Issues with someone’s bones and muscles can be caused by a vitamin D deficiency and most commonly affects individuals with darker skin and are age 65 and older. The good news is it is preventable and correctable. Vitamin D is important to the body because it plays a role in the immune system, nervous system, and the musculoskeletal system. One way to get vitamin D is through exposure to the sun. People with darker skin may not get ample enough of sun exposure though and sometimes a person geographical location may prevent them from getting the sufficient amount of sun exposure as well. Other ways to get vitamin D are through the food someone eats or through nutritional supplements.
The human body needs vitamin D to stay healthy and it plays an important role in providing the balance of calcium in the blood and bones, as well as building and maintaining bones. Vitamin D is needed so the body can use phosphorus and calcium to support healthy tissues and build bones. Anyone can lack the proper amount of vitamin D including infants, children, and adults. As previously stated, people with darker skin can more commonly have a vitamin D deficiency, and people who wear clothes that covers a lot of their skin, this is evident in Middle Eastern countries.
See our blog on how to get enough Vitamin D here.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in children can cause rickets, where bone can grow incorrectly due to bowed or bent bones, muscle weakness, bone pain, and deformities in joints. Rickets is rare in children but a child with a mild vitamin D deficiency can have sore or painful muscles. As for adults, vitamin D deficiency is not always obvious and symptoms can include bone pain, fatigue, mood changes like depression, or muscle weakness, muscle aches or muscle cramps. Someone may also have no signs or symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Some causes of vitamin D deficiency may include certain medical conditions, weight-loss surgeries, or certain medications. Some medications that can cause vitamin D deficiency include laxatives, steroids, cholesterol lowering drugs, Orlistat which is a weight-loss drug, and others. A health care provider can order a blood test to measure an individual’s levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can be treated through eating more foods containing proper amounts, getting sunlight, or taking supplements. Always consult with a doctor when making any changes to your health.