If you are lacking any particular vitamin or mineral, the systems of your body will not function at optimal levels. Many people believe that they are not at risk for being vitamin D deficient since so many foods and beverages are fortified with it. However, consuming more processed foods that are loaded with synthetic vitamins will not solve a dilemma in which vitamins work synergistically to unlock key nutrients essential for cellular function.
Moreover, vitamin D is not a typical vitamin. It is a fat-soluble, steroid hormone produced within the body during exposure to the sun. Here are some warning signs that you may be suffering from a vitamin D deficiency.
1. Changes in hair, skin, or nails – Look for cracking or splitting of the nails, sudden hair loss, or dry and irritated skin.
2. Muscular cramping – This is especially prevalent in the legs.
3. Aches and pains – Persistent muscular weakness as well as aching bones can signify a lack of vitamin D. Bones are more likely to fracture or break when vitamin D levels are below normal.
4. Sweaty head – This classic symptom can even show up in newborns who are lacking vitamin D.
5. Feeling depressed – Serotonin levels drop as sun exposure decreases. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may be associated with low vitamin D.
6. Low energy levels – Increased sleepiness during waking hours may be a symptom.
7. High blood pressure – Vitamin D helps to regulate blood pressure. When it’s missing from the equation, blood pressure numbers are likely to creep up.
8. Gut issues – An unhealthy gastrointestinal system will limit the absorption of vitamin D, especially among those with Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or irritable bowel syndrome.
In addition to these symptoms, some populations are simply at a greater risk for vitamin D deficiency. This includes those over the age of 50, people with darker skin tones and those who are overweight.