The sunshine vitamin is responsible for more than what you think. Shunning the sun away can leave you in a fix. The body synthesizes vitamin D as a response to the sun. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient as it keeps the bones healthy, by regulating the use of calcium all through the body. Vitamin D produces those hormones, which ensure that calcium is properly utilized in the bones. Vitamin D deficiency do not have early signs. However, prolong deprivation of vitamin D results in hypovitaminosis of vitamin D or vitamin deficiency.
The deficiency symptoms show up as disorders. It is a result of lack of sunlight reaching the skin. Here are a few of the symptoms for your knowledge.
Rickets is the most commonly observed symptom in children. Due to vitamin D deficiency, the bones become weak and the legs begin to bow down due to the body's pressure exerted by the weight. As the vitamin D is in deficit, the bone tissues do not mineralize, which makes them soft and deformed.
Osteoporosis is similar to ricket. However, this medical condition is seen in adults. It is a disease of the bone, wherein the bones become prone to fractures. Osteoporosis occurs due to lack of vitamin D metabolism leading to poor calcification in bones. Due to low vitamin D in the body, the bones become soft and brittle.
Over the last 80 years, it has been found that the rate of depression has been on the rise. Scientists attribute this rise to lack of vitamin D. They say, due to urbanization, tall building, clothes, industrialization and pollution, inadequate sunlight reaches the skin. This reduces the 25(OH)D levels in the body, leading to depression. It is also found that during winter, many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) due to lack of exposure to sunlight. A hormone known as the parathyroid hormone is known to be responsible for vitamin D deficiency symptom - depression.
Fresh air and sunshine are the age-old remedies for good health. Lack of synthesis of vitamin D in the morning can lead to fatigue. It increases tiredness, as proper mineralization of bones does not take place. In the western culture, people mostly stay indoors during winters. It has increased the possibility of fatigue.
Hyperparathyroidism results from hypocalcemia. Hypocalcemia is a blood condition, which has abnormally low levels of vitamin D. This leads to hyperparathyroidism, which further hinders the absorption of vitamin D due to loss of phosphate through excretion.
Lack of vitamin D is linked to obesity. Low levels of vitamin D retard the production of hormone leptin, which is responsible for fat regulation in the body. This hormone informs the brain when the stomach is full. However, when the exposure to sunlight in inadequate, functioning of this hormone gets disrupted, causing the person to eat more than what is required for the body, leading to weight gain.
The back bone is an important part of the body. Sometimes, lack of vitamin D can lead to chronic backache.
- Autoimmune illness
- Chronic pain
- Heart diseases
The causes of deficiency of vitamin D are as follows:
- Inadequate exposure to sunlight
- Using excessive amount of sunscreen
- Constantly covering the body
- Dark skin
- Liver and kidney disorders
- Old age
Sunshine is the richest source of vitamin D. Spending about 15 - 20 minutes in the early morning sun without any sun tan or sunscreens will give you good vitamin D. Food items such as egg yolks, cheese, beef liver, milk, fish and fish liver oils are rich sources of vitamin D. Exercising early in the morning and including right amount of vitamin D in your dietary intake will ensure that you get the vital dose of vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to severe disorders if left unattended. Sadly, the deficiency symptoms do not show early. Only a blood test can bring light on vitamin D deficiency. The remedy for getting adequate vitamin D is very simple. Step outdoor and indulge in some fun activities. Make hay and health while the sun shines!