What Happens When Your Vitamin D Levels Are Low?


Quick Answer

Insufficient levels of vitamin D can result in a myriad of symptoms, some of which include fatigue, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, headaches, poor concentration and weight gain, notes Dr. Frank Lipman. Vitamin D deficiency is also a factor in a variety of major diseases.

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Full Answer

Strong scientific evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency plays a role in kidney disease, osteomalacia, thyroid disorders, psoriasis and rickets, according to Mayo Clinic. Osteomalacia is a condition in which adults experience softening of the bones, often due to severely low vitamin D levels. Patients who present with osteomalacia may be deficient in vitamin D for many different reasons, such as not spending enough time in the sunlight, absorption problems, stomach surgeries, kidney problems or liver disease. Low vitamin D levels are sometimes the reason an individual has overactive parathyroid glands, and Mayo Clinic notes that vitamin D supplementation is the first step to treating this condition.

Some evidence links vitamin D deficiency to other health complications, which include dental cavities, asthma, autoimmune diseases, HIV, Multiple Sclerosis and impaired cognition, notes Mayo Clinic. Although men with HIV have a high occurrence of vitamin D deficiency, Mayo Clinic explains that further research is necessary to determine whether supplementation is helpful for these individuals, as of 2014. Those who have decreased cognitive functioning due to Alzheimer's disease often exhibit improved mental abilities with higher vitamin D levels.

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