Symptoms of Low Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is one of the vital ingredients in a daily diet. If not taken in specified amounts, it can cause various health and beauty problems for an individual. This vitamin is primarily received through direct exposure to sunlight or artificial sources with ultraviolet B light. It can be also consumed through various foods or supplements. In countries where there is not enough sunlight, like for example Norway and Finland, people tend to eat more fish that is rich in vitamin D in order to maintain their health.

WHAT ARE VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS?

Here are some of the most common symptoms of low vitamin D levels:

  • Depression. Depression, as a symptom of low vitamin D concentrations, is caused by the parathyroid hormone. It is a well-known fact that some people are particularly depressed during the winter because they are not exposed to sunlight. The same happens in countries that don’t have many sunny days and therefore its inhabitants tend to eat foods rich with vitamin D.
  • Mood disorders. It is not quite certain, but many scientists believe that vitamin D plays an important part in the production of neurotransmitters, and therefore, a lack of this vitamin may lead to mood changes and sometimes even to schizophrenia and seasonal affective disorder.
  • Bone pain. Since vitamin D influences bone density, deficiency in this vitamin can lead to weaker back support and consequently to chronic pain.
  • Rickets. This is another condition associated with vitamin D deficiency and weakened bones. It is common for children who do not take enough vitamin D.
  • Osteomalacia.  It is similar to rickets but found only in adults.
  • Osteoporosis. When the amount of minerals in bones is below a certain level, the bones become sensitive and fragile. Vitamin D should be taken in order to prevent this condition.
  • Muscle cramps and weakness. Both muscle cramps and weakness are not always a result of vitamin D deficiency, though in some cases they can be.
  • Cancer. Low vitamin D levels can increase the risk of getting some forms of cancer, such are colon, prostate, ovarian and breast cancer.
  • A weak immune system. Vitamin D deficiency may lead to the weakening of the immune system, especially innate immunity that helps the body build up resistance against viral infections.
  • Obesity. The hormone leptin that is responsible for the regulation of fat in the body cannot be produced without the assistance of vitamin D.
  • Other symptoms are colds, the flu, tooth cavities and periodontal disease, various aches of the body, restless sleep, poor concentration, headaches, bladder problems, constipation or diarrhea, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, hearing loss, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

WHO IS AT RISK OF VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY?

Certain people are more inclined toward vitamin D deficiency. These people are usually the obese and the old. Others who might possibly be affected with vitamin D deficiency are infants who are exclusively breastfed, people who don’t get enough sun exposure (usually those who live further from the equator or those who stay indoors), people with dark skin and those with inflammatory bowel disease. People should spend at least 15 minutes a day exposed to the sun and those with darker complexions should spend even more time in the sun.  A poor diet is also responsible for vitamin D deficiency. It is very important to eat as much D-rich foods such as fish, fish oil, meat, eggs and dairy products as possible.

VITAMIN D REQUIREMENTS

As already mentioned, the best way to take your vitamin D is from sun exposure, D-vitamin rich foods and supplements. It is advisable that people who suffer vitamin D deficiency consult doctors before starting to use vitamin D supplements. An adequate daily intake of vitamin D ranges from 400 IU to 1000 IU.

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42 Responses

  1. I take 2000 i.u. D 3 daily. Over the counter. I recently read vitamin D is fat soluable and is only going into my fat cells and not my blood stream. My bloodwork is okay so whats the point of taking this supplement? The same with fish oil. My doctor is not concerned or maybe he knows no better.

  2. I am having vitamin D level of 3.5 and TSH level of 7.8 … I feel very fatigued and tired all the time. It is increasing day by day and now it’s really started to affect my work. Doctor put me on 3000 iu per week and 50mcg levo. I have been taking this for a month but no help :(

    • You may want to consider going gluten-free. The easiest way to do this is to drop grains…otherwise, you run into trying to replace everything…it gets frustrating and expensive. Look into paleo diet. Gluten is causing MAJOR problems in many people these days and fatigue is a huge recurrent symptom. Even if a person tests negative for Celiac, they usually still feel better once they are off gluten. If you do decide to test, wait to go off gluten until after test is done. Either way, come off gluten long-term. You’ll be extremely glad you did….

