Due to the unhealthy life routine, Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults is becoming a common health issue.
If you are Vitamin D deficient, you are NOT ALONE at this planet earth.
According to research conducted in 136 counties, it has been noticed that almost 50% of the world population is vitamin D deficient.
And another research in the US revealed that up to 40% of the US residents are facing the issue of Vitamin D Deficiency due to many reasons.
In this comprehensive post about Vitamin-D Deficiency Treatment, you are going to read everything you need to know to get rid of Vitamin D deficiency.
This is what I’ll cover about vitamin D in this post:
- What is Vitamin D
- Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults
- Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency in Adults
- Diseases Caused by Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults
- How to Get Vitamin D
- Natural Sources to Get Vitamin D
- Dietary Sources to Get Vitamin D
- What to Avoid if you are Vitamin D Deficient
- The Next Step!
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is also known as “Sunshine Vitamin” and it is one of the most important vitamins for the human body.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is needed to maintain fat and calcium levels in the body.
It assists in cellular processes, neuromuscular function, and bone formation.
Vitamin D also plays an important role in keeping the immune system active and protects against diseases.
Such as bone loss; cancer; depression; diabetes, and obesity.
Unfortunately, all these diseases are more common in women than in men.
This is why the problem of Vitamin D Deficiency is more serious in women than in men.
Vitamin D also plays a vital role in strengthening and protecting the heart, kidney, lung, and liver.
It acts as a hormone in the body that transmits essential nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus to the bones.
Its presence in the body strengthens the bones. If you become Vitamin D deficient you are more prone to many health disorders.
So, you should take care of the fulfillment of Vitamin D in your body.
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults:
There can be several reasons for vitamin D deficiency in Adults:
Most commonly, malabsorption, unhealthy diet, no regular exercise, inadequate exposure to sunlight, excessive use of poultry, and meat, use of certain medications that accelerate catabolism, cause vitamin D deficiency. (1)
According to research by the Indian Journal of Medical Research, the minimum amount of vitamin D found in mother’s breast milk can result in Vitamin D deficiency in infants.
On the other hand, people who are addicted to alcohol, suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.
With the passage of time, they become obese and develop many health ailments.
Furthermore, the overuse of mobile phones, computers, laptops, tablets and TV screens in this modern, advanced period is also becoming the main reason for vitamin D deficiency.
Long sitting hours in front of these gadgets halt people to go in the sunshine. As a result of this unhealthy activity, they become vitamin D deficient.
According to nutritionist Dr. Louise Levy, a balanced diet and a little sunshine can prevent vitamin D deficiency.
Our body cannot make calcium itself, so this reduction of calcium can be fulfilled by a balanced diet.
If the amount of calcium in the body is not appropriate, the deficiency is fulfilled through the bones itself; which, in turn, causes the bones to become more stressed and weak.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults:
Your body provides plenty of information about health, but you need to know and understand it at the right time.
So that you can know what’s going on inside the body and what could be the possible cause.
Vitamin D acts like a hormone in our body, and all cells act as a receptor for vitamin D.
Unlike any other vitamin, you can remove this vitamin D deficiency in your body by sunlight, but there are also medicines in the market that you can use to recover vitamin D deficiency.
But I will tell you (later in this post) about the natural foods that would surely help you to recover from vitamin D deficiency.
Obviously, this vitamin is essential for the health and immune system of humans.
When you become vitamin D deficient, your body will show signs and symptoms that you should take care about.
Here are the major Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults, you should care about:
1. Delay in Recovery from Common Diseases:
One of the most important functions of vitamin D is to strengthen the immune system. (2)
If there is vitamin D deficiency in the body, it can take a long time to recover even after a simple infection or virus attack.
2. Irritability and Depression (mostly in women):
There is a link between depression and irritability that has many physical and psychological factors.
Scientific evidence has shown that there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression, especially in elderly people. (5)
One study found that women who suffer from depression began to improve when vitamin D supplements were used.
Another study found that people who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of depression if they lack vitamin D.
3. Tiredness all the Time Despite Proper Sleep:
There are a number of reasons for being tired all the time and vitamin D deficiency is one of them.
Various medical researchers report that severe vitamin D deficiency causes symptoms such as severe fatigue and headache, no matter you take proper sleep. (6)
Even a little deficiency of this vitamin causes a loss of physical energy and a feeling of fatigue.
A study conducted on Iranian female nurses found that nurses who were vitamin D deficient were more prone to the issues of tiredness and fatigue.
If women are tired all the time, they are more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
4. Lower Backache:
Vitamin D is very important for bone health as it helps the body absorb calcium while strengthening the bone structure system.
