Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms can masquerade as a host of other seemingly unconnected aches, pains and problems.

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How To Recognize Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

  • Bladder problems (urgency, frequency, or both)
  • Bowel problems (constipation, diarrhea, or both) 

  • Chronic pain 

  • Fatigue 

  • Headaches 

  • High blood pressure 

  • Joint pain and/or inflammation or swelling  

  • Muscle pain, cramping, and/or weakness 

  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Restless sleep
  • Uncontrolled weight gain


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis, gout, pseudo-gout, tendinitis, bursitis)
  • Depression, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Gum disease and tooth loss
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosis)
  • Cancer

If you saw health problems on the above list that you, your children or your elderly family members are dealing with daily, there is good news.  All of these health problems can be related to something as simple as a Vitamin D deficiency. 

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Do you have any of these Vitamin D deficiency symptoms?

Studies show that an unbalanced diet and vitamin D deficiency causes medical problems that affect more than 2/3 of the U.S. population.  These pandemically high numbers suggest that on average, 2/3 (or more) of the people living in every household, including children, are vitamin D deficient. 

Medically, this is called Vitamin D hypovitaminosis.  "Hypo" means abnormally low.  "Vitaminosis" means a condition associated with vitamins.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) tell us that more than half of the general population in the United States have symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency, regardless of their age.

Elderly Americans are particularly at risk.  Approximately 70% of elderly Americans and 90% of Americans of color are Vitamin D deficient. 

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms    

Browse this list to see if you and your family, (children, too), have any of these symptoms and/or diseases.

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

Fatigue:  What is the first symptom of Vitamin D deficiency for most people?  Your brain first detects the early symptoms of your Vitamin D deficiency in the form of severe fatigue,...where you feel exhausted, sometimes soon after you arise in the morning. 

This typically occurs in late winter when you have spent many months indoors, away from getting sunlight on large areas of your skin. 

The medical term for this feeling of utter exhaustion is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression.

Sleep Disorders:  If these suppressed levels of Vitamin D persist, your mood deteriorates, the quality of sleep suffers and when you lose sleep, it is only natural that you become irritable and grouchy. 

How can you tell if you're just a little "blue" or if you are really experiencing a major case of SAD?  There are 2 significant changes which are indicative of self-diagnosing the difference.

1.  Are you reluctant to do any kind of physical activity?

2.  Do you now lack any enjoyment when you do things that you used to enjoy?

If you have an overall lack of motivation to pursue physical activities and your general thought process is one of a "low mood", this can be the first red flag.

The second red flag is that you feel too bad to do anything and your general happiness seems to be endlessly spiraling downward. 

Aches and Pains:  Research shows that another of the Vitamin D deficiency symptoms is that your body aches.  Muscle spasms, bone pain and joint pain are common in people who are Vitamin D deficient.

Weight Loss:  The balance of Vitamin D and the calcium that it helps to absorb may also decrease fat production.  It appears that the low calcium levels due to inadequate Vitamin D intake or enough calcium in the diet, triggers the release of PTH (parathyroid hormone). 

PTH increases the concentration of activated Vitamin D in the body's fat cells which causes the fat cells to store energy as additional fat.

Severe Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

Severe Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are not as common, today, as they were in past years (for example, 100 years ago), due to an increased global availability of a larger variety of foods.  Nevertheless, these conditions do still occur.

Neurological Diseases:  Recent research has found that many other diseases and maladies show that Vitamin D deficiency symptoms may also be a contributing factor in schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and depression.

Many people are unaware that calcium and magnesium deficiencies often accompany Vitamin D deficiency and are associated with seizures in infants and other degenerative neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease in adults.


Children can sometimes get a condition known as rickets, the symptoms of which are bowed legs, knock-knees, spinal curvature, a softening of the skull bones and increased joint size.  Rickets is a deficiency disease in children caused by a shortage of vitamin D, which causes the bones to develop abnormally. 

Without enough Vitamin D, the body cannot properly metabolize calcium.  If not caught soon enough, as children begin to walk and thus place weight on these soft bones, the bones can bend, become deformed or break easily.


Osteomalacia means bone-softening.  This is somewhat more common in people who have not been exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.  Those at highest risk are people who reside in long term care facilities or who have been hospitalized for long periods of time. 

Women who have had a number of closely spaced pregnancies, which have depleted the mother's Vitamin D reserves also have increased risk factors. 


Studies show that people with low levels of Vitamin D also have less lung function and in asthma patients, when breathing tests were performed, those with lower levels were found to have more severe cases of asthma. 


If you believe you have any of these Vitamin D deficiency symptoms, see your health care provider and request that he or she perform Vitamin D testing.

Once you add more foods with Vitamin D to your diet, within a few months, you should be able to notice the increased benefits of Vitamin D to your body.

If your work keeps you indoors most of the time or you live in a climate with lots of cold, gray, winter days, consider taking Vitamin D supplements. If you are over 50, both males and females are at risk of osteoporosis. This can turn a simple fall into a broken bone which can take a few months to heal.

Current research shows that a combination supplementation of Vitamin D, as well as Calcium and Magnesium supplementation helps to maintain strong, non-porous, healthy bones.

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Related Pages:

Foods with Vitamin D

Vitamin D Deficiency

Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D Toxicity

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*NOTE: If you are pregnant, please consult your doctor before trying any natural remedy.

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.