Q:

How do you know you have low vitamin D?

A:

Quick Answer

A blood test is the only way to measure vitamin D levels accurately, states Healthline. Although vitamin D deficiency usually does not cause noticeable symptoms, some people experience bone pain, muscle and joint pain or weakness, fatigue or tiredness, and depression. Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include avoiding the sun, obesity, digestive disease and chronic kidney disease. Senior citizens over the age of 65 and people with darker skin tones are also at increased risk.

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Full Answer

For optimal heath, people should aim for a vitamin D level of 50 nanograms per milliliter, according to the Vitamin D Council. Treatment for vitamin D deficiency typically involves the use of vitamin D supplements, states Healthline.

The human body produces vitamin D when bare skin receives exposure to direct sunlight, explains the Vitamin D Council. The exact amount of vitamin D a person gets from sun exposure depends on location, time of day, the color of the person's skin and the amount of skin exposed to the sun. Food sources of vitamin D include fortified milk, egg yolks and beef liver.

Vitamin D helps the body utilize calcium and is necessary for healthy, strong bones, states WebMD. As of 2015, research indicates that vitamin D may play a role in protecting against hypertension, diabetes and glucose intolerance.

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