There are many signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, however many of them may be overlooked. General symptoms include bone fractures, muscle pain, fatigue, decreased energy, mood swings, depression, and a comprised immunity system.
There are several other signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency that are more specific to certain diseases.
Rickets is a disease that occurs in children. This disease is characterized by the softening of bones, where the child may experience bone pain and tenderness, which can lead to fractures and other deformities. Children with this disease may have a stumped structure and bowed legs as well as delayed formation of teeth.
Osteomalacia is a milder disease that is closely related to rickets, but occurs in adults. People of this disease may find that their muscles are weakening and their bones are increasingly getting more fragile.
Unlike rickets, adults with osteomalacia generally do not have bone deformities, but they may be subject to being at risk of fracturing or breaking bones.
Another sign of vitamin D deficiency is a stooped back, known as a dowager’s hump, which is characteristic of osteoporosis, a bone disease that can increase one’s risk of fracturing their bones. In this disease, the bone mineral density is reduced and people have increased bone fragility. This disease does not have a specific symptom other than the increased risk of bone fractures which often happens in the rib, hip, wrist, and vertebral column. Early in the disease, one may be asymptomatic. It is not until later that a dull pain will be present in the neck or lower back. As the disease progresses, sharp pains may suddenly appear in certain parts of the body.
For those living in higher latitudes, there is an increased chance that they are vitamin D deficient. Many do not know that they are lacking the vitamin, as signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may be subtle and often overlooked.