You’d be forgiven for a look of disbelief when hearing that as many as 85% of the people in UAE suffer from an insufficient amount of, or chronic lack of vitamin D. * but the reality is that this statistic is true.
This becomes even more alarming when you consider that a 2015 study by the International Osteoporosis Federation (IOF) found that a vitamin D deficiency can cause not only fatigue, muscle weakness, and rickets, but potentially diseases.
What’s clear is the ability to identify the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency is paramount to long term health. Studies have found that even a low-moderate deficiency can lead to bone metabolism disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and, in some cases even cancer.
The accepted level of vitamin D for healthy body function is 20-50 ng/ml. Less than 12 ng/ml indicates that your vitamin D deficient and should take immediate measure to boost your vitamin D levels.
So, how do you know that you’re at risk of vitamin D deficiency? Here are five symptoms that may indicate that you have a vitamin D deficiency.
Anyone suffering with continual bodily aches and pains, or a persistent overall weakening of physical strength which doesn’t improve with any form of treatment, should ask a doctor to check that they’re not vitamin D deficient.
Over the last ten years, leading osteopaths and physicians in Dubai have noticed a correlation between chronic physical pain and vitamin D levels. Whereas chronic pain isn’t necessarily an immediate indication of vitamin D deficiency, it is certainly a symptom of the condition – and can be treated easily with vitamin D supplements, diet changes or increased frequency to sun exposure.
Doctors agree that it’s normal for the average person to lose as many as 100 hairs a day. However, if you’re hair loss is rapid and significant, this might well be the result of a low levels of vitamin D.
Studies have shown that vitamin D helps to regulate those genes that foster follicle growth. Whereas hair loss isn’t an obvious indication of insufficient levels of vitamin D, should you be suffering hair loss, chronic pain and additional symptoms, it’s wise to ask your doctor for a vitamin D test.
Low Immune System
A vitamin D deficiency significantly weakens the body’s immune system. If you’re suffering with persistent bouts of illness, you may have a vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is known to activate key peptides (amino acid compounds) within your immune system which trigger a strong anti-microbial response. This allows your body to fight germs before they manifest as infections. Therefore, insufficient levels of vitamin D leaves you vulnerable to persistent illnesses of all descriptions.
There is a growing amount of research that has indicated a direct link between vitamin D and depression. Many researchers believe that a course of vitamin D supplements can even assist in the recovery of patients that suffer from infrequent bouts of short-term depression.
However, it should be noted that vitamin D should not be considered a cure for depression and that there is no conclusive evidence that a vitamin D deficiency directly causes depression. What is acknowledged is that less sun exposure negatively affects our mood.
Frequent Bone Fractures
Repeated stress fractures are, arguably, the clearest indication of a vitamin D deficiency. Fractures occur when bone density is low. Both calcium and vitamin D are essential for healthy bone growth and strength.
Whereas calcium is essential for bone-building, vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. Studies have concluded that individuals with vitamin D deficiencies only absorb 10-15% of the required dietary amount of calcium. *
If you’re suffering from one or several of these symptoms, it’s imperative that you speak to a doctor to clarify if you’re suffering from a vitamin D deficiency and what treatment plans are available.
This page is also available in: العربية (Arabic)