One study found that 9305 women suffered severe backache due to vitamin D deficiency.
5. Joint Pain:
Vitamin D deficiency is not only a cause of weakness but it has negative effects on the health of all the joints in the body. (9)
Knee, hip and spinal cord may be more affected by vitamin d deficiency.
If you are experiencing pain in most of these places, consult your doctor and make sure that these problems are not the result of vitamin D deficiency.
6. Weakness or difficulty in Muscles Movement:
Vitamin D deficiency can also result in weakness and pain in the muscles. (10)
Although the causes of muscular problems may vary, yet one study found that 71% of people have chronic pain due to severe vitamin D deficiency. (11)
7. Increased Hair Loss:
If you find that hair is not as dense as before, increasing the use of vitamin D can solve this problem. (12)
Although there is not much evidence about the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and hair fall in men.
But, a study has explored the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and women’s hair fall. (13)
8. Delay in Recovery of Rashes and Wounds:
Do you often take days to get rid of minor bruises or friction marks?
If so, it can also be a result of vitamin D deficiency.
Some medical research reports discovered that this vitamin helps to increase the number of compounds required for the new skin process. (14)
Vitamin D also helps fight swelling and other skin related infections. (15)
9. Weakness in Men:
One study found that vitamin D deficiency causes certain physical weakness in men, which in turn, increases the risk of a disease called Erectile Dysfunction, which can only be cured by proper treatment. (16)
If you are facing such an issue, get your vitamin D level tested—as early as possible.
10. Too much Sweating:
If you have sweat on the forehead too often, it is one of the major symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, especially when you are not doing any physical workouts and still sweating fast in the normal season. (17)
In these situations, vitamin D should be tested and treated accordingly.
If you are noticing any of these symptoms in your body, don’t be late.
Go to your doctor and get your vitamin D level tested.
Diseases Caused by Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults:
As you know now, that Vitamin D is important for the good health of our muscles, bones, brain, heart, and lungs.
It plays a vital role in maintaining our ability to function, while deficiencies can lead to many problems.
Here are some major diseases that can be inflicted on a person with Vitamin D deficiency.
1. Breast Cancer
Belgium is one of the countries where the Breast Cancer Rate in women is higher than in other countries of the world.
In developing countries, the rate of Breast Cancer is much higher than in developed countries.
According to a report released by the World Health Organization, 16% of women worldwide suffer from breast cancer, with the deaths of five million women recorded in 2011 due to the disease.
Breast cancer is caused by a variety of causes, such as unhealthy diets, regular use of cosmetics, blood pressure, depression, environmental pollution, inherited cancer and moderate hormones and more.
However, according to recent research results, vitamin D deficiency in women can also increase the risk of breast cancer. (18)
Experts agree that regular consumption of vitamin D can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.
The role of vitamin D in reducing breast cancer risk is not new, various data have explained.
However, a study conducted at the University of California San Diego in collaboration with the Creighton Medical University of South Africa revealed a significant relationship between vitamin D and breast cancer.
The research results suggest that the role of vitamin D is crucial to the eradication of breast cancer, said Professor Scott Christiane of the University of California.
Two groups were included in this study to illustrate this relationship.
The first group had more than 3300 people, while the second group had more than 1700 people.
Women over the age of 55 were declared cancer-free, who were given vitamin D and calcium supplements during a four-year trial.
During the study, women who were given vitamin D supplements found 25-hydroxy vitamin D in their blood samples, found breast cancer risk in just one in 5 women over the age of 60.
This study was summarized by experts that women whose blood samples had high vitamin D levels were found to be at significantly lower risk of breast cancer than other women whose blood samples found a low level of vitamin D.
2. Multiple Sclerosis (an autoimmune disease)
Multiplication sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that can be the reason for vitamin D deficiency.
Various Medical Research reports have shown that vitamin D is associated with a lower risk of multi-sclerosis, and some research reports indicate that this vitamin may also benefit people who are the victim of autoimmune disease. (19)
3. Osteoporosis and Arthritis
Osteoporosis is the disease of bones, and arthritis is the disease of joints. But both are closely related to each other.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is very important for bones.
If your body is deficient in vitamin D, then calcium will not be absorbed properly, thus weakening your bones and increasing the risk of fractures.
Studies show that women who have high levels of vitamin D are less prone to arthritis or Osteoporosis and those who lack vitamin D have to go through acute and severe symptoms of arthritis. (20)
4. Cardiovascular Diseases:
Various Research Reports have shown that vitamin D deficiency is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and others.
According to one study, vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of hypertension, but a Study conducted in last year showed that vitamin D supplements do not reduce the risk of blood vessel diseases.