  3. My vitamin D level is at 12. My doctor put me on 50,000 units weekly. I am still extremely tired,and have been on them for almost a week.Not sure why it’s not helping me so far. I actually feel more fatigue now then when I first started taking them. Can’t understand what is going on.

    • Is he having you take liquid vitamin D3? You should be taking that since it’s faster absorbed. You will probably notice the benefits faster.

  4. I have sat with my mouth open reading all of these symptoms I have every one of these symptoms!! My Dr called today saying I had a Vitamin D level of 7. I am so glad I was able to read these and to know I am not losing my mind nor am alone. Thank you all for your stories

  5. I’ve FINALLY have found the reason for the horrible fatigue and total body pain! My vitamin D was a 4. The doctor said that even bats probably have a higher number lol!! I’ve been on 10,000 IU/day of liquid D3 and after a couple of weeks I do not have the need to take pain killers—-yay! I’m also being treated for late stage adrenal fatigue so I’m hoping that I’ll just keep feeling better and better as time goes on. Who knew? Maybe this could be a great excuse to move from Michigan to Florida eh?

  6. i was sore, fatigued and losing hair like crazy. got tested for everything and i was low in vitamin d. after 2 weeks at 10,000 units a day, my hair has stopped falling out and new growth is starting. all of my other levels on everything else was excellent.

  7. I owe my life to Vitamin D3 drops/sublingual. In July 2009 I developed the most unusal excruciating pain up the back of my head, in my ears, across my cheeks and in my throat. I was treated horrible as a patient by my primary Drs. They insisted I had allergies and put me on Flonase. It did abolutely nothing to help me. I got worse and worse and all the while I was working in this horrific pain. I told the last primary Dr that there was something really wrong with me and that it didn’t feel like an allergy. She replied, “…like I said, keep taking the Flonase”…I pleaded with her, “But Dr its not working and I’m in so much pain”. The Dr replied, “Like I said take the Flonase and if it is not gone in two months then there is nothing more we can do for you.” I went home devasted. I had no where to turn. I quickly sent her an email and asked if it was possible to see an allergy specialist since they kept saying it was an allergy. With no comment she gave me the referral.

    When I went in to see the allergist I was beside myself with excruciating pain throughout the head. The Dr looked at me and in 30 seconds diagnosed “silent acid reflux” gave me a booklet to read and told me to read the foods not to eat. He ran a battery of tests: throat culture, sinus scan, and a complete work up on all the allergy tests. I did not have even one allergy, no bacterial infection and my sinuses were clear.
    Next I was put on two strong antibiotics for H-Pylori. All the while I’m burning to death and the pain was unbearable.

    I then was put under a ENT and GI Dr. The ENT said my throat was burned to a ulcer on the nerves of the throat. The GI did a PH test. I tested with a score of 40 for acid above the LES.

    The GI began different PPIs on me. At the end of 6 months none of the tests or medications did one thing for me. I was burning to death and the PPIs caused me to develope severe pnuemonia and my legs felt like lead weights.

    My GI said the PPIs weren’t working for me and sent me to surgery 11 months after the onset of symptoms. It was the most unbearable pain imaginable. How I kept it together and went to work, kept my home going was nothing short of incredible. I was so ashamed of having something no one knew what to do about it.

    I had the fundoplication stomach surgery, to strenthen my LES and stop the acid vapor from going up to my throat.

