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Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin D Deficiency And Neurological Symptoms

Quick Reference

Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Neuropathy Symptoms?
Role Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D Deficiency
Neurological Disorders
Treatment
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Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Neuropathy Symptoms?
Yes. Vitamin D deficiency can cause neuropathy symptoms because the Vitamin is essential for nerve health. Without enough vitamin D, the nerves can become damaged and cause a wide range of neurological symptoms.

The Relation Between Vitamin D And The Central Nervous System
Vitamin D is necessary for the development and function of the central nervous system. It helps form the myelin sheath, a protective covering around nerve cells. Myelin is essential for normal nerve transmission. Vitamin D is also crucial for regulating the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that allow nerve cells to communicate with each other. Neurotransmitters play a key role in mood, memory, sleep, and other aspects of mental health.

How Does Vitamin D Affect Your Brain?
Vitamin D is important for brain development and function. It helps to regulate the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are all important neurotransmitters. Vitamin D also plays a role in neuroprotection, meaning it helps protect the brain from damage and disease.

The Role Of Vitamin D In Our Body
Vitamin D helps regulate the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, and it is also needed for the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is produced naturally when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but many people don’t get enough sun exposure, so they need to take supplements or eat foods that are fortified with vitamin D.

Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
– Malabsorption disorders
– Kidney disease
– Liver disease
– Obesity
– Pregnancy
– Breastfeeding

Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
– Fatigue
– Muscle pain
– Joint pain
– Bone pain
– Poor bone health
– Increased risk of fractures
– Impaired wound healing
– Increased risk of infections
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Irritability
– Memory loss

Who Is At Risk For Vitamin D Deficiency?
– People with dark skin
– People who don’t get much sun exposure
– People with a condition that impairs vitamin D absorption
– Pregnant women
– Breastfeeding women
– Older adults
– Vegans and Vegetarians

Neurological Disorders Associated With Vitamin D Deficiency
– Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
 – Multiple Sclerosis
 – Parkinson’s disease
– Epilepsy And Seizures
– Schizophrenia

Other Health Risks Of Vitamin D Deficiency
– Respiratory Illnesses
– Osteoporosis
– Depression
– Diabetes
– Prostate Cancer
– Severe Erectile Disfunction
– Heart Disease
– Breast Cancer

How Can I Treat Vitamin D Deficiency?
– Vitamin D Rich Foods
– Sunlight
– Vitamin D Supplements
– Sunlight

Vitamin D Rich Foods
– Fatty fish
– Beef liver
– Egg yolks
– Cheese
– Mushrooms
– Milk
– Soy milk
– Orange juice
– Cereals

Listen to our quick audio

Vitamin D deficiency is a common cause of numerous health problems. Many know that Vitamin D plays an essential role in Calcium and Phosphate absorption. Still, only a few know that Vitamin D deficiency can cause neurological symptoms, which sometimes can be life-threatening.

Let’s discuss this topic further.

The role of vitamin d in our body

Vitamin D is a special kind of nutrient that our bodies need to stay healthy. Think of it like a helper that makes sure we have the right amount of calcium, a mineral that keeps our bones and teeth strong. Vitamin D acts like a key that helps our body absorb calcium from the food we eat. It also makes sure there’s not too much or too little calcium in our blood.

There’s another important job that Vitamin D does. It helps control a hormone called parathyroid hormone. This hormone makes sure that the levels of minerals in our bones and blood are right.

Without enough Vitamin D, our bones can get weak and don’t have enough calcium in our blood.

Scientists are still learning about all the ways Vitamin D helps us stay healthy. But one thing is for sure – it’s important for our bodies! If we don’t get enough of it, we can feel sick and our bones can become weak. That’s why it’s good to make sure we’re getting enough Vitamin D to keep our bones strong and our body healthy!

How do we obtain vitamin d?

Vitamin D is available in nature in two inactive forms.

  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
  • Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)

Vitamin D is a special vitamin that our body needs to stay healthy. We can get it in a few different ways. One way is by spending time in the sunshine. The sun’s rays help our skin make Vitamin D. But, not everyone can get enough sun, so there are other ways to get this vitamin too.