But vitamin-rich foods do.
Some preliminary Research Reports suggest that people with Dementia—A Disease, Causing Brain Degeneration—have vitamin D deficiency.
However, these reports do not specify that vitamin D supplements can prevent dementia. Or the patients who may or may not take benefit from this vitamin.
But this is obvious, that people with dementia have vitamin D deficiency.
A Research Study conducted in last year explored the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and Alopecia Areata (acute hair loss or baldness).
This study looked at several research reports and surveys in which victims of baldness.
Vitamin D deficiency was discovered to be very high in blood samples of the people with baldness and hair loss issues.
Although vitamin D is not directly linked to hair growth, it can help prevent the bad effects of vitamin D deficiency.
7. Women Health Issues:
A 2019 Study found that pregnant women with vitamin D deficiency are at increased risk of hypertension and are more likely to have a premature birth.
On the other hand, High Levels of Vitamin D during pregnancy for the whole year will keep the baby at an increased risk of food allergies.
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the reasons why women do not get pregnant:
According to a recent US study, vitamin D deficiency is one of the reasons for many women who are not getting pregnant.
According to a research report by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) published in Health magazine ‘Medical Express’, women who have high vitamin D levels are more likely to become pregnant.
According to the report, NIH experts reviewed data on 1,200 women whose pregnancies were lost after a few weeks.
These women included women who lost their pregnancies but later became pregnant.
The data included those women who neither lose pregnancy nor did they have difficulty in conceiving a baby.
Experts examined the vitamin D level and vitamin D supplements and diet in these women.
The study found that women who had a good amount of vitamin D did not lose their pregnancy or had difficulty in having a baby, but were also more likely to get pregnant again.
The report found that women who were rich in vitamin D were 10 percent more likely to become pregnant than those women with vitamin D deficiency.
Similarly, women who were vitamin D deficient were not only found to be less pregnant but even if such women were pregnant, their pregnancy would be lost after a few weeks.
Experts report that women should try to get as much vitamin D as possible during pregnancy, and they should follow their doctor’s instructions.
8. Seasonal Illnesses:
Vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system, which helps protect against common seasonal illnesses.
But when this vitamin is deficient, the immune system fails to function properly, resulting in all types of diseases.
Your body becomes an easy prey to various seasonal diseases.
9. Fatigue and Tiredness All the Time:
There are a number of reasons for being tired all the time and vitamin D deficiency is one of them.
Various medical research reports that severe vitamin D deficiency causes symptoms such as severe fatigue and headache, even a slight deficiency of this vitamin causes a loss of physical energy and a feeling of fatigue.
If women are tired all the time, they are more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Similarly, the lack of this vitamin deficiency can lead to various sleep disorders.
10. Deficiency of Vitamin D Increases the risks of a dangerous infection:
Vitamin D is very important for the body’s immune system and its deficiency increases the risk of respiratory infections in people, which can also be fatal.
11. Deficiency of Vitamin D causes Diseases of the blood arteries:
The proper amount of vitamin D in the body reduces the risk of blood pressure.
That means if you are vitamin D deficient, you may suffer from blood pressure.
12. Vitamin D deficiency also Causes Migraine
It has been noticed in several medical studies that people with migraine issues are vitamin D deficient. (21)
It’s been recommended by the medical researchers, if vitamin D is properly administered in migraine patients, there can be positive effects on the issues of migraine and headache.
13. Deficiency of Vitamin D Cause Infertility in men:
Vitamin D improves the quality of semen and its deficiency causes infertility in men. (22)
If you are looking for children and your partner is facing difficulty to conceive. You should get your vitamin D level tested.
And treat the problem accordingly.
There are no obvious symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, some people have vitamin D deficiency, but they do not get any symptoms, but it is better to consult your doctor.
If you are experiencing problems like fatigue, muscle ache, stiffness, and weakness, joint pain, weight loss, hypertension, sleep loss, missing cerebral, headache, bladder problems, constipation or diarrhea I suggest you get your vitamin d level tested.
But that doesn’t mean the presence of these symptoms is only due to vitamin D deficiency and you should start taking the medication yourself.
What to Avoid if you are Vitamin D Deficient?
Patients with vitamin D deficiency face bone, joint and muscle dysfunction along with many other health ailments.
They should be aware that the use of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine causes the severity of the disease; therefore they should reduce their use to a great extent—immediately.
Likewise, excessive consumption of salt, coffee and tea are also harmful to bones and joints, as they contain other unhealthy ingredients including caffeine.
Conversely, milk, yogurt, cheese, and dairy products should be used, but high-fat products and high-fat foods should also be avoided.
