Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency: Introduction
Vitamin D deficiency is a lack of a sufficient amount of vitamin D in the body needed for optimal health. Vitamin D deficiency is far more common than once believed. Vitamin D deficiency can result in rickets, osteomalacia, osteoporosis and increase the risk for other potentially serious conditions.
Vitamin D is essential for many aspects of health, including the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from food, which is vital for healthy bones. Vitamin D deficiency can negatively affect the development and growth of cells, bones and teeth and hormone regulation. Vitamin D deficiency can also affect the nervous system and the immune system.
Vitamin D deficiency is caused by decreased exposure to the sun, an inability of the body to absorb vitamin D, or a lack of vitamin D in the diet. Vitamin D deficiency can also be due to a decreased ability of the body to absorb and use vitamin D, and other abnormal digestive and metabolic processes.
Vitamin D deficiency can be serious if untreated, because it can lead to a variety of conditions, diseases and disorders. These include rickets, osteomalacia (adult rickets) and osteoporosis. Complications of vitamin D deficiency include bone fractures and disability. Current research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may also be linked to the development of hypertension, depression, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and an increased risk of cancer.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include bone pain, muscle cramps, weakness and tingling, a loss of height. For more details on symptoms and complications, see symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
People at risk for vitamin D deficiency include dark-skinned people, people who live in northern climates, people who work indoors or who do not get adequate exposure to the sun, infants who are breastfeed, and older adults. Other people at risk for vitamin D deficiency include those with conditions or diseases that can cause malabsorption of vitamins and nutrients. These include cystic fibrosis, Crohn's disease, liver disease and people who have had gastric bypass surgery.
A diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and a physical examination. Diagnostic tests include a blood test that measures Vitamin D levels. Imaging tests may include X-rays and bone density testing to examine the health of the bones.
Because the symptoms vitamin D deficiency can be mild or take years to develop, it is possible to that a diagnosis can be missed or delayed. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of vitamin D deficiency.
If diagnosed early vitamin D deficiency can usually be treated successfully with a good prognosis. Treatment of vitamin D deficiency involves vitamin D supplements and increasing dietary intact of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is produced in the skin from exposure to the sun's rays, the main source of vitamin D. It is also available in supplements and in fortified milk, liver, eggs, and oily fish. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of vitamin D deficiency. ...more »
Vitamin D deficiency: Deficiency of vitamin D.
More detailed information about the symptoms,
causes, and treatments of Vitamin D deficiency is available below.
Vitamin D deficiency: Symptoms
The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can vary amongst individuals, depending on presence of any complications, such as bone fracture, the severity of vitamin D deficiency, and other factors.
Many people have no symptoms of vitamin D deficiency until complications are present. Symptoms may also be mild. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include bone pain, stooped posture, ...more symptoms »
Vitamin D deficiency: Treatments
The first step in the treatment of vitamin D deficiency is prevention. Vitamin D deficiency can be prevented in many people by getting adequate sun exposure. It is also important to eat a diet that includes a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Foods high in vitamin D include fortified milk and dairy products, fortified orange juice, liver, eggs, and oily fish.
Some people with ...more treatments »
Vitamin D deficiency: Misdiagnosis
It is possible for a diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency to be delayed or missed because symptoms can be mild and overlooked until complications occur. These include bones fractures or bone deformities.
Some symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, such as weakness and muscle cramps are similar symptoms of other conditions, such as fatigue, aging, dehydration, ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency
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Treatments for Vitamin D deficiency
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Wrongly Diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency: Related Patient Stories
Vitamin D deficiency: Deaths
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Types of Vitamin D deficiency
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Vitamin D deficiency: Complications
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Causes of Vitamin D deficiency
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causes of Vitamin D deficiency
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Disease Topics Related To Vitamin D deficiency
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Misdiagnosis and Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency
is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (see symptoms of multiple sclerosis).
See ...read more »
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Evidence Based Medicine Research for Vitamin D deficiency
Medical research articles related to Vitamin D deficiency include:
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Vitamin D deficiency: Animations
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Research about Vitamin D deficiency
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Clinical Trials for Vitamin D deficiency
The US based website ClinicalTrials.gov lists information on both federally
and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.
Some of the clinical trials listed on ClinicalTrials.gov for Vitamin D deficiency include:
See full list of 14
Clinical Trials for Vitamin D deficiency
Prevention of Vitamin D deficiency
Prevention information for Vitamin D deficiency has been compiled from various data sources
and may be inaccurate or incomplete.
None of these methods guarantee prevention of Vitamin D deficiency.
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Statistics for Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency: Broader Related Topics
Types of Vitamin D deficiency
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Definitions of Vitamin D deficiency:
Condition due to a deficiency of vitamin D.
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