Problem: If you lack vitamin D, you might develop vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
Solution: you can obtain Vitamin D either from your diet or it can be synthesized in the skin when you’re exposed to ultraviolet sunlight. Most people can get their daily vitamin D intake from these two sources.
Nearly 36% of healthy young adults do not reach their daily recommended intake of vitamin D. This number increases in the elderly population as well as those with certain diseases.
Brief or limited sun exposure is an important factor in vitamin D deficiency.
Those who live far from the equator, especially those in higher latitudes, have less sun in the winter. The use of sunscreen and those who live in nursing homes or have occupations indoors may also have increased limitation to sun exposure.
Vitamin D-rich foods includes eggs, liver, fish, and fortified dairy products. Those who are vegans or vegetarians may be at increased risk, as well as breast-fed babies who don’t receive vitamin D supplements in their milk.
Some people may have certain diseases that limit their kidneys from converting vitamin D into a usable form in the body that is called calcitriol. As people age, their kidneys become increasingly unable to convert vitamin D to calcitriol efficiently. Diseases such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and cystic fibrosis may cause the intestines to not absorb the vitamin D effectively. Also those with obesity will have lower vitamin D stores in the body.
Any of these causes can lead to vitamin D deficiency symptoms, such as bone pain and fractures, muscle cramps, stooped posture, weakness, and poor growth in children. Sufficient vitamin D also reduces the risk of developing multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Those at risk of not getting enough vitamin D in their bodies may find it suitable to increase their intake of vitamin D-rich foods, or increase their exposure to sunlight in order to reduce the risk of developing vitamin D deficiency symptoms.