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Vitamin D deficiency

14 Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency You Should Know

What Is Vitamin D Deficiency?

ICD-10 code: E55.9, known as “vitamin D deficiency,” refers to a lack of vitamin d in your body. This is the primary cause of reducing functions and performance of your muscles and bones that can cause major issues which are gradually increased over time. This vitamin helps you absorb calcium, phosphate, and magnesium, which helps your body run vital functions, including an increase in bone immunity and the nervous system.

Vitamin D deficiency leads to osteomalacia and rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight, but too much of it can cause skin aging, skin damage, and also skin cancer due to overexposure to UV rays.

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What Are The Stage Of Vitamin D Deficiency In Your Body?

Vitamin D deficiencies are categorized into three main categories: Mild, Moderate, and Severe which are mentioned below:

But according to experts, 25-hydroxyvitamin D level should remain between 20-50 ng/mL in blood.

Vitamin D Recommended Daily Intake

Recommended intake of vitamin D is very important as directed by medical experts from different research centers, if you are facing any deficiency then your primary care physicans will recommend the daily intake for vitamin D according to your health conditions. Below mentioned is the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D.

0-12 months* 10 mcg
  (400 IU)
1–13 years 15 mcg
  (600 IU)
14–18 years 15 mcg
19–50 years 15 mcg
51–70 years 15 mcg
>70 years 20 mcg

What Are The Major Types Of Vitamin D?

When taking Vitamin D it is always better to opt for oil-based supplements or take it with food that contains fats, due to its fat-soluble properties. The Vitamin D is classified into two main categories which are Ergocalciferol known as Vitamin D2 and Cholecalciferol known as Vitamin D3

Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol)

Vitamin D is a vegetarian-based vitamin that is extracted from plants. This kind of vitamin is widely produced as it is much cheaper in terms of cultivating, processing, and production. The major source of vitamin D2 includes fortified foods such as cereals, plant-based milk, infant formula, margarine, orange juice, yeasts, and some species of mushrooms. It is also available in the form of supplements most often in the form of oil-based capsules.

Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)

Vitamin D3 comes from animal and fish sources and can be found commonly in many foods, although it can also be made through lichen which is a symbiotic partnership of two separate organisms which are fungus and an alga commonly found on trees, soil, rocks, cars, old farm equipment, houses, tombstones and more. Vitamin D3 is commonly found in the following foods:

  • major fish species
  • Egg
  • Liver
  • Cod liver oil
  • Dairy products

Difference Between Vitamin D and D3 And Which Is Better?

There are only two sources of vitamin D which are Vitamin D2 and D3. Both D2 and D3 are the subclass of vitamin D and have significant differences in the terms of effects. There is an ongoing debate between biological scientific researchers about D2 and D3 effectiveness in blood levels.

Vitamin D2 ergocalciferol is a plant-extracted vitamin that is not easily absorbed in the blood as compared to Vitamin D3 in the body. According to the Harvard Research Center, a group of randomized controlled trials for meta-analysis was compared to the effectiveness of D2 and D3 found that D3 has more tendency to raise blood concentration and can sustain its level for a longer period as compared to D2. Some researchers preferred Vitamin D3 over D2 as it is produced naturally in the body and also found in some food that contains Cholecalciferol which is easily converted to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D as it is an active form of vitamin D.

Fun Fact About Vitamin D

Your body won’t produce vitamin D while you are working in a sunny office or driving on a sunny day as glass windows completely block UVB ultraviolet light

14 Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Muscles Pain

Permanent muscular pain can be the first sign of vitamin D deficiency as it is one of the most vital nutrients in the body to keep your muscles relaxed and healthy. A lack of Vitamin D makes the entire body’s muscles weak.

Painful Bones

Vitamin D helps your bone to absorb calcium, if your bones are feeling pain on daily bases this might be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Your bone becomes weak and can be broken with a minor injury.

Reduced Endurance

Vitamin D helps you to maintain energy levels for a longer time period in low and extreme physical activity. If you are facing Vitamin D deficiency, your physical activities will be limited to a very low extent and may lead to fatigue situation.

Low Moods

Low mood is another symptom of vitamin D deficiency. This is an important nutrient that helps you to keep your mood stable. If you experience rapid mood swings and cannot maintain a positive look, then you should opt for a physical exam to diagnose Vitamin D deficiency.

Problems Sleeping Well

Vitamin D helps you to maintain and fuel up energy in your body, if suffering from Vitamin D deficiency you will be unable to get proper sleep due to pain in muscles and bones including fatigue which is one of the main causes of bad sleep.

Sweaty Head

A sweaty head is one of the most signs of vitamin D deficiency in your body as it is one of the vital nutrients that helps you to keep your body cool. If you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency then you may find yourself sweating more than usual. This is also because your body is not able to work for longer time periods due to which you become tired and sweat more. This condition can lead to dehydration as well.

Losing Hair

Vitamin D is a very important nutrient that helps you to keep your hair and nails healthy. Due to its low level of it, your hair may become weak, thin, and brittle due to which you can face hair loss. In some medical cases hair loss can lead you toward personality disorder or in some cases even more worst conditions.

