware of the fact that your body can fall short of several vitamins and minerals, long before you begin to exhibit symptoms.… Melisa Silver - May 5, 2016

You should be well aware of the fact that your body can fall short of several vitamins and minerals, long before you begin to exhibit symptoms. You must hold responsible your de-arranged dietary patterns for this kind of mishappening. Junk foods have replaced fruits and veggies by much extent. A detailed analysis of this subject revealed that the pocket-friendly costs of such eatables have made them so much more popular. Moreover, it is an irony that fast foods are much more prevalent than natural foods, and this is a great concern in both the developing as well as developed regions of the world.

Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, despite the fact that it is most commonly prevalent in sunlight than it is in foods. Vitamin D deficiency can be due to malnutrition or may occur owing to some underlying pathology such as renal diseases, hormonal imbalances, resistant vit-D receptors, etc. Hence, individuals who fail to respond to supplements are investigated for other possibilities.

Individuals residing in areas that are devoid of sunlight for most of the time, such as those living in crowded apartments are most likely to fall short of adequate vitamin D levels in blood. You do not require long exposure periods to sunlight, but merely 10-15 minutes of exposure to the morning sun, and that too is merely limited to your hands, face and feet.

1. You have unexplained aches and pains

10 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency aches and pains

Vitamin D is the prime requirement of the bones, since this nutrient heavily regulates the levels of calcium and phosphorus in blood: the two vital minerals of the bone material. These two very minerals are also integral for intact muscular function.

Vitamin D deficiency in blood can make your bones go weak and soft. This is why babies who develop this condition face a disastrous consequence, the term for which ‘rickets’ is used for. The rickets babies have ‘bowed’ leg bones, due to the depleted calcium and phosphorus levels. Moreover, the long ends of their bones, like those of the wrists and ribs go frayed (which makes an important diagnostic point in their X-ray).

People with decreased vitamin D levels in blood face aches in muscles such as those of the thighs and the biceps. Since calcium levels go unsupervised in this condition, hence, the muscular contraction becomes compromised. Such people often face difficulty in getting up from sitting position, or in carrying heavy objects.

2. Your head sweats

10 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency head sweats

A frequently sweaty head especially in babies is a pretty strong indicator of vitamin D deficiency. Strains of sweat dribbling from the forehead and that too with much frequency must be considered and not ignored.

An all-time sweaty head is not a specific sign of the disease, and can occur in other conditions too such as that of hyperthyroidism. If a baby presents with such a symptom, he must be evaluated for other signs of vit-D deficiency as well. Moreover, their mother must be inquired whether they wrap their child in thick clothing for too long.

This rather weird symptom of depleting levels of vitamin D in blood has been pointed out by Dr. Micheal Holick numerous times. If you go excessively sweaty all the time, it might be because your body is not getting enough of the nutrient.

10 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency catch infections

3. You catch infections easily

When you fall short of adequate vitamin D levels in your blood, your bones and muscles are not the only things you must be worried about. Your immune system gets variably affected owing to deficiency of this nutrient, though it is not specific. The nutrient keeps in check two important mechanisms of fighting off an infection: eradication of inflammation and stimulation of immune cells.

With depleting vitamin D levels, one is more susceptible towards development of respiratory infections. Which is why flu and cold is more commonly found in people with vitamin D deficiency. Conversely, this deficiency is also a consequence of chronic inflammatory conditions.

So next time you observe that you are developing cold too often, check for other signs and risks of vitamin D deficiency in your body. People with adequate levels of vitamin D in blood are found to contain lower risks of developing rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes mellitus and multiple sclerosis.

4. You have chronic kidney disease

10 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency chronic kidney disease

As it has been already stated above that certain ailments like ‘chronic kidney disease’ can produce vitamin D deficiency in your blood. This happens because of the form of this nutrient which our skin absorbs through sunlight in an inactive one. Enzymes in the kidney are responsible for tuning on vitamin D, which then gets converted into its active form.

The active vitamin D metabolite then regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the kidneys. Rising levels of calcium and phosphorus trigger a hormone called ‘parathyroid hormone‘, which then works to incorporate them into bones. People with long-standing kidney diseases are often checked for vitamin D deficiency, since an ailed kidney becomes unable to convert this nutrient into its active metabolite.

Chronic kidney disease could be the result of numerous factors, most common among which include post-viral infections and prolonged obstruction due to stone formation in urinary pathway. Many people develop kidney diseases owing to the presence of other co-morbidities such as diabetes and hypertension.

In such patients, if vitamin D receptors are found to be working fine, a prepared formula of vitamin D is provided to overcome the deficiency.