    The surgery was a huge failure. In fact I came out of surgery 10x worse. I moved due to a retirement. My old Drs just said there was nothing more they could do after surgery. I laid in bed and began a steady decline. 4 months after surgery I crawled into the Emergency Room and told the Drs I could not take the pain of “silent acid reflux” anymore (it is also called LPR or burning throat). The ER Dr looked at me and didn’t say a word. He called a pyschatrist and they put me under Behaviorial medicine for stress. All I could tell them through all the appointments was that I wasnt’ stressed…I was in horrible pain head, neck, throat, ear pain. After two months I was able to get into a new GI Dr who got angry with me right off the bat. She pounded her keyboard as she took my description of my pain. She interrupted my narrative and told me it was impossible what I was describing. By now I had been in constant dibiliating pain for 15 months and I was so discouraged as I could tell all my Drs had no idea what to do for me.

    When the GI angrily came to exam me, and she got to my neck area, I flinched involuntarily. She asked quite surprised “did that hurt?” I answered yes. It felt like I had “five balls in my throat.” She made an appt for me with ENT but didnt’ say good bye or anything to me. She wasn’t sure what I had.

    When I saw the new ENT later he scoped my throat and said I was burned to a crisp. He said he had to do a biopsy as it was so bad. I went home defeated and knew I was in trouble as the Drs were incompetent.
    I wrote a email to the ENT and told him to facilitate a new GI Dr immediately or I would report them all to the State.

    I cancelled all the ridiculous mental health appointments immediately.
    I went in to see the new GI I requested and she said, “we are sorry, we believe you now.” Why they didn’t believe me in the first place is still a mystery to me, since my first set of ENT/GI Drs and fundoplication surgery was well documented in my medical file and it stated I had indicated that I LPR.

    They put me on all kinds of medications. I continued to get worse. 4 months later I slowly began to take over my medical treatment. My GI was at a loss as to what to do for me. The medical probiotics gave me a 30% improvement in Feb 2011. I asked for a referral out to a University Hospital for an expert. I was denied. In Aug 2011 I was told they could no longer do anything for me and told me they could no longer see me. I was devasted. I had done all that they had asked of me and they said my throat was burnt but they didn’t know what I had and that I had to learn to live with the pain.

    I went home that day after receiving that news and decided I was my only hope. I had done extensive research on what I had and understood the mechanics of what was wrong with me. I had esophogeal spinchters that had gone “limp” and were not closing off the digestive processes of the stomach.

    I typed into the web, “what strengthens muscles” and up popped Vit D. I researched the best Vit D to take: D3 drops. I immediately ordered through my primary Dr a Vit D test. It slowly dawned on me that I had avoided the sun for 40 years. We had just recently built a pool for our grand children and I had been outside for the first time in 40 years from April/May/June/July 2011. When I got my D test back it was 25. I realized that it was on the low side and that it must have been much lower prior to April and the pool getting built and I hoped that Vit D3 would help me.
    Well, I am happy to report that after a year of experimenting I’m so much better. Not quite a cure but almost. I have my quality of life back. I researched what amount of Vit D is needed. There are many variables. The latitude one lives in (if you live at or above the 37 latitude the sun’s rays are not strong enough to produce enough Vit D on your skin for good health), your weight, your skin color and the amount of time in the sun. I read that our modern society is indoors more than any other time in our evolution. As a species we use to roam the forrests/land and got enough D that way but not anymore. We wear clothes that cover most of our body. I read that one measurement of 35 IU x body weight may be helpful in deciding how much D one needs. But one has to estimate and subtract the D that you get in food.

    I joined the Vitamin D Council of San Luis Obispo. And I continue to read and study. For years I suffered terrible joint pain, and I had trouble climbing stairs. And the last few months before I began Vit D3 drops I developed incontinence, swelling of my wrists and ankles and I couldn’t lift my arms to put on clothes or wash my hair and I was always tired. I never bothered to tell my Drs that as they were so incompetent and had treated me so badly. As soon as I started Vit D3 all those symptoms disappeared.