Wounds Heal Slowly

As we discussed above that vitamin d is very important in developing bones, muscles, and even skin. If your Vit-D level is low then your immune system is also low in which your wounds won’t heal up quickly as compared to a normal-level person.

Excessive Body Weight

Vitamin D helps in stabilizing the metabolism rate in our body due to which we are able to maintain our weight and also helps in decreasing weight from physical activities. If you are facing Vitamin D deficiency then you will face difficulty in reducing your weight and also face overweight problems like obesity and heart-related diseases.


Vitamin D helps you in absorbing calcium in your bones which increases bones’ immunity. If your bones dont get sufficient daily requirements it will make your bone density low and also weak. This can cause the bone to become fragile and brittle and your bone can easily be fractured.


Vitamin D plays a very important neurological factor in keeping your balance controlled. Without it, you will feel dizzy and would find yourself having difficulty performing daily activities like driving a car, doing physical activity, doing mental work, or even while you are walking.

Heart Problems

The heart plays a very important role in the human body as it circulated blood across the body. If you are suffering from vitamin d deficiency then it may lead to an increase in blood pressure. This essential nutrient helps you to keep your blood vessels healthy and helps to maintain blood pressure. Vitamin D also helps in keeping your heart healthy which prevents you from heart disease.

Reduced Cognitive Function

Cognitive functions help you to keep your things remembered and also help you in thinking of problem-solving approaches. Without Vitamin D you will feel difficult to keep things remember and be unable to perform daily activities.

Recurring Infections

Vitamin D helps you in maintaining your immune system healthy and helps your body to fight against various infections. If you are suffering from vitamin D then you might face recurring infections more frequently and you will get sick more often as compared to a normal person.

Why Vitamin D Drops For Infants Are Important?

Mother feeding (breastfeeding) is best for the baby to get nutrients. As mother’s milk covers all kinds of essential nutrients but sometimes babies dont get enough vitamin D from their mother’s milk as it can cause rickets, a softening, and weakening of bones including a weak immune system as well.

The best source of vitamin D for infants is sunlight but too much sunlight is also not recommended for infants, due to which additional supplement is required to fulfill their daily needs. Vitamin D helps in absorbing calcium and phosphorus which is against every nutrient to fuel up your body.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Vitamin D Cause Constipation?

If you take an overdose of Vitamin D then your face digestive issues which include constipation, diarrhea, and stomach pain

Can You Get Vitamin D Through A Window?

You cannot get vitamin D through a window as it blocks UVB rays which helps in the formation of Vitamin D in your body.

How To Flush Vitamin D Out Of System?

You can flush vitamin D out of the system by drinking plenty of water. The urination process helps you to flush out excess vitamin d and calcium from your body.

Is Vitamin D Milk Whole Milk

Yes, whole milk is also known as Vitamin D milk as it contains 2.5mcg of vitamin D and 300mg of calcium in 236ml of serving which covers 25% of vitamin D and 30% calcium in your daily diet.

How To Find Out Fingernail Vitamin D Deficiency?

Splitting of nails, white spots, discoloration, brittle nails, grooves and pitting nails are some of examples to find out vitamin D deficiency in nails.

What Is The Normal Range Of Vitamin D In A Body?

The recommended range for 25-hydroxy vitamin d in the human body is 20 – 40 ng/mL.

Is Vitamin D Needed Daily?

Yes, it is recommended to take vitamin D daily with the recommended amount of 400 international units (IU) for infants to 12 months, 600 IU for age group 1 to 70 years old, and 800 IU for people who are above 70 years.

What Foods Are Highest In Vitamin D?

Fish, fish liver oil, egg yolk, dairy products, beef liver, and some species of mushroom are the highest vitamin D food sources.

How Can I Get Vitamin D Naturally?

Sunlight is the best source of natural vitamin D, a person should take 20-30 minutes of sunlight 2-3 times a week.

Does Vitamin D Give You Energy?

Vitamin D boosts your metabolism which helps you to give energy in your daily routine.

What Depletes Vitamin D?

Depletes Vitamin D means that you have an insufficient amount of vitamin d in your body.

When To Take Vitamin D Morning Or Night?

Vitamin D is recommended to take in the morning or breaking fast or starting your day as vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin as it won’t dissolve in water.

How Long Does It Take For Vitamin D To Work?

Vitamin D can take up to 4-6 weeks to show improvement in your body. In some cases, it can take more time.

Can You Get Vitamin D From A Tanning Bed?

Tanning beds bolts usually produced UVA lights which dont produce 25-hydroxy Vitamin D in your body.

How Long Does It Take To Restore Vitamin D Levels?

Vitamin D3 is the active source of vitamin D which can take up to 24 hours in a raising bloodstream, but it can take up to 7 days to convert in an active form which is 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D.

Can You Take Vitamin D And Iron Together?

Yes, you can take vitamin D and iron supplements together as no issues is reported yet to date.

Can You Take Vitamin D And Magnesium Together?

Yes, you can take vitamin D and magnesium together.

How Soon Will I Feel Better After Taking Vitamin D?

Within 4-6 weeks you will feel better after taking vitamin D. This might can be increased as low, moderate, and high deficiency level also plays a vital role in it.

– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 02/02/2023

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  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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