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Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms & Risk Factors

It has been found that Vitamin D deficiency impacts more than just bone mass, and most diseases may have its footprint. In contemporary times it is advised that while treating any disease, a Vitamin D assessment should be included in the tests prescribed by the doctor. Addressing Vitamin D deficiency may notably improve the treatment.

Sadly, Delhi’s populace lacks the sunshine vitamin, and is facing a Vitamin D crisis. One should get Vitamin D levels examined, and get supplements if necessary, over 85% Delhiites have been found suffering from Vitamin D deficiency. It is essential for strong bones, and it helps the body use calcium from the diet, enriching bone mass. Bone, joint and muscle weakness are mostly caused by Vitamin D deficiency. 

I treat a number of people, across different age groups with these symptoms and I have invariably found them Vitamin D deficient. Up till now, we knew that Vitamin D is a mere carrier of calcium and is crucial for bone health, but new studies suggest that Vitamin D deficiency plays a crucial role in ailments and disorders namely cancer, heart conditions, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, multiple sclerosis, infertility and depression to name a few.  

Vitamin catastrophe is a major health issue in contemporary times, since most people work indoors, and the melanin, which envelopes the people in the Indian subcontinent, prevents Vitamin D absorption from sun rays. Basking in the sun isn’t enough, supplements are necessary. Vitamin D deficiency impacts more than just bones. It is a major crisis in Delhi, and other cities, increasing the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes by two and a half times. 

At first the problem was just linked to women above 50 years of age, but contemporary tests suggest that children and people across age groups are Vitamin D deficient. Therefore, it is suggested that everyone should get their Vitamin D level examined, and take supplements if necessary, since over 70 percent Indians and more than a billion people worldwide are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency as per the International Osteoporosis Foundation. It is essential for strong bones as it helps in promoting calcium absorption and enriches bone mass. It maintains normal phosphate levels, promotes cell growth and reduces inflammation. Vitamin D deficiency does not always show symptoms – making the condition difficult to diagnose – but when it does, the harm is already done. 

A few indicators of Vitamin D deficiency include; excessive sweating in moderate temperature, chronic pain, noticeable weakness in muscles, difficulty in thinking plainly, soft bones causing deformities, recurrent fractures, and sometimes rickets in children. Many factors that contribute to Vitamin D deficiency include being obese, which normally raises the need for Vitamin D in the body, wearing sunscreen, which blocks absorption and Vitamin D production in the body, spending less time outside, having dark pigmented skin and breastfeeding babies for extended period. Seldom people are born without the capacity to process the sunshine vitamin and in some cases, people are born with conditions that prevent them from processing the vitamin properly. Therefore, it is vitally important that this problem is addressed, not just for treating and prevention of numerous diseases, but in leading a healthier lifestyle.

Dr. Aashish Chaudhry
Managing Director & Sr. Consultant
Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement

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