Why Vitamin D Is So Important to Your Health

Why Vitamin D Is So Important to Your Health

You might not think much about nutrient deficiencies. Even if you have one, the symptoms can be so ambiguous that you attribute them to something else, such as stress or an irregular sleep schedule. But it’s a good idea to brush up on why certain nutrients are so important to your health and how to make sure you get enough of them.

Vitamin D is one of those nutrients your body relies on for many of its functions. Yet despite its common name, the active form of vitamin D in your body isn’t a vitamin; it’s a hormone. Your kidneys play a role in synthesizing it — your body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun — but you need to get it from outside sources, too, to ensure you have enough. 

Our team of experts at The Endocrine Center — with three offices in Houston, Texas — can tell you all about vitamin D deficiency and the purposes this nutrient serves inside your body. We can determine if you have a deficiency with a simple blood test based on your symptoms and help you correct it.

Uncomfortable symptoms from low vitamin D

Other than sunlight, outside sources of vitamin D include various foods, including products that are fortified with it, and supplements. When you don’t get vitamin D from the sun, supplements, or foods like fatty fish and egg yolks, it’s possible to experience some symptoms due to the deficiency. 

A lack of vitamin D can lead to:

These symptoms can be uncomfortable and even can greatly interfere with your daily routine, but they’re not the worst that can happen if you don’t get enough vitamin D. When you experience symptoms like these, it’s a good idea to visit The Endocrine Center to find out what’s going on. 

You also need vitamin D for calcium absorption in your gut, so low vitamin D often means low calcium, too. This problem can lead to muscle cramps, numbness, and tingling in your limbs. 

Plenty of vitamin D means healthy bones

Vitamin D is important for your health because it helps you maintain strong bones. When your bone density decreases, you run the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes weak, brittle bones; it’s particularly common in postmenopausal women but can affect anyone. 

With osteoporosis and other conditions involving low bone density, it becomes extremely easy to break a bone. Falling can result in a fractured hip, and even slight stresses like coughs or sneezes can be enough to cause a fracture. 

Children who don’t get enough vitamin D as they grow are susceptible to rickets, a condition that involves abnormal bone development. Like adults with osteoporosis, children with rickets have weak bones. They also experience delayed growth and may develop deformities that require surgery to address.

Fortunately, when diagnosed early, you can minimize the effects of rickets by adding vitamin D or calcium to a child’s diet. 

Vitamin D offers support for your muscles, too

Another health benefit of vitamin D is stronger muscles. A vitamin D deficiency may lead to weaker muscles, which increases your fall risk and thus increases your risk of bone fractures with osteoporosis. 

Do you have a vitamin D deficiency?

How much vitamin D you need varies depending on your age, weight, and other factors. Our team of board-certified endocrinology specialists can recommend a daily supplementation routine to correct any deficiency you have and ensure you’re getting enough to stay healthy.

If you’re struggling with symptoms or you’re curious to learn more about the benefits of getting enough vitamin D, schedule a visit by phone or online to meet with a specialist at The Endocrine Center today.

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