There are some foods that have Vitamin D in them. Some fish, like salmon and tuna, have a lot of it. Eggs and cheese have some too. There are also special vitamins you can take to help your body get enough. There are two types of Vitamin D – D2 and D3. D3 is the kind our skin makes when we’re in the sun, and it’s also in some foods and vitamins. D2 is in some other foods like certain mushrooms and foods that have extra vitamins added to them, like some cereals and bread.

It’s important to make sure we get enough Vitamin D to keep our bones and body healthy!

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

Every day, our bodies need a certain amount of vitamin D to stay healthy. Doctors suggest that most people should get 600 IU (a way to measure vitamins) of vitamin D every day, and older people, like your grandparents, should get 800 IU. [1]

But, some people might need more vitamin D. This includes people with darker skin, those who don’t spend a lot of time in the sun, or those who have trouble absorbing vitamins from their food. Some experts think these people might need between 1000 and 4000 IU of vitamin D each day to stay healthy. But remember, too much of anything isn’t good, and the same goes for vitamin D. Doctors say that taking more than 4000 IU of vitamin D each day might not be safe and could make you feel sick. So, it’s always best to talk to a doctor about how much vitamin D you need!

Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is a global problem. 1 billion of the global population is vitamin D deficient. [2] This is prevalent in all age groups irrespective of gender, country, or race.

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

There are many potential symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Bone pain
  • Poor bone health
  • Increased risk of fractures
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Increased risk of infections
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss

As you can see, vitamin D deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms, many of which are neurological. This is because vitamin D plays a vital role in the health of the nervous system.

Causes of vitamin D deficiency

There are several reasons why someone might be vitamin D deficient. The most common cause is simply not getting enough sun exposure. This can be due to spending too much time indoors, wearing sunscreen all the time, living in a place with little sun, or having a job that keeps you indoors most of the day. Other causes of vitamin D deficiency include:

Malabsorption disorders: Disorders that prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D from the diet or supplements can lead to deficiency. Conditions that can cause malabsorption include celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and cystic fibrosis.

Kidney disease: Kidney disease can reduce the body’s ability to convert vitamin D to its active form.

Liver disease: Liver disease can also reduce the body’s ability to convert vitamin D to its active form.

Obesity: Obesity can cause vitamin D deficiency because the Vitamin is stored in fat tissue and not easily accessed by the body.

Pregnancy: Obesity can lead to vitamin D deficiency because the body stores the vitamin in fat tissue and cannot access it.

Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding women pass Vitamin D to the baby through breast milk, putting them at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Who is at risk for vitamin D deficiency?

Though most people can get enough vitamin D from sun exposure, some people are at risk for deficiency. This includes;

People with dark skin

People with dark skin are susceptible to vitamin D deficiency because the pigment in their skin blocks out the sun’s rays.

People who don’t get much sun exposure

Some people don’t get enough vitamin D because they are inside a lot. This can happen if you always wear sunscreen, live where there isn’t a lot of sunshine, have a job, or go to a school where you have to stay indoors most of the time.

People with a condition that impairs vitamin D absorption

Conditions that can cause this include celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and cystic fibrosis.

Pregnant women

The developing baby needs Vitamin D, putting pregnant women at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Breastfeeding women

Breastfeeding women pass Vitamin D to the baby through breast milk, putting them at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Older adults

Older adults are at risk of vitamin D deficiency because the body’s ability to convert vitamin D to its active form declines with age.

Vegans and Vegetarians

Vegans and vegetarians might not get enough vitamin D because they don’t eat animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy, which are the main foods that have this vitamin.

Note: These people especially need vitamin D supplementation to keep their health in check.

Diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency

To diagnose vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will order a blood test to measure the level of vitamin D in your blood. Your blood test results will help your doctor determine if you are deficient in vitamin D and, if so, how severe the deficiency is.

Video

Can vitamin D deficiency cause neuropathy symptoms?

