Severe Vitamin D Deficiency: Vitamin D Deficiency Related Disorders

Vitamin D is unique among vitamins; firstly it can be synthesized in the skin from the sunlight. If there is enough exposure to sunlight you are safe from suffering vitamin D deficiency. Secondly vitamin D in biological active form is a hormone called calcitriol. Vitamin D is converted to this hormone in liver and then in kidney, before it performs its role in the body.

Severe Vitamin D Deficiency can be due to

  • Low intake of food which are rich in vitamin D. They are egg yolk, fish oil, fish, milk, cheese, liver, and certain grains.
  • Lack of exposure to sunlight.
  • Kidney disorder, where vitamin D cannot be converted into its active form. It is observed in old age.
  • Obesity.
  • Where the absorption is difficult, as in case of crohn’s disease, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis etc.
  • Pregnancy, where there is increased demand of vitamin D.
  • Dark colored skin.
  • Certain medicines such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, barbiturates etc.
  • Strict vegetarian diet are also at the risk of moderate to severe vitamin D deficiency

Symptoms of Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

  • In children it can cause rickets, where the skull and bones are soft. The legs are curved and appear bow leg.
  • Late development of teeth.
  • Poor growth of bones and stunted growth in children.
  • Repeated infections of upper and lower respiratory tract in children.
  • Breathing difficulty due to weak bony cage and thorax muscles.
  • In adults severe vitamin deficiency may cause pain in the bones, difficulty in walking and climbing stairs.
  • Severe deficiency may cause osteomalacia in adults.
  • Bone becomes brittle and chances of fracture increases as there is calcium deficiency observed with vitamin D deficiency.
  • Mood swings and depression is noted in severe vitamin D deficiency.
  • Chronic fatigue.

Treatment of Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Severe deficiency of vitamin D requires supplementation in the form of medicine.
  • Alter the diet; eat more of vitamin D containing foods.
  • Sunlight exposure for few hours is necessary.

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