There are several signs of low vitamin D, these include weak muscles, and an impaired immune system. Once you’ve spotted the signs you can begin to work on increasing levels and maintaining normal and healthy body function.
Table of Contents:
- What is low vitamin D?
- Testing for low vitamin D at home
- 8 signs of low vitamin D
- Causes of vitamin D deficiency
- 5 benefits of the sunshine vitamin
- Sources of vitamin D
What is Low Vitamin D?
Low vitamin D, also known as vitamin D deficiency, is when you do not have enough of this vital nutrient in your system. Ensuring you focus on achieving sufficient vitamin D levels is essential to avoid deficiency and low vitamin D.
One in five adults and around one in six children are reported to have low vitamin D levels in the UK. We look at the tell-tale signs that you may be deficient in the sunshine vitamin.
A vitamin D supplement could help you to boost your levels if you are deficient in this nutrient. Each of BetterYou’s products helps you to increase the vitamin D in your system. Each product contains different amounts of vitamin D, , perfect for every member of your family.
Check for Low Vitamin D at Home
Concerned that you or a loved one is exhibiting the signs of low vitamin D? Our at home vitamin D test kit makes it easy to find out. The test requires a couple of drops of blood on a card that will then be tested by our partner lab, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust. Each vitamin test kit comes with a complimentary vitamin spray and a personalised supplementation plan, so you can begin supplementing based on your individual vitamin D needs.
Tests for signs of low vitamin D rely on how much is present in the blood. The following measurements identify the ranges for deficiency:
- 50nmol/l+ = adequate
- 25 - 50nmol/l = insufficient
- <25nmol/l = deficient
The recommended dosage of vitamin D for adults is 10μg or 400 IU, with the safe upper limit being 100μg (4,000 IU).
What are the Symptoms of Low Vitamin D?
Vitamin deficiencies can present themselves in many different ways. We've put together a list of the most common signs of low vitamin D to help you identify if you’re insufficient.
1. Aching bones
Vitamin D is vital for supporting bones and their structure. The nutrient helps regulate calcium – which is essential for maintaining strong teeth and bones – within the body. A key sign of low vitamin D is having achy bones, this could be as a result of them weakening, and it could increase your risk of stress fractures.
2. Weak muscles
As well as maintaining bones, vitamin D is important thanks to its role supporting normal muscle function. Poor muscle strength and weakness may be a sign of low vitamin D. This is particularly common among elderly people as the capacity for the skin to synthesise the provitamin calcidiol decreases with age.
In fact, weak muscles could be a sign that you’re low in both vitamin D and magnesium. Magnesium and vitamin D work in tandem, with the mineral supporting the enzymes that allow for vitamin D metabolism. Ensuring your muscles are replenished with magnesium supplements could help the bioavailability of vitamin D in your body.
3. Feeling low
If you’ve been feeling more down than usual it could be a sign of low vitamin D. Lower levels of the ‘sunshine’ vitamin affect the serotonin (the happy hormone) concentration in the brain. We rely on exposure to sunlight to absorb Vitamin D. However, the UK often doesn’t have enough sun for us to retain high enough vitamin D absorption this way. The darker days of winter may also lead to you experiencing this sign of low vitamin D more frequently, as there’s even less sunlight.
4. Constant coughs and colds
Vitamin D supports the immune system. It helps to activate immune defences, and without optimum levels our immune cells are unable to react effectively. For this reason, if you suffer from coughs, colds, or other illnesses frequently it could be a sign of low vitamin D. It’s important to take immune system supplements, rich in vitamin D, vitamin C, and other other nutrients to stave off illness.
Playing a key role in the regulation of our circadian rhythms, a sign of low vitamin D is poor sleep and hence fatigue. Having a good night’s rest is essential to waking up feeling refreshed and so it’s vital we ensure our vitamin intake is at an optimum. Taking a sleep supplement containing vitamin D, could help you to improve your sleep cycle, and fight fatigue.
6. Hair Loss
Nobody wants their hair to thin and it’s often one of the most noticeable signs of low vitamin D. The nutrient is metabolised in the skin by keratinocytes, which are responsible for keratin. Keratin is a protein that helps to grow strong hair, skin, and nails. Low vitamin D means these cells may have trouble with maintaining healthy hair growth and shedding.
7. Weight Gain
Whilst not a direct sign of low vitamin D, weight gain could be a secondary effect. Those suffering with low mood, bone mass loss, and tiredness may find weight management more tricky. If you are concerned about your weight in any way you should speak to your doctor.
8. Reduced Wound Healing
Regulating cells in tissues around the body, another sign of low vitamin D is a decline in wound healing. Whether you’ve cut your finger cooking, your child has grazed their knee, or you’re waiting for a blemish to heal, low vitamin D could slow this process down. Slow wound healing is also a side effect of vitamin K deficiency. The ‘sunshine’ vitamin could improve wound healing by increasing the production of epidermal and platelet growth.
Causes of Low Vitamin D
If you’ve identified the signs of low vitamin D within yourself, you may question why you’re deficient. These are the top causes of low vitamin D:
- Limited Sun Exposure - As our primary source of vitamin D, a limited time in the sun may cause our levels to drop. This is particularly true for those who work in office jobs and spend lots of time indoors. Those in this category often feel the signs of low vitamin D.
- Lack of Vitamin D in Diet - Food can also be a source of vitamin D. If you’re not consuming food with a high content of the nutrient it may cause you to experience signs of low vitamin D.
- Gut Troubles - Those with gut problems, or who have had weight loss surgery, may struggle to absorb vitamin D from food. This is because vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin.
5 Benefits of Vitamin D
If you’re experiencing the signs of low vitamin D, it means you won’t be reaping any of vitamin D’s benefits. When achieving the optimum intake, you could see these benefits:
- Bone Health - An essential bone vitamin, vitamin D helps to regulate the calcium in your bones and teeth.
- Conception - Support a healthy reproductive system, and provide the best nutrients to your baby. Vitamin D is included in our conception supplements and pregnancy vitamins.
- Improved Muscle function - Fighting the signs of low vitamin D could lead to an improvement in muscle function.
- Immune Health - Strengthening the immune system, you could see a lessening in this sign of low vitamin D.
- Improved Mood - The optimum levels of vitamin D will help to support the serotonin in your body. Leaving you feeling happier and waving goodbye to the unwanted signs of low vitamin D.
Fight the Signs of Low Vitamin D with these 5 Sources
After testing identifying the signs of low vitamin D, and testing to confirm it’s time to start work on boosting your nutrients. It’s effortless to increase your intake with pill-free supplements and vitamin rich foods.
- Oily fish - salmon, mackerel, sardines etc
- Red meat - beef, lamb, pork etc
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods - cereals, and even some spreads
- Vitamin D Supplements
Our vitamin D supplements are formulated as oral sprays. The formula is simply sprayed on the inside of your cheek where it is absorbed into the rich venous system below. With this unique method of supplementation you can bypass the gut - ideal for those who struggle to intake vitamins through diet alone.
Supplementation with BetterYou
Pioneering vitamin oral sprays and transdermal magnesium, our range of pill-free vitamins are designed to support your wellbeing. Our collection of children’s vitamins, sports supplements, and energy supplements could help you to feel your best.