Yes. Vitamin D deficiency can cause neuropathy symptoms because the Vitamin is essential for nerve health. Without enough vitamin D, the nerves can become damaged and cause a wide range of neurological symptoms.

The relation between vitamin D and the central nervous system

The brain needs a variety of neurosteroids to develop and function properly. These molecules are often identified as one of many common substances, including thyroid hormones, glucocorticoids, and androgens. Vitamin D is one of these neurosteroids throughout the brain and spinal fluid. [3]

Vitamin D work in the brain as metabolites and Vitamin D receptor.

Metabolites

Vitamin D turns into different forms inside our body, and some of these can go into our brain and spinal fluid, like other special brain helpers do.

These forms of vitamin D are present in two important parts of the brain that help control our movements and connect our nerves and hormones. This means that our brain can use vitamin D to make these helpers right where they’re needed!

Vitamin D receptor

Vitamin D has special ‘docking stations’ called receptors in different parts of the brain. These docking stations are like parking spots where vitamin D goes to do its job. There are lots of these docking stations in areas of the brain that help us move, remember things, and control our emotions.

One part of the brain that helps make dopamine, a chemical that makes us feel good, has the most vitamin D docking stations.

How does vitamin D affect your brain?

Vitamin D is not good for strong bones, but it might also be a friend to our brains! It helps our brains grow and stay healthy. If someone doesn’t get enough vitamin D, their brain might not have everything it needs to develop the right way.

Vitamin D also acts like a superhero, protecting the brain’s special cells from getting damaged. This is important because it might help prevent some serious brain illnesses that older people can get, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Scientists are like detectives, still trying to figure out all the awesome things vitamin D does for our brains. [4] But for now, they believe having enough of it is a big deal for keeping our brains healthy and strong!

Neurological disorders associated with vitamin D deficiency

Hypovitaminosis D (Vitamin D Deficiency) is associated with several neurological disorders.

Dementia and alzheimer’s disease

Several studies have looked at the link between vitamin D and Dementia. People with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to develop Dementia and cognitive decline, especially those with severe deficiency. [5] People with Alzheimer’s disease had lower levels of vitamin D receptors. [6]

While more research is needed to determine whether vitamin D supplementation can halt or delay the progression of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and Dementia, these studies suggest that there may be a link between vitamin D deficiency and Dementia.

Multiple sclerosis

Some scientists think that vitamin D might have something to do with a disease called multiple sclerosis, or MS for short. MS can make people feel tired and weak and have trouble moving around. [7] A big study found that people who didn’t have enough vitamin D were more likely to get MS. And if someone already has MS, not having enough vitamin D might make it worse.

But here’s some good news – getting extra vitamin D might help people with MS feel better and have fewer problems. So, vitamin D could be like a helper for people with this disease!

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a sickness that affects the brain and makes it hard for people to move and control their muscles. It happens because some special brain cells get lost. Scientists have found a connection between this disease and not having enough vitamin D. [8]

Some studies even say that taking extra vitamin D might help slow down the sickness, making it not get worse as quickly. So, vitamin D could be a helper for people with Parkinson’s disease!

Epilepsy and seizures

Seizures happen when the brain suddenly starts acting different, causing the body to shake or move uncontrollably. Epilepsy is a brain illness that makes people have seizures again and again. Scientists noticed that many people with epilepsy don’t have enough vitamin D. [9]

Some studies show that giving these people extra vitamin D can actually help make seizures happen less often. It’s like a helper to calm the brain down. But scientists are still doing more research to make sure vitamin D can actually help people with epilepsy. [10]

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a sickness that affects how people think, feel, and act. It can make their thoughts and feelings confusing. Scientists have found that many people with this sickness don’t have enough vitamin D, especially if their symptoms are really strong.

Vitamin D might be important for how the brain forms even before a baby is born, and it could play a role in this sickness. [11] Scientists are still trying to figure out if giving extra vitamin D to people with schizophrenia can help them feel better. One study even said that taking vitamin D supplements and eating foods with lots of vitamin D might help these patients when taken with their regular medicines. [12]

Other health risks of vitamin D deficiency

Other than Neurological disorders, Vitamin D Deficiency is also linked with other health risks. A few of them are listed below-

  • Respiratory Illnesses
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Severe Erectile Disfunction
  • Heart Disease
  • Breast Cancer

How can I treat vitamin D deficiency?

