Symptoms And Treatment Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Belonging to the class of essential nutrients, Vitamin D has lately garnered a lot of attention from the Brisbane medical practitioners. This is due to the alarming rise in the cases related to deficiency of the sunshine vitamin in Queensland. Estimated 1 billion people suffer from low blood Vit D levels worldwide.

The primary reason behind this pattern could be the lack of sun exposure, the popularity of a vegan diet in Brisbane, and a rise in the cases of lactose intolerance. However, specific other contributing factors are dark skin, old age, obesity, living far from the equator with the sun not shining all year-round.

One out of the four fat-soluble vitamins (others being B, D, K), Vit D is produced by the body with the help of cholesterol when the skin is exposed to the sun.

How much Vit D do you need?

The average blood serum level of Vit D is 500-100 mg/dl. The recommended range in IU (International Units) depending upon age is:

  • Children and teens: 600 IU
  • Adults up to age 70: 600 IU
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women: 600 IU

What’s the role of Vit D in the body?

Vitamin D serves many vital functions in the body, a few of which are:

  • Absorption of calcium and phosphorous from the diet, in turn, helps the healthy growth of bones and teeth. Preventing various musculoskeletal diseases and symptoms of sciatica.
  • Facilitating a potent immune system enhancing body’s resistance to diseases.
  • In addition to the commonly known benefits, vitamin D also reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis, heart diseases, certain cancers, multiple sclerosis, oligozoospermia (low sperm count) common cold and flu.
  • Vit D also plays a vital role in warding off the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Owing to their appetite-suppressing effects, Vit D and calcium help regulate the body weight and improve the heart disease markers.

What are the Vit D deficiency symptoms?

The deficiency of Vit D is usually subtle. However, it may manifest itself as:

  • Bone weakness and fragility
  • Muscular pains
  • Fatigue
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Frequent infections
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of bone mass leading to degenerative diseases like osteoporosis, osteomalacia etc. Osteoporosis is difficult to treat, and it’s important to know how to treat osteoporosis without surgery in Brisbane.

How to prevent Vit D deficiency?

The treatment aims to take your vitamin reserves to a safe level at the same time maintaining them with a suitable diet plan.

  • Increasing exposure to the sun even by a few minutes can enhance the Vit D status.
  • Depending upon the symptom severity, the supplements available are – oral (best consumed with fat-containing diet) and injectables. Regular monitoring is required in all cases.
  • Although the daily food intake is not enough for meeting the Vit D requirements of the body, certain food items provide this vitamin in abundant quantities. Some of the best sources are:
  • Vitamin fortified cereals
  • Cod liver oil (1tsp contains 400-1000 IU)
  • Salmon fish (3.5 oz canned, 300-600 IU)
  • Egg yolk (1 serving, 20 IU)
  • Fortified milk/cheese (8 oz, 100 IU)
  • Fortified orange juice (8 oz, 100 IU)

However, excess consumption of Vit D supplements may lead to toxicity. Any levels above 120 mg/dl should ring the bell. Latent toxicity symptoms are hypercalcemia (weakness, confusion, constipation, loss of appetite and calcium deposits), hypercalciuria (calcium in the urine), and hyperphosphatemia (raised phosphate levels in the blood). In the long term, the accumulated blood levels of calcium can affect vascular and tissue calcification, with consequent damage to the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys.

Regular screening of vitamin levels is the best way to curb this pandemic. Treat the deficiency while it’s not causing much trouble, lest it should have its long term implications.