4 Common Signs of a Vitamin D Deficiency


Did you know that vitamin D is unlike many other vitamins? In fact, this fat-soluble “vitamin” isn’t a vitamin at all but a hormone.

Your body needs vitamin D to survive. It helps with many bodily functions, but its primary job is to help your body absorb calcium to help keep your skeleton healthy and strong. Most of the vitamin D in your body is produced in your skin when it’s exposed to sunlight. 

Unfortunately, at least one billion people around the globe have a vitamin D deficiency, and a whopping 50% have insufficient levels of vitamin D in their system. If your body doesn’t have optimal levels of vitamin D, this can put your health at risk. 

Research on vitamin D levels and serious health conditions is ongoing. However, some conditions exacerbated by or linked to low vitamin D levels include:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Rickets
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Increased risk of respiratory illnesses
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Prostate cancer
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart disease
  • Breast cancer 

The good news is, at Prima Medicine in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, our board-certified providers can test your vitamin D levels and help you increase them if you’re insufficient or deficient.

To help you see if you may not have enough vitamin D, our providers explain four common signs of a vitamin D deficiency.

1. You get sick a lot

Vitamin D helps keep your immune system strong. This hormone has anti-inflammatory effects, and it also boosts your body’s production of immune cells. If you don’t have sufficient levels of vitamin D, you may be more likely to catch viruses, such as colds, the flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, or COVID-19. 

Researchers are still studying exactly how this relationship works. However, some large studies have found that taking vitamin D supplements is linked to a lower risk of contracting respiratory tract infections.   

2. You’re tired all the time

If you’re feeling fatigued or tired all the time, many things could be the cause, including a vitamin D deficiency. Unfortunately, many people don’t think about their vitamin D levels when they have ongoing fatigue. If you’re feeling tired frequently, ask your Prima Medicine doctor about a vitamin D test to check your levels. 

3. You have aches and pain 

Have you been experiencing aches and pain, including back pain, muscle aches, or general achiness, but you don’t know why? A vitamin D deficiency could be the cause. 

Besides calcium absorption and boosting your immune system, vitamin D is crucial for your nervous system and musculoskeletal system. In fact, if you have severe or chronically low vitamin D levels, you can develop a condition called hyperparathyroidism, which can trigger muscle weakness, aches, and pain.

4. You feel down or depressed

A depressed or frequently down mood could mean that your levels of vitamin D aren’t sufficient. A recent review of studies that looked into vitamin D levels found that people with depression or symptoms of a depressed mood had lower levels of vitamin D than people without depression. 

What’s more? The people with the greatest depression symptoms had the lowest levels of vitamin D. While research is still ongoing, it’s important to talk with your Prima Medicine provider if you have any symptoms of depression.   

If you have more questions about vitamin D, or if you want to check your levels, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today.

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