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Vitamin D deficiency symptoms can appear in places that you would not expect them. For generations, doctors looked for low vitamin D symptoms in damp and cloudy countries where most people worked long hours indoors. In 2010, however, nutritionists were shocked to uncover an epidemic of deficiency symptoms of this sunlight vitamin among children in the nation of Qatar.
Children in Qatar enjoy a high standard of living. The per capita gross domestic product of Qatar is the highest in the world, US $81,396 a year. Residents of Qatar can receive treatment at some of the most modern clinics in the world. But some children in Qatar started showing the classic symptoms of low vitamin D:
The children who showed these early symptoms of chronic deficiency were hardly neglected. Researchers in Qatar found that the children who did not get enough vitamin D typically had caring families.
The children who had low vitamin D levels did get less time in the sunshine than other children, but only 4 minutes a day less (an average of 26 minutes a day compared to 30 minutes a day for children who did not have vitamin D deficiency symptoms). But when the scientists looked for what causes vitamin D deficiency, they noticed:
Fortunately, Qatar has excellent health care and the children received treatment before symptoms became permanent. But what about vitamin D deficiency symptoms in adults?
The problem with symptoms of low vitamin d in adults is that the deficiency usually becomes noticeable only after it has gone on for months or years, and that lack of vitamin D is almost never the sole cause of any condition.
By the time you have weak bones, or you have developed cancer, or you have chronic infections, it will take more than just extra vitamin D to support your recovery to good health. But there are certain early warning signs of vitamin D deficiency that can give you advance warning you need to take a supplement:
The breastbone and the tibia are the first bones to suffer osteoporosis. Weakening of these bones forecasts weakening of other bones if you do not start getting enough vitamin D, calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin K.
Women have an additional early warning sign of vitamin D deficiency. Women who are deficient in D often develop high blood pressure during pregnancy or at menopause. Taking supplemental vitamin D, plus magnesium, calcium, zinc, and copper usually lowers high blood pressure, although the results are not really dramatic. They are usually on the order of 3 to 8 "points" (mm Hg) in about a month.
What causes vitamin D deficiency? The darker your skin, the more likely you are to have symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, whether you are male or female.
The more time you spend on the Internet, watching television, or at an indoor job, the more likely you are to have vitamin D deficiency symptoms. Taking just 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day can prevent deficiency and possibly save you years of needless health problems.
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