    I am still stunned beyond belief that no Dr checked my Vit D levels (ever!) or tried to find out the cause of my illness. It is stunning to say the least. Babies, children, young adults, and the elderly suffer in so many different ways from the lack of this essential hormone. I read that if all people on the planet had their D levels checked it would reduce disease and all types of illness by 60-70 percent. Now, whenever I see people trying to raise money by running for cancer or some other desease I think that probably simple inexpensive Vit D would improve global health in unprecedented numbers. But then maybe there is too much money to be made on pharmaceutical medications. No one will push Vit D to the forfront because its so inexpensive and not patented. There is no profit in it. It is the single most important hormone for health but our Drs don’t seem to be aware of it and it is not part of medical trainign. When I mentioned it to all my Drs they all just say, “we are so glad you found something to help you.” I’m speechless. If it were me I would be running to help my other patients. It feels like the twilight zone. What about all the patients who could benefit from this and they just keep giving people pills that do nothing but treat the symptoms not the cause. I’m still stunned that I found out what was wrong with me and the Drs remain stuck in the world of medicine and pharmacueticals that do nothing to help the patient. It is a crying shame for all the suffering by people of the planet.

    • Wow! Horrible you had to suffer all that time needlessly. I’m sorry to say there are probably a million more cases like yours out there. I have Hashimoto’s (autoimmune disease/hypothyroid). Many, if not all, of us suffer from poor vitamin D absorption (and magnesium, selenium, B12). The problem is that most endocrinologists and primary physicians that are treating patients with Hashimoto’s don’t bother checking it (vitamin D 25 hydroxy is the correct one). A lot of us suffer from the joint pain and fatigue, and still no one thinks to check it. Once supplemented, the difference is noticable. You would think after all this time…

  8. I think that 50,000IU of vitamin D2 is not healthy for you. Vitamin D can be used either as vitamin D2 or D3. It is always better to take vitamin D3 because it is more natural and it absorbs better. At the same time it seems that doctors more often recommend vitamin D3 than D2. If I were you, I would start with 2500IU to see how it works. After a while I would increase the dose to 5,000IU and I would do a blood test every 2 months. I would also start taking magnesium supplements.

  9. I’m new here have rheumatoid arthritis & vitamin d at 15, But when I take d3 at only 2,000mg I become pretty much disabled with muscle,cramps,bone pain? Way worse! Does anyone experience this?? I found 2 people with their theories one suposenly a RN her theory makes since some what (pain from calcium returning in bone?) but why most people DON’T get this pain? So to me that throws that theory out many are lower than me. Other kind acts like a scientist not sure if is, he says it causes flares in ra (in his scientific way) which seems to be more real to me than other sadly. So I’m wondering how to get my D up if can’t take it, I don’t think the sun can get it up where needed & not enough sun where I live.

    Any ideas ARE SO APPRECIATED lf555555@hotmail.com

  10. Last year my vit D levels were quite low. I have managed to get my levels back to normal by taking 2,000i.u. every day and 50,000i.u. every week. I have never felt any side effects from taking these doses.
    It seems that vitamin D deficiency is normal today. Apparently, vitamin D has something to do with pain control, and I have to agree with it.

  11. I was given 50,000 units by my doctor. This article explains the benefits.

  12. I have the same low levels of vitamin D for 2 years now. I have managed to get my levels back to normal after taking 2000 units for half a year. I feel much better now.

  13. Let me tell you how I have changed my vitamin D levels. When I did the test it showed 14 and my doctor ordered me to start taking 2000IU a day. I tried to be consistent, taking half of the dose in the morning and the other half before going to bed. I also spent much time outdoors. After two months I did the test again and the result was 30. My doctor said that I should aim at 50.

    Wish me luck!

  14. Sounds like you have thyroid problems, I would go for a blood test. I had several of your symptoms while my thyroid medication was being levelled out. I remember trying to hang out washing and my arms not being strong enough, even brushing my teeth took so much effort!

    Good luck, even now after 4 years, my levels go up and down…and I can tell when I need a blood check as my hair loss increases!

  15. I have low vitamin D levels for a long time. My doctor ordered me to take 10.000 IU every day and now, after a few months, I have to say that I don’t feel depressed anymore. I feel great emotionally and physically. I believe that vitamin D and depression are somehow connected.

