Vitamin D Deficiency, also known as Hypovitaminosis D, is a condition when the levels of vitamin D are less than a normal level of 20-50ng/ml of blood. Vitamin D is essential for the maintenance of calcium balance in the body and aid in bone development and strength. Vitamin D Deficiency can lead to an imbalance in calcium metabolism and weak bones in both children and adults.
Vitamin D Deficiency is not a medical emergency.
Vitamin D is essential for the maintenance of normal calcium balance and bone metabolism in the body. A deficiency of vitamin D leads to reduced absorption of calcium and phosphorous from the intestines, which leads to secondary hyperparathyroidism which causes the increased absorption of calcium from the bones to maintain the blood calcium levels. The increased absorption of calcium results in the weakening of bones.
It can result from:
Factors that increase the risk of Vitamin D Deficiency include:
Vitamin D Deficiency may not present with any symptoms in a majority of cases, although the effects of its deficiency may be noticeable earlier in children. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with Vitamin D Deficiency include:
Investigations that are advised for the evaluation of the condition include:
A diagnosis of Vitamin D Deficiency is established based on medical history, clinical evaluation, and results of the investigations done.
It may be staged as:
The aim of the treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency is to restore the levels of vitamin D to acceptable normal levels to reduce the risk of further bone damage.
Medical management of Vitamin D Deficiency include:
A higher daily dose may be required for the first 8 weeks in individuals who are at a greater risk of Vitamin D Deficiency.
Some measures that can be taken to prevent Vitamin D Deficiency include:
Some complications of the condition include:
The prognosis is generally very good when it is identified and managed properly. Untreated Vitamin D Deficiency can increase the risk of a number of illnesses, along with decreased bone health.
It is advisable to seek medical attention if there are symptoms of tiredness, bone pain, or muscle pains are present.
Hospitalization is not required.
Individuals who are at a high risk of Vitamin D Deficiency are advised to check their vitamin D levels once every 6 months. Individuals who have been treated with vitamin D supplementation should also get regularly tested to ensure that their vitamin D levels are being maintained.