Vitamin D Deficiency Signs and Symptoms

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that helps the body better absorb calcium. This makes it important for bone strength. It also strengthens the immune system and helps the body convert glucose into energy.

Some consider vitamin D deficiency to be a "global health problem", reporting that it affects approximately one billion people worldwide. Because it is so common, it is important to know the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, which will help you better identify if you need to monitor your levels.

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency generally has no noticeable symptoms. Still, there are four main factors to consider that can indicate a deficiency: muscle weakness or pain, bone weakness and pain, fatigue, and depression.

Keep in mind that each of these symptoms is non-specific and can be present in many other health conditions, so speak with your doctor to find out what the cause might be for you.

Muscle weakness or pain

People with vitamin D deficiency may experience muscle weakness, pain, or cramps, although symptoms can be very mild at first.

Some studies suggest that low levels of vitamin D can also trigger or worsen chronic pain conditions. This is because vitamin D helps regulate the nervous system, so people can become more sensitive to the pain they experience when it is not available in the necessary amounts.

Bone weakness and pain

Vitamin D deficiency can also reduce bone strength. Children diagnosed with rickets often have soft bones and skeletal deformities, while deficiency in adults can lead to osteomalacia, which is a condition that weakens the bones.

If you have bone pain, it could also indicate a vitamin D deficiency. One way to differentiate bone pain from muscle pain is that with bone pain, the pain occurs both when you are standing still and when you are moving. Muscle pain usually only increases when you move.


While fatigue can be a sign that you're training too much or not getting enough sleep, it can also be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Sleeping doesn't seem to help.

Research suggests that low levels of vitamin D can cause excessive sleepiness, affecting substances in the human body that are known to help regulate sleep. If there is not enough vitamin to make these substances react properly, sleep is interrupted and fatigue occurs.

Depression and other mood swings

Another common symptom of vitamin D deficiency is depression. Like fatigue, this symptom is associated with many other conditions. So this is just one potential cause that can be easily verified with a blood test.

One explanation for the connection between vitamin D deficiency and feelings of depression is that the vitamin is involved in a variety of brain processes. When there is not enough vitamin to fully support all the actions of the brain, depression is possible.

Your doctor may order tests that measure your levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is the form of vitamin D that circulates in your blood.

Causes and risk factors of vitamin D deficiency

Not eating foods that contain vitamin D and not being exposed to enough sunlight can lead to a vitamin D deficiency. Certain people may be at increased risk of deficiency.

Exclusively breastfed babies often do not get enough vitamin D from breast milk to prevent deficiency. It is also recommended that they are not exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time.

Older adults are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency because the skin's ability to synthesize vitamin D decreases with age.

People who live at home have little or no sun exposure and cannot get adequate vitamin D from sunlight.
Darker-skinned people have more melanin in their skin, which acts as a filter for sunlight and reduces the ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure. Darker-skinned people need more time in sunlight than lighter-skinned people.

People with certain medical conditions that limit fat absorption are at increased risk of deficiency because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin or those who take specific medications.

Obese people or those who have undergone stomach reduction surgery are also at higher risk.

The Endocrine Society and the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) do not recommend screening for asymptomatic, low-risk individuals. However, if you fall into one of the high-risk categories for vitamin D deficiency, they recommend routine testing.

Talk to your doctor if you think screening tests might be a good idea for you.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about 14 signs of Vitamin D Deficiency


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