Written By Liz Oakes
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms have been found in many people in the population, but a deficiency in this vitamin can be difficult to diagnose just from the symptoms.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is made in the body, and is created after your skin is exposed to sunshine and ultraviolet light.
There is a strong link between vitamin D and the sun as having sun exposure on your skin stimulates your body to produce vitamin D.
There are a number of health problems that can develop if you remain deficient in this vitamin for long periods.
In countries that are cold and where it is difficult to get sun on your skin, it is estimated that around 50 percent of the population may be deficient in this important vitamin.
It is of value to increase foods rich in vitamin D in your diet. You can get vitamin D from some foods, particularly from specific varieties of fish, and by taking supplements as well.
Lack of sun on the skin is one of the major causes of the almost endemic amount of vitamin D deficiency symptoms that are being found in many people.
The role of vitamin D and skin exposure to the sun is important.
Due to the lack of sunshine in the winter months in many parts of the world, many people no longer are getting the amount of sun required, to produce an adequate amount of this vitamin naturally.
This is especially so if you live in the latitudes north of 40 degree latitude in the northern hemisphere or the equivalent latitude in the southern hemisphere.
This means that many of the residents of North America above the latitude of New York cannot get sufficient sun on their skin for 5 to 6 months of the year.
In Canada the same applies for a large part of the year, with the cold making it difficult to get an optimum amount of sunshine.
Those living in New Zealand and in Tasmania, Australia are located in the equivalent latitude in the southern hemisphere, so the same applies.
Some vitamin D deficiency symptoms are often hard to clearly associate with a deficiency of this vitamin, as they include symptoms that may be attributed to a number of other causes and that are related to a number of other health problems.
These symptoms include:
Elderly women in particular are quite vulnerable as many have risk factors for osteoporosis.
Chronic fatigue is closely related to allergy and chemical sensitivity, and may also be caused by a number of other reasons other than a deficiency of this vitamin.
Vitamin D helps the body to utilize calcium and phosphorous in your food and regulates normal cellular differentiation.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include rickets which is a serious bone disorder. The lack of vitamin D causes the bones to fail to mineralize which can create deformed bones.
Other symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are:
Many of these symptoms relate to woman and it is more common for women to suffer from health problems caused by a vitamin D deficiency.
This is particularly vital for dark skinned women, as any women who have naturally dark colored skin, have a higher risk of deficiency.
It is important for pregnant women to have adequate amounts of vitamin D, to prevent health issues in their babies.
If you are breast feeding, ensure you take a supplement to prevent health problems in your children, such as rickets.
Most supplements containing vitamins and minerals include vitamin D, as it is well known how important this vitamin is to your health.
While it is usually in low amounts, it may be beneficial, but specific supplements may be more helpful.
It may be beneficial to ask your doctor if vitamin supplementation for your children is advisable.
This is especially necessary if your children have allergies, when it is particularly important to treat vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
Make sure that you add foods rich in vitamin D to the diet as well.
In hot sunny climates it relates strongly to the fact that the message to cover up from the sun to prevent skin cancer has made many people fearful of getting too much sun on their skin.
Covering exposed skin continuously with sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (sun protection factor), can cut down the amount of vitamin D production by 95%.
This coverage is the same as not getting out in the sun. Therefore people in these very sunny climates may also get very little sun on their skin, even though they can quite easily.
African American and Australian Aboriginal women are more at risk as darker skin produces less vitamin D then paler skin.
So if you have a darker skin color you are most at risk of having a deficiency of this vitamin.
So even if you do live in a climate where there is sunshine available for most of the year you may be at risk of having a deficiency.
This also applies to women in Muslim countries who cover their skin for cultural reasons. Covering up makes these women at high risk of brittle bones, unless they take supplements.