Symptoms of deficiency
The daily requirement of vitamin D is taken up on the one hand via food, but on the other hand it is produced by the body itself. In order for the body to be able to produce vitamin D, however, it needs the sun’s rays on the skin. Even with a balanced diet, the amount of vitamin D absorbed with food is usually not sufficient to cover the daily vitamin D requirement.
It is therefore very important to stay outside sufficiently to allow the body to produce its own vitamin D. However, especially in the winter months this is very difficult and not enough sunlight can reach the skin to ensure this. This is the reason why especially in winter many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D can only be produced when the skin is exposed to the sun without protection.
It is therefore very important to find the right level of protection in summer and, if possible, to expose a large part of the skin to the sun’s rays for at least 10 minutes a day without sun protection. Since the pigmentation (tanning) of the skin is a natural sun protection, people with dark skin must spend longer periods in the sun to produce the same amount of vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D often initially manifests itself in concentration problems, tiredness or sleep disorders. Muscle weakness and circulation problems can also occur.
The external appearance is often characterized by thin hair due to hair loss and brittle fingernails. Since vitamin D is important for bone formation, a deficiency of vitamin D in an advanced stage manifests itself as osteomalacia. This is the softening of the bones, which often manifests itself as pain in bones and limbs.
The bones become unstable and often break in severe forms (spontaneous fractures). Older people in particular are at risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency because the body’s own production of the vitamin decreases with increasing age. If there is a deficiency of vitamin D in children, rickets can occur.
In this case the bones and also the skull deform, since too little of the vitamin is available for a proper bone structure. Therefore, pediatricians recommend a dietary supplement for infants to prevent rickets. Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, it is absorbed by the body in the intestines together with the fat.
People who suffer from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as Crohn’s disease or gluten intolerance, can therefore absorb less vitamin D from food and are more at risk of developing a deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can also be caused by a lack of light exposure, as this is the only way to break down cholesterol and ultimately convert it into calcitriol. Burning in the legs