  16. Last February I have tested my vitamin D levels which were quite low, 28. I really can’t understand why because I don’t use sunscreens and I am outside in the sun quite often. My doctor told me to take 1000 IU every day, but it is a bit difficult for me to be consistent. I guess there must be an alternative or something.

  17. Can you tell me what your vitamin D levels were when you have tested them? Last year I have tested them, result 38. Mu doctor says it is OK. However I can’t believe that the results are OK since I don’t spend much time on the sun.

  18. My dermatologist ordered me to check my vitamin D levels. Apparently, all his patients have to do that, especially the ones who use sunscreen lotions. He said that all his patients have low vitamin D levels. I have managed to make my vitamin D levels normal again by using supplements.

  19. My doctor avoids vitamin D deficiency treatments because every other person in my town suffers from this condition, mainly because there is not much sun during the year. I have started taking supplements on my own but I am not sure if I am taking too much or not. The last result showed 20.

  20. Vitamin D deficiency is common in people suffering from Lupus. I am one of them. Some time ago, my doctor offered me to be part of a research on the subject of vitamin D and Lupus.

    Unfortunately, because of my job, I couldn’t participate in that research. I was sure that my vitamin D levels are fine since I have been getting 800IU for about ten months. When I did a test my results were awful, only 16. Then I have noticed that most of my muscle mass has just vanished and I was feeling tired all the time. In the next months I have been getting 50.000IU of vitamin D and my results were better but still under normal, only 25. I desperately wanted the results to show 50. Another doctor, said that the weakness I was feeling was probably because of the medicines I have been taking, and he recommended me to increase the vitamin D dosage to 50,000IU per week.

    After almost a year my vitamin D levels are around 60. It took me a lot of time and efforts to get there, so now I am not getting 50.000IU per week. Apparently the weakness I have been feeling wasn’t caused by the medicines, but was a result of cervical stenosis. So, if you doubt that your vitamin D levels are low, go and get tested. Vitamin D deficiency is frequent nowadays and overall weakness is one of the symptoms.

    I wish you luck and be strong!

  21. After taking 50.000 IU of vitamin D for a week it seems that my vitamin D levels are better. Before they were 24, and now I have to do a test again. However, now I am worried about magnesium deficiency as well. It seems I’ll have to talk to my doctor soon.

  22. Hello, my doctor told to take 5000 IU. Luckily vitamin D supplements can be ordered on the Internet so I strictly follow his advice plus I try to spend some time outdoors every single day.

    Wish me luck!

  23. I have tested my Vitamin D levels this summer and the result was 23. I was recommended to take 1000 IU once a day and I really hope my vitamin D levels to get back to normal. I believe that 1000 IU is not too much, but I will wait for the next test results to see if the dose should be higher.

  24. It is really impossible to hear that many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency because the main source of this vitamin is the sun. Knowing how good vitamin D is for our bones – it is really a problem. Having a simple test successfully identifies if you are vitamin D deficient. Usually the treatment starts with 50,000 IU of vitamin D per week, but you have to be careful here. If your vitamin D levels are normal, such high doses can lead to vitamin D overdose after some time. Make sure to talk to your doctor and he will give you the right dose to keep your vitamin D levels normal.

  25. I have problems with my vitamin D levels and I do all my best to keep these values above normal. I have used 50000IU of vitamin D for 2 weeks to get to the normal levels. Now I feel much better (I was a bit depressive before).

  26. Somehow vitamin D can help you if you suffer from a great pain. For this to happen high doses of vitamin D are required, and if you are worried that you will experience vitamin D toxicity, read this. In order to experience vitamin D toxicity you will have to take very high doses of vitamin D through supplements for a longer period of time.

  27. Other health problems can be connected to Vitamin D deficiency. Mainly people who suffer from certain diseases, take some specific medicines or have had a gastric bypass surgery have problems absorbing vitamin D.

