Our body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks of bones. The nervous system has important roles in the functioning of muscles and in maintaining immunity. You can get the required amount into the body in three ways. The first of these ways is the production of the vitamin by the skin itself, the second is nutrition; and the last is vitamin supplementation. Vitamin D is naturally synthesized in the skin after exposure to sunlight. But since too much exposure to the sun's rays can cause skin aging and cancer, most people opt for other sources.
The body's need for vitamin D varies with age. The amount to be taken increases with age. When the level of vitamin D in the body gets too low, bones become thin, brittle, or defective. Vitamin D deficiency is a common disorder in society. Especially people with dark skin, overweight, and over 65 years of age have lower vitamin D levels.
What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?
Although some people have a vitamin D deficiency, they do not show any symptoms. Its deficiency sometimes causes certain symptoms, such as fatigue, general body pain. In severe deficiencies, bone pain and loss of strength occur, which cause walking difficulties. In addition, there is an increase in the frequency of infection due to the inability of the immune system to fulfill its task. There may also be symptoms such as pain in the wrists and ankles, shoulder joints, and fingers, mood swings, depression, insomnia, headaches, and hair loss.
Prolonged vitamin D deficiency in adults causes osteoporosis, bone structure disorders, muscle weakness, and an increased risk of falls. It causes a condition called rickets in children. Rickets is defined as the softening and weakening of the bones in children, usually due to excessive and prolonged vitamin D deficiency. Illness causes permanent disorders in the bone structure such as growth retardation, curvature of the legs, thickening of the wrists and ankles, and breastbone deformity. The adult form of the disease is called osteomalacia and is characterized by fractures in the bones.
What are the Treatment Methods for Vitamin D Deficiency?
Treatment may be in the form of injections or oral administration of vitamin D. The most appropriate treatment option and dose will be determined by your doctor based on your condition, age, and degree of deficiency. Injections may be a more suitable option for individuals who do not like or forget to take medication every day. A single dose of drug injection can meet the need for six months. In oral treatments, the drug must be taken daily, weekly, or monthly for a long time.
It is recommended to take a vitamin D supplement with a meal containing fat. Studies show that, on average, 32% more absorption is achieved when taken with a fat-containing meal than when taken on an empty stomach. The amount of vitamin D needed to treat the deficiency varies depending on the severity of the deficiency and the individual health risks. The aim of treatment is to bring vitamin D stores into a safe range and prevent falls.