What is Vitamin D Deficiency?
In many studies carried out in the world and in our country, serious and low vitamin D levels were measured. Vitamin D is carried to the intestines, bones and kidneys with blood. It regulates calcium and phosphate balance with its effects on tissues. Vitamin D exerts its effect on VDR receptors in the body. VDR receptors other than classical targets (intestine, kidney and bone), hematopoietic and immune system-related tissues, skeletal muscle, heart muscle, smooth muscle, brain, liver, breast, endothelial, skin, pituitary, pancreas, parathyroid, adrenal gland, thyroid, ovarian and testicular.
How is Vitamin D Deficiency Known?
In cases of vitamin D deficiency, slow growth, late walking, delayed teething, and more frequent infection are observed in infants and children. In adults, bone and muscle pain, walking, climbing stairs, weakness in activities such as fatigue problems occur quickly.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency can occur for many reasons. Some of these reasons include:
- Not getting enough sunlight may be a cause of vitamin D deficiency. However, all the vitamin D needed in the body can be met in direct and sufficiently exposed skin. However, most people do not get enough sunlight because they spend a lot of time indoors or because of the excessive use of sunscreen. Especially in winter, the rate of vitamin D to be taken from the sun decreases considerably.
- Not using vitamin D as a supplement is another reason for deficiency because it is difficult to meet the body’s needs with only dietary food.
- Increased need in the body for reasons such as pregnancy and obesity may trigger vitamin D deficiency.
- Some individuals are more likely to develop deficiencies. Risk group for vitamin D deficiency include:
- Individuals with dark skin colour. As your skin becomes darker, less vitamin D is produced in the body than lighter-skinned individuals exposed to the same amount of sunlight.
- People who spend most of their time indoors during the day. For example; hospital staff, night workers or those who cannot leave the house for various reasons
- People who keep their skin closed. For example; If you use continuous sunscreen or your skin is completely covered with clothes, you may be prone to develop deficiencies.
- People living in the north of America or Canada. The reason for this is that as we move away from the equator, sunlight reaches the earth for shorter periods.
- As the age progresses, the skin becomes thinner and therefore vitamin D production decreases. Therefore, older people are also in the risk group.
- Infants fed breast milk and not given vitamin D supplementation are also in the risk group. If the baby or mother does not receive reinforcement, it carries a high risk.
- Pregnant women
- Overweight individuals
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency, directly and indirectly, affects every part of the body. Vitamin D deficiency is manifested by blood test and manifests itself in various symptoms. People with vitamin D deficiency should follow their symptoms carefully and have the necessary tests and tests done.
Vitamin D deficiency usually presents with the following symptoms.
- Continuous heating and chilling problem
- Slow weight loss or inability to lose weight
- General fatigue and weakness
- Pain in the bones throughout the body or specific areas
- Balance problem and loss of strength
- Frequent headache
- Constantly changing mood
- Nail and hair loss
- Pain in the thin joints
- Bruising in custody
- Sleep problems
In cases of vitamin D deficiency, the problems mentioned above are generally seen. When these problems start to occur, you should consult a specialist.
People at Risk for Vitamin D Deficiency Diseases
- Light skinned
- Diabetes patients
- Indoor workers and indoor clothing
- Wear high-factor sunscreen
- Kidney and liver diseases
- Nutritional disorders
- Stomach surgery
- During pregnancy and lactation
- People taking epilepsy medication
- Cortisone users
- People with celiac disease
Which Foods are Vitamin D?
To avoid vitamin D deficiency in the months or regions where the sun is scarce, it is necessary to add nutrients containing vitamin D to the diet and diet. In response to the question of what vitamin D is available, the following foods can be listed:
- Fish types rich in oil (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines)
- Milk and milk products
- Natural juices such as orange juice
- Chicken livers
- Fish oil
- Grain products
- Dead nettle
What are the Treatment Methods for Vitamin D Deficiency?
Treatment may be by injection or oral vitamin D administration. The most appropriate treatment option and the dosage are determined by your doctor according to your condition, age and severity of the deficiency. The injection may be a more appropriate option for individuals who do not like or forget to take medication every day. Single-dose drug injection can meet the 6-month requirement. In oral treatments, the drug should be taken regularly for a long period, daily, weekly or monthly.
Vitamin D supplements are recommended to be taken with a meal containing fat. According to studies, when taken with a meal containing fat, it is reported that there is an average of 32% greater absorption than fasting. The amount of vitamin D needed to treat the deficiency varies depending on the severity of the deficiency and the individual health risks. It is aimed to bring vitamin D stores into a safe range and to prevent falls.