  28. Just to make a few things clear. A few months ago, I have had a Hydroxy test 25. At that time I was taking 2000IU of vitamin D3 , so after seeing the results I increased the dosage to 5000IU. 3 months later the test showed 35. I will increase the dosage again and now I am thinking to start using vitamin D supplements of another brand. I will post the results again in a month or two, hopefully they will be better this time.

  29. Hi Everyone,

    I work outdoors and yet my vitamin D is low. My doctor cant seem to explain why i am low in Vitamin D when 20 minutes of sun exposure is all that is needed to get daily vitamin D. I am outdoors at least for 7 hours ! Please help?

  30. My vitamin d level is 23.5.What amount of D should I take and how often?

  31. Can a very low Vitamin D level cause an irregular heart rate?

  32. Wow I’m so shocked first of all I had some blood work on me not to long ago and I found out that I have low vitamin D so I looked it up because I never heard of it in the first place and when I started to read I found a lot of System that I have pain , depression,Asthem , and I’m all ways confuse or I forget a lot and its pretty scary so I’m going to have to start to take a vit D pill now that I been ready I got a lot of info so I just need to see how low I am so I could take the right amount of vitamin.

    Thank you very much !!!

  33. Doh..I really should have paid more attention to what all the rest of you have written. Sorry. I can relate on some level with just about all of you! I neglected to mention that on 25 March I did start a regimen of 1.25mg (50,000 IU) Vitamin D2 per week for 20 weeks. We’ll see how that goes – I hope well. I’m tired of falling asleep in the middle of my therapy sessions! Seriously, it is frustrating not being able to drive because I am so sleepy. I get UTIs all the time and my immune system is shot due to my other illnesses. But I’m venting and it sounds like I’m preaching to the choir, so I’ll knock it off. Hopefully this is what’s causing my fatigue. If so, that knowledge gives me some peace and personal power. Hopefully, the treatment will improve my quality of life.

  34. I have several illnesses including autoimmune hepatitis and fibromyalgia so I’m used to fatigue! I had a stroke, however, in March which prompted a slew of medical tests and oddly enough a Vitamin D level. I could not believe it when I was told my level was 4.5! So what I’m curious about is how this fatigue has come on so strongly. I just cannot stay awake the first half of the day. This is much more than I’m used to with the fibromyalgia. My new meds don’t seem to explain this. Have any of you experienced the same thing?

  35. Low vitamin D is no joke..I have been suffering for at least 14 years.. I end up with a HTA do to this disorder. NO SUNBLOCK!!!! Being a dark skinned black american.. this is what put me over the edge. Other signs that I had were high blood pressure (not controlled), muscle cramps and weakness.. and I had to pee all night long.. Im talking every 20 – 40 minutes ..(and that was on a good night..lol)

    Remember and never forget.. NO SUNSCREEN!!!

    :0)

  36. I had blood work done and it turns out my Vitamin D level is 10. I was prescribed vitamins. I’m so glad that I finally know the reason I’ve been so tired!

  37. I went to the doctor this week and my level was at 5.9. I am taking 100,000 IU of Vitamin D on a weekly basis. Experience chest pains but was afraid to tell the doctor because he would have put me in the hospital. I pray for all of us and that we all have a speedly recovery. First dose was last night.

  38. I’ve been taking vitamin d3 2000 units a day with my calcium that has vitamin. d3 also in it. I am deficit and my doctor put me on 50000 units a week. Why should I have this problem since I’ve been taking this vitamin for so long now.Why is my body not absorbing it? Thank You for listening if you can help me it will be a blessing as I have no idea why this is going on.

    Roslyn Capetta

  39. had alot of these symptoms…after having a colonoscopy and endoscopy, the Dr. said I have a condition called celiac disease (aka sensitivity to wheat and gluten ) he explained that this causes the follicles in my stomach to not be able to absorb vitamins. I cut out the glutens and began taking the vitamin supplements. Within about 4 days, the fogginess and stomach issues had subsided. Never had a problem as a kid. Anyways worth a try for some of you. Hope this helps someone.