It seems like every time we turn around, there’s a hot new supplement promising to take the healthcare world by storm. Take vitamin D3 for instance—since there aren’t many foods that contain this vitamin and the body needs sunlight to make it, supplementation becomes necessary.
More so, Vitamin D3 helps for preventing osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, rickets in children, and may actually slow the aging process. In fact, when you don’t get enough vitamin D3, your complexion may look dull, uneven and be more susceptible to skin infections. We bet you don’t want all that!
Symptoms of Vitamin D3 Deficiency
Sadly, though the symptoms of vitamin D3 deficiency range from mild to serious, they are not easily known. However, they fall under 3 broad categories–skin, thyroid and neurologic symptoms.
One of the most evident signs of a deficiency in vitamin D3 is dry skin caused by the lack of antioxidants. Remember we stated earlier that vitamin D3 plays a vital role in slowing down the ageing process? Oh yes, it does make the skin supple. In fact, vitamin D3 creams are often recommended for the treatment of skin problems such as acme and psoriasis.
- Thyroid Gland
For the thyroid gland to function at its optimum, vitamin D3 plays an important role. Vitamin D3 is also an important and effective requirement in herbs used in treating thyroid.
- Neurological Symptoms
Vitamin D3 is effective in controlling involuntary muscles and skeletal relaxation. A deficiency can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, or schizophrenia. This is usually caused by the constriction of blood vessels, which in turn, results in high blood pressure, migraines and headaches.
- Impairment of Cognitive Functions
Vitamin D3 is also essential for our mental health. According to some studies, people deficient in this vitamin have poorer cognitive abilities. This means older adults need higher amounts vitamin D3 supplements.
- Rickets, Especially in Children
Proper calcium absorption is an indication of excellent bone health. And since vitamin D3 plays a prominent role in this, a deficiency can lead to bone diseases such as rickets. This happens when the body is unable to absorb calcium and phosphate.
Medical Conditions Caused By Vitamin D3 Deficiency
Vitamin D3 deficiency should not be taken lightly as it leads to a host of other health problems. Inadequate level of vitamin D3 is associated with the following ailments.
- Back Pain
If you are experiencing pain in your back, pay attention. The ache has a source, and in this case, it may quite possibly result from a deficiency in vitamin D3. This deficiency can lead to several musculoskeletal disorders. Recent studies have shown that inadequate levels of vitamin D3 can lead to serious back pain, especially in women.
- Hair Loss
Vitamin D3 deficiency has been linked to hair loss. Some studies have even suggested that people who mostly stay indoors do not get enough vitamin D3 and so may suffer hair loss. Fortunately, over the past few years, hair routines have evolved tremendously and we now have a better understanding of how what we put into our bodies also affects our hair.
Our hair is, after all, part of our body. If there’s one supplement you need to consider for your hair health, let it be your vitamin D3s.
Depression is the leading cause of mood swings, anxiety and cognitive difficulties like Alzheimer’s disease. The truth is, some of these symptoms are actually side effects of vitamin D3 deficiency.
Some studies have discovered that some depressive patients are unresponsive to antidepressant medications. Here’s where vitamin D3 is necessary, because it supports the production of neurotransmitters that help to maintain a stable emotional balance.
- Multiple Sclerosis
This autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system attacks the coating which protects the nerve cells. If the blood levels of vitamin D3 are low, it leads to an increased number of brain lesions especially in people with multiple sclerosis. When adequate level of vitamin D3 is consumed, it provides protection and lowers the risk of having multiple sclerosis.
- Bone Disorders
Vitamin D3 is quite popular for its ability to improve bone health as and the overall musculoskeletal system. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to Osteopenia, Osteoporosis and ultimately, Osteomalacia. It also causes muscle weakness, thereby increasing the risk of falls and fractures.
Vitamin D3 Deficiency Treatments
If left untreated, vitamin D3 deficiency can actually lead to many long terms medical. Now, here are ways to treat the deficiency of this vitamin:
- Sun Exposure
An exposure to that good ole ball in the sky is the most effective way of getting your vitamin D3 levels upped. Of course, you are not expected to sweat out for hours in the sun. About 10 to 15 minutes daily in direct sunlight may be all you need. Do this without sunscreen on your arms, legs, face or back.
Now, not everyone has the same skin type. This means that we each need different amount of sunlight to be absorbed into our body. People with lots of melanin (dark skin) need more exposure to the sun than other people. But staying too long in the sun could give you dark spots and age the skin.
So, from 11 am to 3 pm, especially in the months of April to August, is an ideal time to get all the sunshine you need.
Popping a few supplements can really give you the body of your dreams like social media promises. But if you’re going to gulp down some supplement that that your friend’s aunt told you to try, you should ensure you know what you’re taking. For instance, there are several prescription supplements that can up your vitamin D3 intake. However, they should be taken after consultation with a medical expert because of their various side effects and in some cases, allergic reactions.
It should be noted that while taking vitamin D3 supplements, other vitamin or mineral supplements, and antacids should not be ingested. They could lead to serious side effects when taken together.
Like we pointed out at the beginning, only very few foods can naturally supply vitamin D3. However, some of the few food sources of vitamin D3 include beef liver, fortified milk, cheese, cod liver, orange juice, eggs, fortified milk, and fatty fish.
The Bottom Line
There are several essential nutrients that your body needs. Vitamin D3 is particularly indispensable to overall body health and longevity. When the body does not get enough vitamin D3, the skin, for example, may look dull and uneven and become vulnerable to skin infections like Eczema. Internally, people who are deficient in this vitamin may feel lethargic, with their bones or muscles aching. Low blood levels of Vitamin D3 have even been linked to cancer, increased cardiovascular diseases, and many other chronic diseases.
It is also important to note that medical conditions like celiac, kidney, chron’s, and cystic fibrosis all prevent the proper absorption of vitamin D3. Also remember that taking laxatives can inhibit its absorption as well.
Evidently, vitamin D3 plays a very vital part in maintaining the overall health of the body. This goes to prove that the prevention and treatment of a deficiency in this vitamin would lower the risk of several diseases.