Symptoms And Health Risks Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness can mean you have a vitamin D deficiency.
What Exactly Is Vitamin D?
Commonly known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is important for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate we have in our bodies. Typically, during the sunnier months, we get most of our vitamin D from spending time outdoors.
‘But recently lockdowns, home working and shielding may all have led to us spending less time in the great outdoors than we’d like.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
The diagnosis is more easily reached in severe deficiencies with some of the classical (typical) symptoms and bone deformities. Symptoms in children
Children with severe deficiency may have soft skull or leg bones.
Their legs may look curved (bow-legged). They may also complain of bone pains, often in the legs, and muscle pains or muscle weakness. Height is usually affected more than weight.
Children with vitamin D deficiency may be late teething, as the development of the milk teeth has been affected. Children with vitamin D deficiency are more prone to infections. Rarely, an extremely low vitamin D level can cause weakness of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
In more severe deficiency (known as osteomalacia), there may be more severe pain and also weakness. Muscle weakness may cause difficulty in climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or can lead to the person walking with a waddling pattern. Bones can feel painful to moderate pressure (often more noticeable in the ribs or shin bones).
Not uncommonly, people have a hairline fracture in the bone which is causing tenderness and pain. Bone pain often also occurs in the lower back, hips, pelvis, thighs and feet.
People at high risk of not getting enough vitamin D, all children aged 1 to 4, and all babies (unless they’re having more than 500ml of infant formula a day) should take a daily supplement throughout the year.