Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms


Vitamin D plays a vital role in our body’s ability to absorb calcium and phosphate into our musculoskeletal system which in turn promotes normal bone formation and mineralization. And as with any other vitamin or mineral it plays a role in how we feel physically and mentally. If you do not have enough vitamin d sources in your diet or lifestyle (the sun is of course a major source) you might start suffering from vitamin d deficiency symptoms!

Vitamin d deficiency symptoms in adults are related to lack of sufficient intake through diet or supplements and lack of exposure to sunlight which when absorbed through the skin is synthesized to promote production of Vitamin D. These two factors simultaneously create a clinical deficiency. As a result the body is unable to absorb the necessary amounts of Calcium and Phosphates causing a condition called hypocalcaemia and other calcium deficiency symptoms.

Therefore Vitamin D deficiency symptoms would be primarily noticed within the musculoskeletal system which would include muscle pain, muscle weakness and bone pain, and fragility at any age. Severe deficiencies could result in osteomalacia, softening of the bones, in children referred to as Rickets, and osteoporosis.

Other symptoms of vitamin d deficiency that would be more difficult to link specifically to vitamin d deficiency could be depression, chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases such as MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis, certain cancers, and heart disease. In fact the role vitamin D plays in these disorders may not be a major role, but a contributing factor.

Vitamin d deficiency symptoms in women are especially important to prevent because deficiency can affect the fetus as well. A severe case of maternal osteomalacia could result in a newborn with rickets and possibly Metaphyseal lesions (or fractures).  An infant with a deficiency serious enough to cause rickets would have softening of the entire skull, a condition called craniotabes as well as bossing of the skull (i.e. protruding forehead) and costochondral thickening, a condition marked by beadlike prominences along the lateral chest wall.

vitamin d deficiency symptoms

Example of one of the major vitamin d deficiency symptoms

In older infants there would be developmental delays in sitting, cr

awling and walking, delayed growth including fontanelle closure, and deformity of the long bones. Distal bon

es of the radius, ulna, tibia, and fibula are enlarged.

Walking is painful and in severe cases deformities in the legs develop, such as knock-knees and bow legs.

Other possible symptoms of deficiency in vitamin D might include a condition called Tetany, an involuntary contraction of muscles caused by hypocalcaemia. Signs of Tetany include tingling or numbness of the lips, tongue and fingers; wrist, ankle and facial spasms, and in severe cases seizures.

In summary vitamin D deficiency symptoms includes:

  • Depression; when you feel sad for no reason and have constant mood swings,
  • Chronic fatigue; when you feel tired all the time, even without any physical excursion,
  • Chronic pain; from the weak bones caused by the lack of calcium,
  • Bone fracture; also caused by the weak bones.


A combination of good sources of vitamin D such as a properly fortified diet and sufficient exposure to sunlight are necessary measures in avoiding symptoms of vitamin D. In some cases where disease may be the cause of inability to absorb vitamin D naturally, a vitamin D supplement may be required. You might also want to consider a vitamin D supplement during the winter since you are most likely going to be less often outside and in this case your only source of vitamin D would be food which depending on your body might not be enough to take advantage of the vitamin D benefits and prevent vitamin D deficiency symptoms!

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6 Responses to “Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms”

  • James Apple:

    I found out I had vitamin D deficiency symptoms when I visited my doctor today, apparently I should be taking 2000 IU of supplements everyday in order to solve this, hopefully it works!

  • Pete Morisson:

    @ James Surely they will act just takes time. Also, 20 minutes of exposure to sunlight is a sufficient daily dose of vitamin D.

  • Gwen Norcross:

    My doctor gave me an RX for 50,000 units (1.25 mg) a week for several months in 2010. I am a cancer patient. My thyroid cancer has returned after five years and I still take one capsule about once a month or I could take 2,000 units daily. It did make me feel better.

  • charlene g.:

    I was surprise when the doctor told me I was low in Vitamin D,per blood test,as I work as a daycare worker and spend about a half hour or longer outside 5 days a week with the children. I admit I don’t drink milk like I used too,I do eat yougurt which I will eat more of, and I am know taking a supplement,I am 53 and white small framed so I am concerned, Im not good at taking vitamins but I am trying to get better at it as I know I am at risk for bone health. I hope my supplements help thank-you for the information I read on this website.

  • Alex:

    Vitamin d deficiency is something that affects a lot of people in North America/Europe even if they go an hour outside or so a day. Most people are covered and also the sun is not all that strong here compared to the equator. I take about 2000 IU per day now with a meal, I leave the pills near the counter so as long as I remember once in the day it’s all good. Also, even if you do take it twice (so 4,000IU total in the day) you do not really risk overdosing. In the equator a near naked person makes a ridiculous amount such as 10,000 IU within an hour or less and they aren’t suffering from any overdose…

  • Richard Daveney:

    I’m 51 and was surprised to discover that I had a lack of vitamin D. I was prescribed 15 tablets of dekristol. 3 a day for 5 days. The nurse took a blood sample. I must admit to having somewhat more vitality in that I’m not so exhausted all the time. And undoubtedly not feeling so depressed. I have a bald head and have been out all summer bare armed but apparently lots of British people lack vitamin D. I’m led to believe that your liver stores vitamin D and this dosage should be enough for me for the next six months.

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