Vitamins are an essential part of nutrition, yet many people are deficient in one vitamin or another without knowing it — and vitamin D is one of the most common deficiencies. It can be difficult to recognize the symptoms of low vitamin D levels, making it a serious and widespread issue.
Even if you take good care of your health, the unpleasant effects of a vitamin D deficiency can mysteriously arise, leaving you feeling pained and fatigued. This is because the body can’t function properly without essential nutrients, including all of the vitamins and minerals required to maintain your well-being.
So how can you tell if you might be deficient in vitamin D, and can a lack of vitamin D have serious consequences?
How to Tell If You’re Lacking Vitamin D
The most definitive way to detect a vitamin D deficiency is with a blood test, but you should keep a watchful eye on any changes to your health, as they may indicate low levels of vitamin D long before you’re tested.
Speak to your doctor if any of the following symptoms persist for longer than a few weeks:
Tiredness and Fatigue
You might experience fatigue at different points during the day if you don’t have a nutritious diet or get enough sleep. The difference with a vitamin D deficiency is it can make you feel tired and unproductive most or all of the time. If you can’t think of any other reason you might be constantly tired or struggle to focus, it might be due to insufficient vitamin D.
Taking a vitamin D supplement can help restore your vitality by boosting your energy levels, helping you feel more alert throughout the day, allowing you to be more active and engaged with your friends, family and colleagues.
Changes in Your Mood
Mental health is as important as physical health, making it vital to stay on top of your vitamin intake to maintain your overall physical and mental well-being. A lack of vitamin D is linked to depression and other mood disorders, but vitamin D supplements give you an easy and convenient way to promote health and wellness.
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bone development and maintenance. So if you experience aches and pains around your joints, it might be because you have low vitamin D levels. Studies have suggested that even moderate deficiencies can exacerbate hip and knee pain over time, so supplementing vitamin D might be a good option for you to reduce joint discomfort.
Aching Muscles, Cramps and Muscle Weakness
Persistent pain, particularly in your lower limbs, might be an indication of low vitamin D. However, in some cases, there might be other underlying causes, such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis. While this is more common in older people, rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any stage in life, making it important to look after your joint health no matter your age. Getting enough vitamin D is an easy way to stave off joint problems, and supplementation makes your vitamin intake a lot more manageable.
Cuts, scrapes, and other injuries take time to heal. Slow healing has a few negative implications, including increased likelihood of infections, and a lack of vitamin D can slow down the healing process greatly. So if you notice that wounds are taking longer to heal than expected, it might be because you need more vitamin D in your diet.
Is a Vitamin D Deficiency Serious?
If left untreated, vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone disorders like osteomalacia — where your bones become brittle or soft — or rickets, which can cause deformities in children as they’re still in the early stages of their development. Our bones start to weaken over time due to the effects of ageing. But the risk of these conditions can be mitigated effectively by ensuring you get enough vitamin D, along with other important nutrients and minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
How Vitamin D Supplements Can Help
If you follow a balanced diet and get plenty of time outdoors — since the sun is the most abundant source of vitamin D — you might be getting enough of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients the body needs. If you’re looking for an easy and effective way to make vitamin intake more manageable, vitamin D supplementation is a low-risk way of ensuring you’re supporting your body, helping you to live a happy and healthy life.