8 Warning Signs of a Vitamin D Deficiency

While the world is diverse, there’s one thing more than one billion of us have in common: a vitamin D deficiency.

This health disorder is shared by 35% of adults in the United States alone, and most of us don’t realize we have it. But a vitamin D deficiency can lead to severe problems, including a lesser-known condition called wet brain syndrome. Although thiamine deficiencies and alcohol use usually cause it, low vitamin D levels increase the risk of developing wet brain symptoms.

So, how do you know if your vitamin D levels are in this dangerously low zone? Only you know your body best. Pay attention to what it’s telling you, and watch for these 8 warning signs that you have a vitamin D deficiency.

1. Loss of Hair

Is your hair falling out faster than normal or in clumps? If so, you may have a vitamin D deficiency. Certain vitamins and minerals can boost the strength and richness of the DNA necessary for hair growth. Look for foods and supplements high in iron, niacin (B3), linoleic acid, biotin (B7), and vitamin D. Try to avoid getting too much vitamin A and selenium, as these may increase your hair loss symptoms instead of helping it.

2. Hard, Brittle Nails

Similar to hair loss, vitamin deficiencies like low D and B7 can cause your nails to become thin, brittle, and easily breakable. This can happen from your diet or from extensive use of certain antibiotics and anti-seizure medications. Supplements with extra biotin and vitamin D may help improve the quality of your nails.

3. Sensitive Gums

Many of us notice that our gums bleed when we brush and floss, especially if we brush aggressively. But if that symptom becomes more than mild, it could be a vitamin C or D deficiency. Since the human body doesn’t make vitamin C on its own, you must replenish your levels every day.

Don’t worry about getting too much of this vitamin, as serious side effects are rare. Your body usually flushes out any excess. Boost your levels with foods rich in C and D, or add vitamin C supplements to your day.

4. Cankers and Mouth Ulcers

Random cracks in the corners of your mouth or ulcers inside your mouth are warning signs of vitamin B, vitamin D, and iron deficiencies. These lesions are linked to low thiamine, riboflavin, and pyridoxine levels. Aim to add foods rich in iron and B and D vitamins to your diet to help prevent these symptoms from recurring.

5. Disturbances With Night Vision

Many of us attribute poor night vision to getting older, but this is only partly true. As we age, we begin to develop A and D vitamin deficiencies that cause night vision disturbances. By focusing on fixing the deficiency, we can improve our night blindness symptoms.

6. Skin Bumps

Have you noticed unexplainable red or white bumps, similar to goosebumps, showing up on your skin? These little irritations may be a condition called keratosis pilaris, caused by too much keratin in the hair follicles but also by diets low in vitamins A, C, and D. If you know you’re not overloading on keratin products, you may need to pay attention to your diet and get the proper levels of A, C, and D to get rid of those bumps.

7. Restless Leg Syndrome

When your leg seems to have a mind of its own, moving without your control, and the feeling is uncomfortable or painful, you could have restless leg syndrome (RLS). This nerve condition is seen in nearly 10% of people in the United States and usually flares up when you’re trying to sleep or relax.

While the exact cause of RLS is unknown, there is a link between this condition and people with low iron and Vitamin D levels. If you think you have RLS, talk to your doctor to work out a treatment plan. This may include mild to moderate exercises

8. Dandruff and Scaliness

Lack of vitamins D and B can lead to a skin disorder called seborrheic dermatitis. This disorder impacts the oil-producing areas across your body, including your head and skin. When your head is itchy and flaky, you can tackle the condition using dandruff solutions. But the rest of your body’s dermatitis needs to be addressed with below-the-surface nutrient fixes.

Fix Your Vitamin D, Fix Your Life

Although all of these conditions can have multiple causes, they all share a lack of vitamin D and other nutrients. If you want to help fix your overall wellness, start with your vitamin D levels and then adjust your diet from there until you feel better!

Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson is an experienced freelance writer who specializes in food and nutrition. Working in fitness marketing previously gave her a good feel for the industry and since going freelance she has been able to explore her preferred topic areas such as diet types, nutrition and food. Outside of work, Jen enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with her young family.

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