10 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency darker skin

5. If you have dark skin…

Vitamin D also helps in formation of skin pigment. This very pigment is quite helpful in protecting skin cells from cancer and sunburns. Without adequate levels of vitamin D in our body, the process of pigment formation gets affected too.

On a general note, every individual is supposed to contain 60 to 70 nmol/L of vitamin D at the end of the summer season, and above 50 nmol/L at the end of the winter season. Vitamin D deficiency if non-symptomatic, is hard to find out. However, symptomatic conditions are generally worrisome and require some prompt action.

The skin of darkly pigmented individuals finds it hard to absorb proper sunlight, and so, this group of population is at a greater risk of developing the deficiency. Moreover, vitamin D deficiency-associated conditions such as cardiovascular ailments, diabetes and skin cancers are also more prevalent in darker individuals.

Such people must adapt more towards diet containing this nutrient, along with considering exposure to sunlight.

6. You suffer from low mood

vitamin d low mood

So next to the bones, muscles and skin, is your central nervous system which tends to get affected in the absence of adequate levels of vitamin D in blood. “Low moods” are pretty common as well as variable manifestations of this disease. This could likely be due to the fact that vitamin D influences mood positively, and so, its absence leads one towards ‘low mood experiences’.

Serotonin, a hormone that promotes the state of relaxation in human body and mind, has been observed to be produced in the presence of sufficient vitamin D levels in blood. The diminishing levels of this nutrient is followed by the depleting levels of this serotonin hormone. Low serotonin levels in the brain are highly linked with depression, and a major manifestation of depression is ‘low moods’.

Hence, now you should be aware of the fact that depression is not just a consequence of social pressures and emotional breakdowns, but also of nutritional deficiencies. This could probably answer our question that why low moods occur more during winter. Moreover, sunlight is also linked with good mood and positivity.

The upper safe limit of daily vitamin D intake must be 10,000 I.U., and anything below that can make you prone to develop related symptoms.

Ladies! If your low moods are increasing during your PMS, find symptoms of nutritional deficiencies in your body, especially those which are linked to vitamin D insufficiency.

10 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency weak muscles

7. You have weak muscles

Proximal muscles are those which are aligned close to the center of your body, such as the biceps and quadriceps. These set of muscles are known for their bulk, since they take most part in ‘initiating a movement’.

Since they initiate movement, they hence require a great deal of calcium ions in the blood for contraction. Depleted calcium levels can interrupt the mechanism by much extent. Calcium deficiency can occur in many conditions, one of which is inadequate vitamin D levels in body.

Many affected people complain of frequent muscle aches and weakness. They report getting fatigued much earlier than before, and are rendered unable to carry heavy objects, or even move around. Muscle manifestations are the foremost ones in case of calcium deficiency, and this in turn occurs much more commonly in cases where vitamin D is not sufficient.

Hence, along with taking proper calcium-containing diet, it is also important for you to consume vitamin D. In case you do not get a chance to proper sunlight exposure or your vitamin D levels are too low, you are likely to be prescribed a supplement course by your doctor.

8. You’re overweight

10 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency overweight

Now this sign of vitamin D deficiency shall be the most undesirable one, yet it is inevitable. Inadequate vitamin D in your body can leave you with extra pounds of weight. So if you are putting on weight despite having a good diet, check if your diet actually contains all the nutrients you need, and not merely a portion of them.

In a study that included 4600 female participants over the age of 65, it was observed that those subjects who contained inadequate vitamin D levels gained 2 pounds more than their counterpart subjects.

Another such research work that supports our argument regarding ‘low vitamin D and weight gain’ can be demonstrated from the results of a study which were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which states that in the pursuit of reducing weight, those women subjects who followed the schemed diet and exercise for weight loss and took vitamin D supplements as well, exhibited more pronounced results than their counterpart subjects.

Studies have also observed a link between insulin resistance and obesity to that of low levels of vitamin D.

10 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency digestive issues

9. You have digestive difficulties

Ailments that relate to your gut can produce vitamin D deficiency in your body, owing to malabsorption, since intestines too play a crucial part in the absorption of this nutrient from your meals. The fact that vitamin D is much more designated as a ‘hormone’ rather than a nutrient or a vitamin is that, its absence brings about a wide variety of pathological changes in the body, including improper digestion.

We have vitamin D receptors throughout our gut. This hormone also plays a role in the formation of insulin by pancreatic cells, which may explain why its deficiency leads to an increased risk of insulin-dependent diabetes. Insulin plays a vital role in the absorption of glucose and amino acids by the liver and muscle cells.