The most important is to change lifestyle, regular exercise and balanced diet is the key to strengthening bones and keeping them healthy and energized.
Also, use a diet that provides nutrients to the bones.
The use of milk, yogurt, apples, tomatoes, seasonal fruits, vegetables and dry fruits, especially figs, raisins, etc. are useful in this regard.
Here is the detailed guide for the sources that can be helpful for you to recover from deficiency of Vitamin D.
How to Get Vitamin D:
There are two Sources to Get Vitamin D:
- Sunlight for vitamin D (Natural Sources)
- Food for Vitamin D (Dietary Sources)
At first, I will tell you about the natural sources that can help you recover the deficiency of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a vitamin that the body is unable to make itself. So it is important for you to know how to get it naturally.
Most of the people suffer from vitamin D deficiency because they do not go out in the sun during the day and spending most of their time in air-conditioned or closed rooms.
The question is:
As to whether their bones are healthy and energized?
Vitamin D can be obtained from a variety of sources; however, nature has this feature in sunlight, which naturally produces vitamin D.
People with vitamin D deficiency are often advised to spend more time under the sun, but it is not possible to tell how much time you should spend in the sun, because the amount of sunshine depends on other things:
These include the color of your skin; how much of your skin is comfortable in the sun; what time of year, and what time of day you are sunbathing.
In the sun our body produces vitamin D rapidly.
According to researchers, vitamin D is mainly produced in the skin, but about 50% to 90% of this vitamin is absorbed by skin from direct sunlight.
However, the majority of people around the world spend most of the day inside their homes, offices or other buildings and thus losing the sunshine.
Such people should use vitamin D supplements as per their physician’s instructions which may meet the body’s needs.
How Sunlight Produces Vitamin D in the Body?
When sunlight falls on the skin, the ultraviolet rays stimulate the production of vitamin D in the skin.
Just sit in the sunshine for 10 minutes, so you will absorb a large amount of vitamin D through your skin.
Note: Limit the use of sunblocks outside, as it prevents your skin to absorb sunlight!
The Best Time to Take Sunbathe:
It is often suggested that the time between 8 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm is best for sitting under sunshine.
If you cannot get enough vitamin D in the sun or through the diet, then vitamin D can be obtained in the form of supplements, but they should not be used without the doctor’s recommended dose. Please.
13 Foods to Get Vitamin D (naturally):
You already know now, Sunlight is one of the main sources of vitamin D.
However, foods can be included in the diet, which can meet vitamin D requirements.
Here are some major foods you should eat in case of vitamin D deficiency:
Fish is a good source of vitamin D and almost all types of fish are helpful in this regard, but fatty fishes are more beneficial.
Fatty fishes contain more vitamin D and the best source of Omega Three Fatty Acids. (23)
Here are the Fatty Fishes that are rich in Vitamin D and Omega 3 Fatty Acids you can use in your diet to recover vitamin D deficiency:
Sardine is an excellent and nutritious fish derived from the sea, which provides protein, many essential vitamins, and minerals.
Since sardines search their food by floating on plants or animals that do not contain heavy metals and other toxic substances.
In comparison to other types of fish, sardines have to obtain the cleanest and healthiest seafood.
It is considered to be the best source for vitamin D and other minerals. (24)
Another great source of Vitamin D is tuna fish.
The shelf life of canned tuna fish is generally high, and tuna can be purchased and kept at home easily.
This can be added to the diet that contains vitamin D as well as a large amount of protein.
Note: When buying a tuna, make sure it is obtained from a sustainable source. Choose lightweight tuna, which has the lowest amount of mercury. (25)
Salmon is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Try to buy sea salmon (not of fish farms).
4. Rainbow Trout:
Rainbow Trout (a type of river/sea fish) is another great source of vitamin D. Only 3 ounces of rainbow trout meet 100% of your daily vitamin D requirement. (26)
Moreover, it contains many other types of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Prawns or Shrimp is quite delicious seafood and is also low in fat but high in vitamin D.
Your body can get a good amount of Omega 3 fatty acids, but it is high in cholesterol. But so far, no evidence has been found that it is harmful to health.
Cheese is another great source of vitamin D, Calcium and vitamin K. These three ingredients work together to keep our bones strong. (27)
Cheese can also be added to salads and vegetables. Whenever you buy cheese, try to buy organic or raw cottage cheese.
Vitamin D is found only in egg yolk. Eggs also contain essential amino acids and are a great source of choline and healthy fats. (28)
For those who do not like to eat fish or prawns then eggs are a good option for people.
That is rich in vitamin D and also provides other nutrients to the body.
