Recognizing vitamin D deficiency symptoms is important because most of us are not getting enough vitamin D. As much as I don’t like it, sometimes we need supplements.
I prefer whole foods for nutrients, and I don’t like the idea of managing our bodies on a micronutrient level – there’s so much more to us than vitamin D!
(If you want to learn more about incorporating whole foods and making your diet healthier, check out the free vegan taster plan and quick start guide I put together for you.)
But I also like being healthy, and there are some serious health consequences to not having enough of certain nutrients. Without vitamin D, you won’t absorb and use calcium properly, and the lack of both calcium and vitamin D will weaken the structure of your bones.
Researchers are also starting to link vitamin D deficiency with all kinds of health problems and diseases.
If you think I’m talking about just a vegetarian or vegan diet plan being deficient in vitamin D, I’m not – meat eaters should be just as concerned here. The results of a 2009 study showed that the majority of both vegetarians (59%) and meat-eaters (64%) do not have sufficient blood levels of vitamin D (Chan J, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fraser GE. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status of vegetarians, partial vegetarians, and nonvegetarians: the Adventist Health Study-2. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1686S-1692S. Epub 2009 Apr 1 – I found this at www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones#recvitd).
Diet contributed less than half the RDA for vitamin D of 400IU in this study, whether it included meat or was a vegetarian or vegan diet plan. With lots of respected health and nutrition experts now recommending a lot more than that (1000-2000IU, or even more), you can see that we all have a big gap to fill in and should be conscious of what the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms:
- muscle weakness
- pain in ribs, spine, legs
- muscle cramps
- rickets, insomnia
- malformation of bones
Since these aren’t the most specific symptoms, getting a blood test done to see your actual levels is a good idea.
If you take a D supplement here are 2 vegan options I like and recommend to my clients:
Symptoms of Vitamin D Toxicity:
- frequent urination
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
- tiredness or drowsiness
- calcium deposits in soft tissues
Do you supplement with Vitamin D? How much? Why/why not? Let me know below.