Vitamins and minerals are essential to our bodies functioning as they should. Despite how small our daily allowances may be for some of them, consistently falling below the RDA for a prolonged period of time can have drastic effects on your health. Vitamin D in particular is one micronutrient to keep on top of, according to Clinical Director of London Doctors Clinic Dr. Daniel Fenton. He said, "Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is by far the hardest to keep adequately topped up. The UK's dreary Winters, combined with very short Summers, can mean we are all running a low level of vitamin D. This is the one supplement [I] ensure I take every day."
It's important to stay on top of your vitamin D levels because the symptoms of a deficiency can easily be mistaken for feeling generally rundown. Dr. Fenton explained, "Whilst some blame the weather for their general fatigue and lethargy, it may actually be the direct result of a very low vitamin D level."
Although it's easily mistaken for something else, low levels of vitamin D are easily detectable. Dr. Fenton said, "Tiredness is by far the most commonly seen symptom in adults," closely followed by bone aches and pains, which he said "are also associated with low vitamin D, and it really is amazing how quickly these symptoms can improve with some high-dose vitamin D supplements."
While short-term issues can be easily righted, long-term vitamin D deficiency can manifest itself quite scarily, "in softening of the bones, also known as osteomalacia," which Dr. Fenton explained as a softening that "can cause distortion of the bones, creating bowing of the legs, and the classic appearance you would associate with rickets."
Righting your vitamin D wrongs doesn't take much, either; simply adding a supplement or vitamin-D-rich foods to your daily intake can bring your levels up.