Vitamin D is a fat-soluble essential vitamin that has been known for years as critical for healthy bones and teeth. New researches have thrown light on its wider role. Vitamin D works in cooperation with other nutrients and hormones to perform many functions like healthy bone renewal, promotion of normal cell growth, maintenance of healthy immune system and hormonal balance.
Various studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem and can have a negative effect on your health and lead to poor immune functions, insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, low energy, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis and many other health problems.
Lack of vitamin D is more prevalent among people who receive insufficient sunlight and whose diet does not contain food from vitamin D sources. Lack of vitamin D is a serious problem, though most people are unaware of it. It can show up a variety of symptoms related to muscular, auto immune and gastrointestinal diseases. The best way to identify vitamin D deficiency is to undergo a blood test that will measure the level of the vitamin in your blood.
The most common symptom of vitamin D deficiency is weak bones and muscles. Vitamin D allows the body to absorb phosphorus and calcium, which are essential for maintaining and forming strong bones.
Lack of vitamin D in your blood can make the bones weak and brittle. The result can be joint and bone pain, muscle weakness, fracture, soreness etc. Severe deficiency of vitamin D can lead to bone diseases like rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.
Vitamin D works to promote cell growth and insulin and hence acts in stabilizing blood sugar. When the body is deficient in vitamin D, the release of insulin can decrease. This can result in glucose intolerance and protection against diabetes is reduced.
Low immunity is another major symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is required for growth of healthy tissues and their maintenance and for regulating healthy immune system. This vitamin helps the body to produce natural antibiotics that can protect the body from certain diseases.
Lack of vitamin D lowers the immunity and makes the body vulnerable to diseases like stroke, autoimmune disease, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer etc. If you are contracting flu or any other viral infection again and again, it is possible that you are lacking vitamin D.
Fatigue and low energy level could be a sign of vitamin D deficiency; especially when you feel drained all the time. Fatigue can result in sleeplessness and depression. Visit your doctor and try to know the underlying cause for fatigue.
Vitamin D is responsible for the production of melatonin which works to calm down the body and helps you fall asleep. When your body is deficient in vitamin D, it can not absorb or metabolize melatonin and as a result you experience restless sleep.
Vitamin D works to enhance mood-regulating hormones, enzymes and serotonin levels. Lack of vitamin D decreases neurotransmitters and as a result the brain receives the commands slowly and experiences delays in boosting your mood. During winter months, when one gets decreased amount of sunlight, mood disorder can occur.
Lack of vitamin D can increase the risk of diseases like asthma, high blood pressure, cold, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis. Usually symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are overlooked as symptoms are often subtle. If you do not receive enough sunlight and do not consume foods that are good source of vitamin D, ask your doctor to go for vitamin D test.
Photo Credit: http://fibrotv.com/2012/09/the-magnesium-and-vitamin-d-connection-that-most-people-do-not-know/