Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava
Vitamin D: An Introduction
Your body needs vitamins for normal growth and development. Vitamin D, also known as calciferol, aids this process of physiological development by absorbing calcium to promote bone health and growth. But despite the name, vitamin D is not a vitamin, but a prohormone that also plays an important role in the formation of testosterone.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that can suffer from deficiency in rickets (more common in children), heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers (colon, prostate and breast cancer) and multiple sclerosis (abnormal hardening of the tissue). If the amount of vitamin D is too high it can lead to hypercalcemia (build up of excess calcium in your blood) and build up calcium stones in the kidneys.
Eating a balanced diet can help you maintain good levels of vitamins and minerals. Although your body doesn’t produce multiple vitamins, vitamin D is both a nutrient that you can eat and a hormone that your body produces.
However, most people are vitamin D deficient and tend to have fewer amounts of this vital nutrient than they ideally should have. This article will walk you through the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment / treatment of vitamin D deficiency and give you some simple tips on how to increase the amount of vitamin D.
Benefits of vitamin D intake
- Promotes bone health: Vitamin D promotes bone health by regulating and maintaining calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood.
- Strengthens immunity: A reasonable amount of vitamin D will strengthen your body immunity and reduces the risk of catching the flu or cold.
- Promotes Infant Health: Some infants are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency due to less exposure to sunlight or improper diet, which can lead to rickets. Getting enough vitamin D can prevent this complication.
- Healthy pregnancy: Vitamin D plays a very important role in maintaining it pregnant woman and their fetuses healthy. A lack of vitamin D can lead to diabetes and bacterial vaginosis in the mother and increase the risk of food allergies in newborns.
The ideal dosage counts for vitamin D intake
The units used to measure vitamin D intake are micrograms (mcg) or international units (IU). Experts recommend taking vitamin D in the following amounts, depending on your age:
- 0-12 months – 400 IU (10 µg) / day
- 1 – 18 years old – 600 IU (15 µg) / day
- Up to 70 years – 600 IU (15 mcg) / day
- over 70 years old – 800 IU (20 mcg) / day
- Pregnant women – 600 IU (mcg) / day
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
- Following an unhealthy diet that is lacking in essential vitamins and minerals
- Insufficient sunlight
- Malabsorption problem – problem with absorbing vitamins from food
- Medicines that affect your ability to absorb vitamins
- Liver or kidney diseases can also reduce the formation or absorption of vitamin D. hinder
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
- Often get sick from a cold or flu
- Get tired easily
- Pain in the teeth, bones, joints, lower back, and muscles
- feeling depressed
- Delayed wound healing and easy bruising
- Loss of bone
- Increased hair loss and slow hair growth
An excess of vitamin D is a rare condition. It occurs when you take high doses of supplements that are rich in this nutrient. The following symptoms can occur when vitamin D levels are high:
- Repeated episodes of headache and nausea
- Reluctance to eat
- Dry mouth
- Vomiting, constipation and diarrhea
Diagnosing Vitamin D Deficiency
The diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency is usually made through a blood test. It confirms whether you are lacking vitamin D, having an excess, or the levels are completely normal. This information will help you take preventative measures to effectively manage the condition.
Vitamin D complications don’t require surgical treatment, and you can prevent them by following easy-to-follow lifestyle routines. These include:
- Sun exposure: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is also known as the sun vitamin. This is because your skin makes vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. Experts suggest that regular exposure to sunlight for at least 30 minutes a day can improve the amount of vitamin D in your body.
- Foods to Increase Vitamin D: Fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, mushrooms, cheese, and fortified foods like milk, orange juice, and cereal
Vitamin D deficiency is a common condition. If left untreated, however, serious illnesses such as rickets, Heart disease, Hypertension and diabetes. However, if you do notice the symptoms, the condition can be easily treated by making an early diagnosis and following the methods above to improve vitamin D levels.
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