Low levels of vitamin D may also lead to delayed emptying of food from the stomach, which can produce notable symptoms such as bloating. Hence, it is crucial for you to obtain a vitamin D containing diet.

10. If you’re 50 years or older

10 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency older than 50

Aging is certainly not a sign of vitamin D deficiency, but advanced age leads to decreased formation of vitamin D, just as that in the case of chronic kidney disease. There are various factors that lead to insufficiency of this nutrient in the elderly, like decreasing diet, less exposure to sunlight (since they tend to move less), increasing fragility of the skin, increasing impairment in intestinal functions, and decreasing liver and kidney functions.

Hence, if any of the signs of vitamin D deficiency are noted in the elderly, diagnosis and treatment must not take too much time.

skin problems

11. Skin problems

Skin problems are a major manifestation of vitamin A deficiency, and so is the case with insufficiency of vitamin D too.

Dermatological conditions such as psoriasis are frequently treated with creams containing this hormone, which indicates that it has much to do with the health of your skin. Moreover, conditions as common as acne and as severe as eczema also employ the use of vitamin D containing topicals.

12. Hair and scalp changes

hair scalp changes

Since they are related to your skin, the hair and scalp also exhibit deteriorating changes with the deficiency of vitamin D. Studies indicate that hair loss especially in women can be attributed by some part to vitamin D deficiency.

In a research work which was conducted by H. Rasheed with his senior, E. Hamdy, and other team members from the Cairo University, evaluated serum ferritin and vitamin D levels in women who were experiencing Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) and Telogen effluvium (TE). In both conditions, vitamin D levels were on the lower side when compared to their normal counterparts.

night blindness eye changes

13. Reduced cognitive function

Recent study publications have indicated that low levels of vitamin D are linked with poor cognitive functions. This can occur in part due to the anti-inflammatory properties of this hormone, which protects blood vessels from deterioration.

The declining integrity of blood vessels is crucial in the development of diseases which produce a decline in cognitive function. Such a finding has raised new hopes that vitamin D supplementation may be helpful in combating cognitive function-impairing ailments.

Studies have demonstrated that the lower the performance on cognitive function scale, the lower the levels of vitamin D in the blood.

14. Night blindness and eye changes

night blindness eye changes

Just like vitamin A, vitamin D is also essential for your eye sight. You might be amused to know that adequate vitamin D levels in blood parallel good vision. Since the hormone reduces unnecessary inflammation, it protects the integrity of all the blood vessels, including those of the eye.

A research work showed that vitamin D supplementation in lab rats resulted in decreased retinal inflammation and enhanced vision.


15. Thrush

Candida infections are quite common, especially in case of women, who tend to face vaginal yeast infections too frequently. If this candida infection takes place in the mouth, it is then termed ‘thrush’. Such a condition is more prevalent in those with an incompatible immune system, such as children and the elderly.

Vitamin D contains an anti-microbial compound known as ‘Cathelicidin’, which the body uses to fight off these disease-producing tiny candida beasts. A recent study has revealed low levels of this hormone in people with thrush and other forms of body yeast infections.

16. Slow wound healing

slow wound healing

We all know very well that when a wound takes time much longer than normal to heal, there might be some underlying nutritional deficiency that might be producing the condition. Vitamin K and vitamin A are the most re-known ones in this case. However, seldom do we give importance to the role of vitamin D in wound healing process.

Studies have demonstrated that when a wound occurs, it utilizes too much vitamin D. And longer sustaining wounds can also produce vitamin D insufficiency.

fingernail changes

17. Fingernail changes

When you have low vitamin D levels, you will consequently develop calcium deficiency within no time. With depleted calcium levels in blood, the basic nail structure gets affected. In this case, the nails may go soft and may even deform in severe conditions. Peeling and cracking of the nails may also occur in response to vitamin D deficiency.

18. Mouth pain

reproductive problems

Mouth ulcers, sore teeth, gingivitis, etc. all of these oral conditions are likely to take place in vitamin D deficiency. Less vitamin D equals less calcium, which shall ultimately affect the tooth structure. Moreover, since this hormone casts an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial action in the body, hence, mouth ulcers and other infectious oral ailments are likely to occur, which may produce mouth pain of varying degrees.

19. Reproductive problems

reproductive problems

Now that issue is a pretty serious one. Vitamin D deficiency is likely to affect one’s reproductive health. The logic here is quite simple. This hormone takes an important part in the formation of cholesterol. Cholesterol in turn is the core component of sexual hormones. Hence, a deficiency of vitamin D will indirectly influence the formation of sex hormones in a person.