7 Unusual Signs That You’re Lacking Vitamin D

Did you know that before the year 2000 most doctors believed that none of their patients could be vitamin (D) deficient, but as technology to measure for vitamin (D) became affordable more studies were conducted.

Reported that 32% of adults and children in the US were vitamin (D) deficient, that’s a pretty high number so for that reason alone it’s crucial that you look for signs of vitamin (D) deficiency, with more research being conducted Holyk believes that about 50% of the general population may be at risk for vitamin (D) deficiency.

The only way to know for sure if you are vitamin (D) deficient is by a blood test, but the signs and symptoms that come along with this deficiency could be helpful as well.

Now here are signs that you may be vitamin (D) deficient:

Your bones ache.

“Especially in winter, [vitamin D deficient] adults feel more achiness in bones and muscles,” says Holick, “and joints are a little more stiff when they get up in the morning.”

You’ve got the blues.

Vitamin D seems to improve levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, says Holick, which in turn could lift your spirits. In a small 1998 study, healthy people given vitamin D supplements during the winter reported greater positive feelings than people given no D. However, a larger study in women over 70 found no significant mental health benefit.

You’re 50 or older.

The skin simply doesn’t make as much vitamin D as you get older, and the kidneys start to grow a little less productive when it comes to converting that D into the form the body puts to good use, according to the American Cancer Society. Older adults may also spend more time indoors, according to the NIH.

You’re overweight or obese.

There’s no change in vitamin D production in people carrying excess weight, but the higher concentration of body fat affects the levels of vitamin D in the blood. That’s because vitamin D is fat soluble, says Holick, meaning the more body fat you have, the more it gets “diluted,” he says. People who are overweight or obese may require more daily vitamin D to make up for this effect.

You have darker skin.

Studies have shown distinct demographic differences in rates of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency. “Your skin pigment is natural sunscreen,” says Holick. A sunscreen with 30 SPF reduces the skin’s ability to make vitamin D by a whopping 97 percent, he says. Someone with very dark skin needs up to 10 times the amount of sun exposure than someone with a very pale complexion to make the same amount of vitamin D, he says.

You’re a big-time head sweater.

Travel back in time a century or so and you’d find visiting doctors asking new mothers about how sweaty they found their heads. No joke, says Holick. “It’s one of the first, classic signs of vitamin D deficiency.”

You have gut trouble.

People with Crohn’s, celiac or inflammatory bowel disease may be a greater risk for vitamin D deficiency because of the way these gastrointestinal conditions affect fat absorption. With these and other stomach issues, fat absorption can be lower, but that in turn lowers absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like D, according to the NIH