Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Author:
    Betty Kovacs, MS, RD

    Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Learn about symptoms and signs of vitamin D deficiency.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Does vitamin D deficiency cause symptoms?

Yes, deficiency of vitamin D can cause bone pain and muscle weakness. However, mild vitamin D deficiency is not necessarily associated with any symptoms. Vitamin D has been referred to as the "sunlight vitamin" because it is made in our skin when we are exposed to sunlight.

Quick GuideVitamin D Deficiency and Treatment

Vitamin D Deficiency and Treatment

What is vitamin D?

The "sunshine" vitamin is a hot topic. You may have recently found out that you are deficient or know someone who is. It's shocking for most people when they have never had a problem before and believe nothing has changed to make it a problem now. The truth is that a lot has changed, and vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is now a global public-health problem affecting an estimated 1 billion people worldwide.

The most well-known consequences to not having enough vitamin D are rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. These are far from the only problems associated with a vitamin D deficiency. The consequences are numerous and include skeletal diseases, metabolic disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, infections, cognitive disorders, and/or mortality. The majority of our knowledge about vitamin D has been discovered over the past 15 years, and with the growing issue of deficiencies, more health connections with vitamin D levels are being made. Correcting vitamin D deficiency is not as simple as taking a pill or getting more sun. This article will teach you all that you need to know about the benefits of achieving and maintaining optimal vitamin D levels.

Vitamins are considered essential nutrients because either your body cannot make them or they are made in an inadequate amount. This means you must provide them through your diet or by taking a supplement. They are essential for your health, and when you are lacking in them, there may be health consequences and diseases.

Vitamin D is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). There are two forms of vitamin D, D2 and D3. Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, comes from fortified foods, plant foods, and supplements. Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, comes from fortified foods, animal foods (fatty fish, cod liver oil, eggs, and liver), supplements, and can be made internally when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Structurally, these two are not the same. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 6/9/2016
References
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