With a lack of vitamin D, the symptoms appear very brightly at any age. Previously, doctors believed that vitamin D is needed only to support the normal state of teeth and bones. But over time, studies have proven that a lack of vitamin D causes a variety of diseases.
With a deficiency of vitamin D in the body is disturbed absorption of phosphorus and calcium from food. These elements are involved in the formation of a healthy bone system, the full functioning of the immune, endocrine and nervous system. They protect the body from inflammatory processes. Therefore, it is important to know how the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency manifest themselves in adults and children, the causes of vitamin deficiency in the body, possible diseases and preventive measures.
What is vitamin D
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble compounds that are necessary for the normal development and functioning of bones. Vitamin D is accumulated in the cells of the organs of the human body. In case of insufficient intake with the consumed food, the symptoms of its deficiency manifest themselves after a long period of time. Such an element should come in strictly defined doses. After all, lack, as well as excess, are harmful to health and lead to serious violations.
Detailed information about the role and functions of vitamin D in the human body – read in the article Vitamin D – its role in the human body.
Daily intake of vitamin D
The daily intake of vitamin D or calciferol depends on the age of the person, his physical activity and on the climatic conditions of his residence. Consumption rate per day:
- Children from 1 to 3 years old – 10 mcg.
- Adolescents over 15 years old and adults up to 5 mcg.
- Pregnant and lactating – 10 mcg.
- Adults over 60 years old – up to 15 mcg.
There are some factors by which the daily rate should be increased for a certain category of people. These include:
- living in the northern regions, as they suffer from a lack of sun;
- people who work at night and sleep during the day;
- suffering from chronic diseases of the digestive tract, liver, kidney and gallbladder;
- bed patients who can not be on the street in sunny time.
Symptoms and causes of vitamin D deficiency in adults
With a lack of vitamin D, there are many health problems. Main symptoms in adults:
- constant lethargy and drowsiness;
- low bone density or frequent fractures;
- joint pain;
- blurred vision;
- weight reduction;
- decreased appetite;
- muscle weakness, muscle cramps in pregnant women;
- blood calcium deficiency;
- increased sweating on the scalp;
- deterioration of the skin, tooth enamel, hair, nails.
Why does the body lack vitamin D? Let’s look at the main causes of vitamin D deficiency:
- lack of sunlight;
- lack of balanced nutrition;
- stress and lack of desire to monitor their own health.
There are two forms of vitamin D:
- Vitamin D2 – synthetic, enters the body as a result of exposure to the skin in direct sunlight.
- Vitamin D3 – natural, found in animal products.
Any form improves the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D deficiency in adults is due to lifestyle. But there are reasons that do not depend on this and also affect the content of an element in the body:
- Elderly age. After 50 years, the body loses the ability to quickly absorb vitamin D, it does not arrive in the required amount due to problems with its absorption.
- Vegetarian Diet. Without eating fish, meat, dairy products that are rich in natural vitamin, the body will be depleted. Vitamin D is also found in foods of plant origin, but as such it is less digestible.
- Limited stay under the sun. In the absence of contraindications, be sure to sunbathe in the summer at the optimum time for this.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding. During this period, the vital organs of the future child are laid. Therefore, in the last two months of pregnancy, the exchange of calcium and phosphorus is disturbed in women, most of the useful substances go to the development of the fetus. And when breastfeeding vitamins from the mother’s body go to the child.
- Dark skin. Dark skin type protects the body from exposure to UV rays and prevents the synthesis of vitamin D.
- Pathology of the liver, kidneys and stomach. In such diseases, the formation of active forms of vitamin D is impaired.
Symptoms and causes of vitamin D deficiency in children
The most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in children appear on the sixth month from their birth:
- lack of bone skeleton formation;
- improper tooth placement, the absence of their appearance;
- lethargy, tearfulness, capriciousness of the baby;
- hair loss in crumbs;
- peeling of the skin;
- weight loss;
- no or slow growth.
Vitamin D deficiency is often manifested in a nervous condition. The link between the lack of this element and depression has been established in both children and adults. Vitamin D may have effects on brain proteins that affect mood, memory, ability to learn.
The main causes of vitamin deficiency in children from birth to two years:
- Insufficient sunlight on the surface of the skin. This happens in children who spend some time outdoors.
- Malnutrition. After a year, vegetable and animal fats, proteins and carbohydrates should be included in the child’s diet.
- Dysbacteriosis. With this disease, the child’s absorption processes and metabolic functions of the body are disturbed. Vitamin D will not be absorbed.
- Heredity. Often the lack of this element is transmitted from the parents.
- Viral diseases. Immunity and ability to assimilate an element decreases.
- Poor physical activity. A mobile and active child increases the ability to absorb all the trace elements and vitamin D.
Factors that trigger the development of vitamin D deficiency in infants:
- lack of balanced nutrition in women in the last three months of pregnancy;
- prematurity of the fetus;
- large fruit;
- artificial feeding;
- improper introduction of complementary foods.
Diseases provoked by vitamin D deficiency in adults
If you do not treat the symptoms of calciferol deficiency, then serious complications will not take long. Vitamin D deficiency causes dangerous diseases in adults:
- type 2 diabetes;
- periodontal disease;
- multiple sclerosis;
- oncological diseases.
Diseases in a child with a lack of vitamin D
In children, complications due to calcium deficiency manifest themselves in two forms:
- Vitamin D vitamin deficiency
- Rickets. At the same time, bone formation is disturbed.
Symptoms of rickets manifest themselves in the second month of a baby’s life:
- fontanel edges are soft;
- bulging wrists and nape;
- wheel-shaped legs;
- lack of body weight;
- in the sixth month, the baby does not turn over on the belly;
- in the ninth month the baby cannot sit;
In the absence of due attention, a child after a year may have problems with speech.
It is important to prevent complications caused by a lack of vitamin D in children. It is necessary to ensure that they receive all the healthy food needed for this age. And also walk more with the baby in the sun. You should take this vitamin in drops, if prescribed by a doctor, especially when you need to wait a long time for sunny weather. Massage and gymnastics will have a positive effect for 30 minutes daily.
Treatment and prevention of calciferol deficiency
To compensate for the lack of vitamin D, you can use the tools available and the strength of each:
- Sunbathing up to half an hour a day.
- Correction diet.
- Reception of special preparations which contain vitamin D.
In addition, there are a number of products that will help in eliminating vitamin D deficiency:
- sea fish liver;
- beef and pork liver;
- fatty fish;
- various cheeses;
- chicken eggs;
- dairy products.
Details about foods rich in vitamin D, read the article Products containing vitamin D.
If the diseases have already begun to develop against the background of calciferol deficiency, then complex treatment is prescribed:
- calcium supplements;
- treatment of diseases of the internal organs;
- ultraviolet irradiation.
Lack of vitamin D affects the health of children and adults. Therefore, everyone should remember about the symptoms, causes and prevention of calciferol deficiency. This will make it possible to avoid complications at any age.
We suggest, in addition to this article, also to find out what the danger of excess vitamin D is for the organism in the article Symptoms of an overdose of vitamin D.