Ways to treat vitamin D deficiency table

You can treat vitamin D deficiency in 3 main ways.

  • Vitamin D Rich Foods
  • Sunlight
  • Vitamin D Supplements

Vitamin D rich foods

You can obtain Vitamin D from a few natural foods like fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese. Mushrooms are also known to have Vitamin D, but the amount depends on how they’re grown.

But, these foods alone are not enough to get the proper amounts of Vitamin D that you need. Alternatively, fortified foods like milk, soy milk, orange juice, and cereals provide good sources of Vitamin D. These foods have added vitamin D, which is not found in natural foods.

Sunlight

There’s a reason for this Vitamin named Sunshine Vitamin. Your skin produces vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight. But, the amount of vitamin D that you make depends on a few things like-

  • The time of day
  • The season
  • Where you live
  • How dark your skin is
  • How much skin is exposed

Sunscreens can also reduce the amount of vitamin D that your skin makes.

However, experts do not suggest too much exposure to sunlight as it may increase the risk of skin cancer.

Vitamin D Supplements

You may need to supplement if you don’t obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight or food. Your doctor will prescribe you how much vitamin D you require and which type of supplement is best for you.

If you are 50 or older, you should get most of your vitamin D from a supplement because it is difficult to absorb enough from diet and sunlight alone. You should also take a supplement if you have dark skin, are obese, or don’t get much sunlight exposure.

You can get vitamin D supplements as pills, capsules, liquids, or injections. You can also get them as a shot.

You can even buy vitamin D supplements without a prescription at most pharmacies and some grocery stores. But, consult your doctor first.

How long does it take to recover from vitamin D deficiency?

It takes about a month or a month and a half for your body to fill up its vitamin D tank if it’s running low. But, if someone is low on vitamin D, they might need to take more to fill up their tank.

It’s important to keep taking your vitamin D until your doctor says it’s okay to stop. And every once in a while, you might need to get a check-up to make sure you have enough vitamin D in your body!

Conclusion

Not having enough vitamin D can lead to problems with our brain and nerves, like certain diseases that affect how people think, move, or feel. This is because vitamin D helps our nervous system grow and stay healthy.

But that’s not all – not having enough vitamin D can also lead to other health problems. It can affect our bones, mood, and even increase the risk of some serious illnesses.

The good news is, we can get more vitamin D! We can eat foods that have it, spend some time in the sunlight, or take special vitamin pills. But remember, always talk to a doctor before taking any new medicine or vitamin pills to make sure it’s safe for you!

FAQ

How Can I Recover From Vitamin D Deficiency Fast?

The best way to recover from Vitamin D deficiency fast is to supplement with Vitamin D supplements. Additionally, you can do a sun bath for around 10-15 minutes every day and eat vitamin D-rich foods. But, we advise you to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Can Vitamin D Deficiency Affect Brain Function?

Yes, indeed! Vitamin D is super important for helping our nervous system grow. It’s like a superhero that protects the special cells in our brain from getting hurt and helps us think and remember things better!

References

  1. NLH: Is vitamin D deficiency a major global public health problem?
  2. NLM: Vitamin D: Brain and Behavior
  3. NLH: New clues about vitamin D functions in the nervous system
  4. NLM: Vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor
  5. NLM: Vitamin D in Alzheimer’s Disease
  6. NIH: Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis
  7. NIH: Role of Vitamin D in Parkinson’s Disease
  8. NIH: Low Vitamin D Levels Are Common in Patients with Epilepsy
  9. NIH: Vitamin D3 for the Treatment of Epilepsy
  10. Pubmed: Vitamin D in schizophrenia
  11. Pubmed: Correlation between total vitamin D levels and psychotic psychopathology in patients with schizophrenia
  12. Hospital of Special Surgery: Vitamin D Deficiency Rampant

⚠️Disclaimer: The information provided on this health blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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