Vitamins and minerals are usually contained in the egg yolk.
Egg yolk has some amount of vitamin D that the body receives, especially in organic hen eggs (which doesn’t belong to poultry farms but kept at homes), in which Vitamin D and other nutrients are 3 to 4 times higher than in farms.
8. Cod Liver Oil:
Cod Liver Oil is one of the best sources from where Vitamin D can be obtained. It is a natural vitamin D for preserving health. (29)
Cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin D, vitamin A, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
You can take this oil in a capsule.
9. Beef Liver:
If you do not like eating beef liver, this reason will force you to eat it.
It is medically proven; the cow’s liver is high in vitamin D.
On the other hand, it contains other nutrients such as vitamin A; iron and protein are beneficial for the body. (30)
But beef liver contains a high amount of cholesterol.
If the cholesterol level is high your blood, or you are facing heart health issues, you should avoid eating it too much.
10. Specific Mushrooms:
Like humans, mushrooms are also capable of producing vitamin D in sunlight.
Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D, as well as vitamin B and potassium. (31)
Vitamin D is found in various quantities in different types of mushrooms, such as Shiitake, Portobello, Merrill, and Chanterelle.
The Mushrooms which are grown in direct sunlight, and are more exposed to ultra-violet rays, there are higher amounts of vitamin D in such mushrooms.
11. Fortified Milk:
Cow’s fortified milk is rich in vitamin D. But of ice cream lacks this quality. A glass of milk contains some amount of vitamin D.
Drinking a glass full of cow’s milk will meet your body’s daily need for Vitamin D. (33)
If you can arrange sheep’s milk, it will be far better to get a sufficient amount of vitamin d.
12. Fortified Orange Juice:
If you do not like milk, then no problem, it is possible to get vitamin D from Fortified Orange Juice.
However, different quantity of vitamins may be available in different brands, so it is important to check the label to find the right quantity of Vitamin D. (34)
13. Other Dietary Sources of vitamin D:
Almond, Carrot, Apricot, peach, papaya, Blue and Blackberry, Orange, can be the best source for vitamin D.
Vitamin D supplements are the last resort to treat vitamin d deficiency in adults. Vitamin D supplements are available in the market and can be consumed daily.
But you should not decide to take supplements without the doctor’s advice.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults:
1. What is Vitamin D Toxicity?
Getting too much amount of vitamin d is known as vitamin d toxicity that can be harmful to human health.
2. What is the reason for vitamin d toxicity?
The reason for vitamin d toxicity is the excessive use of vitamin D supplements available on pharmacies.
So, always use vitamin d supplements with the doctor’s recommendations.
3. What are the signs and symptoms of vitamin D toxicity?
The signs of vitamin D toxicity include weakness, poor appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and constipation.
4. What are the side effects of Excessive vitamin D intake?
Excess vitamin D can raise blood calcium levels in the body (known as hypercalcemia), and this high level of blood calcium can cause disorientation, confusion, and may cause problems with the heart rhythm.
Moreover, in some cases, excessive vitamin d intake can also damage your kidneys.
5. Can excessive sun exposure be the reason of Vitamin d poisoning?
No! Excessive sun exposure doesn’t cause vitamin d poisoning because the body automatically limits the production of this vitamin.
The Bottom Line:
Vitamin D is essential for human health; due to which the body remains strong and can be protected against many diseases.
Most people with vitamin D deficiency suffer from diseases such as digestion, seasonal depression, obesity, immune weakness, dementia, skin, and itching, while it can also cause diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and cancer.
Sufficient amount of vitamin D ensures human health by keeping the joints, bones, filets and the rest of the body energized and strengthened.
Although there are also medicines and supplements for vitamin D, it can also be obtained through normal natural diets, as discussed above.
However, if you want to be healthy, this vitamin will be essential for you.
You should always be careful about that.
When you notice any of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in Adults as discussed above; see your doctor immediately and figure out the causes of Vitamin D Deficiency and treat them accordingly.
Here’s The Next Step…
I believe this article will help you a lot in the Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults.
Now I want to turn it over to you:
What do you think about this post? Was it helpful for you or not?
And which natural diet are you going to try to treat the symptoms of vitamin D Deficiency in Adults?
Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
PS. If you think your friends would like this too, I’d love you to share it.
Thanks – you rock!
Asif Alee is a freelance researcher and writer in the field of Alternative Medicine, Natural Health, Food, and Nutrition.
He is passionate about helping people improve and maintain their health by using Natural Food and Remedies composed of Natural Herbs.
When he’s not writing, he enjoys swimming, cycling, and hanging out with his friends and family.