Vitamin D deficiency in infants causes development of rickets in them. Such children exhibit peculiar characteristics of delayed walking, and prefer prolonged periods of sitting. In older children, walking becomes painful and in severe cases, bow legs may develop. In adolescent girls, the pelvic bones flatten, which in turn causes narrowing of the birth canal. Vitamin D deficiency is the major and common cause of nutritional rickets.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency may precipitate as osteomalacia. Affected adults complain of muscle aches and pain. Such individuals are also prone to frequent fractures due to poorly mineralized skeletal matrix .
Entire Body System
- Weight Loss
We present a case of a 30-year-old woman presented with muscle weakness, weight loss, hypercalcaemia and a pathological fracture, eventually with rapidly progressive musculoskeletal disease. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
This weight-loss surgery removes part of the stomach and/or the intestines. Reducing the size of these organs lowers the amount of vitamin D-containing nutrients that can be absorbed. Obesity. [my.clevelandclinic.org]
The benefits of vitamin D, backed up by tons of research, ring loud and clear: strong bones, improved mood, even more efficient weight loss. But signs that you're low on the nutrient are a bit quieter. [womenshealthmag.com]
Protein-energy malnutrition is likely to be associated with vitamin D intake deficiency. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Abbreviations DHQ: diet history questionnaire IQR: interquartile range MAM: moderate acute malnutrition NIH: National Institutes of Health PEM: protein energy malnutrition PTH: parathyroid hormone SAM: severe acute malnutrition SD: standard deviation [doi.org]
Trang: 90 Tập XXIV, số 6 (155) 2014 Malnutrition, vitamin D deficiency and related factors in children aged 12- 36 months in Hoai Duc district, Hanoi Tác giả: Vũ Thị Thu Hiền Tóm tắt: Nghiên cứu này xác định tỷ lệ suy dinh dưỡng, thiếu vitamin D và một [tapchiyhocduphong.vn]
Senior Fall Prevention Lap Buddy How to Prevent Senior Malnutrition [aplaceformom.com]
Both PHPT and VDD contributed to severe osteoporosis, which could be exacerbated by not attaining his peak bone mass and by immobilization because of a fragile fracture with delayed healing. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010;85(8):752-758 National Osteoporosis Sociaety (NOS) 2018. [gpnotebook.co.uk]
Low vitamin D levels can lead to osteoporosis and increase your risk of falls and fractures (broken bones) if you are over 50. Osteoporosis occurs when your bones lose calcium and other minerals, making them fragile and more likely to break. [healthdirect.gov.au]
In addition, the optimal standard of care for osteoporosis should encompass adequate calcium and vitamin D intake. [doi.org]
- Muscle Weakness
All had generalized bone pain and tenderness, muscle weakness, stooping posture, difficulty walking, and waddling gait due to severe proximal muscle weakness for a period of 2 to 5 years. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
- Bone Pain
METHODS: Patients with leg pain, defined as local pain and tenderness over tibial bones for ≥ 6 weeks were consecutively selected. Secondary causes of pain were excluded by appropriate clinical, radiological and laboratory examinations. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Common vitamin D deficiency symptoms include: Bone Pain Back Pain Weakness in the muscles Frequent infections Fatigue Slow-healing wounds Hair loss Cramps and muscle pain Further Reading:- [byjus.com]
- Proximal Muscle Weakness
We report a four-year-old African boy referred for proximal muscle weakness, fatigability and episodic limb pain. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Children with established vitamin D deficiency present with features of rickets (skeletal abnormalities, developmental delay, failure to thrive), whereas adults present with signs and symptoms of osteomalacia (bone pain and tenderness, proximal muscle [bestpractice.bmj.com]
Common manifestations of vitamin D deficiency are symmetric low back pain, proximal muscle weakness, muscle aches, and throbbing bone pain elicited with pressure over the sternum or tibia. [aafp.org]
- Rachitic Rosary
Rachitic rosary — Beadlike bumps present at the junction of the ribs with their cartilages—often seen in children with rickets. [medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com]
rosary and Harrison’s sulcus, extending from the costal cartilage transversely outward to the axilla. [news-medical.net]
Costochondral thickening can look like beadlike prominences along the lateral chest wall (rachitic rosary). [merckmanuals.com]
Serum levels of 25(OH) D less than 15 or 20 ng/mL are defined as vitamin D deficiency. Whereas, levels below 30mg/mL are considered to be insufficient levels of vitamin D. When the serum level of 25(OH) D is above 30ng/mL, then maximum intestinal absorption of calcium occurs. On the other hand, when the levels begin to fall below 30ng/mL, then the levels of parathyroid hormone get elevated. This is considered to be another important marker for vitamin D deficiency . It indicates an inverse relationship between parathyroid hormone and 25(OH) D. Measuring the serum 25(OH) D levels is the best method to determine vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is treated through administration of its supplements. The dosage schedule depends on the age of the individual, and extent of deficiency that has set in. A daily maintenance dose of vitamin D for children and adults is given to be about 600 – 2000 IU daily. For the deficient population, doses higher than the recommended limits are suggested to be taken on weekly basis with additional extra allowance to meet daily requirements.
It is necessary that the 25(OH) D levels are checked post supplementation program. This is required to know whether the levels have reached the normal levels or not. If the levels continue to remain low, then the method of UVB light therapy is used for improving the vitamin D status .
Timely initiation of treatment is necessary to prevent occurrence of hip and nonvertebral fractures. Individuals should be put on supplements of vitamin D, when the first signs of deficiency are noticed. Prolonged deficiency of vitamin D can cause onset of severe and debilitating conditions, such as fractures, rickets and osteoporosis. Several studies have also demonstrated a relation between low levels of circulating vitamin D, and increase risk of developing, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and cancer .
Vitamin D deficiency can occur due to the following factors:
- Lack of exposure to sunlight: Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Individuals who stay indoors, or children who do not indulge in outdoor games, may develop vitamin D deficiency .
- Malabsorption: Individuals with malabsorption syndromes, such as celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, and short bowel syndrome, or those who have undergone resection of small intestine also develop vitamin D deficiency.
- Insufficient amounts of vitamin D in breast milk: Human breast milk does not contain adequate amounts of vitamin D. Therefore, infants who are exclusively breast fed are at risk of developing deficiency of vitamin D.
- Medications and drugs: Certain types of medications such as rifampin, dilantin and phenobarbital, are known to interfere with absorption of vitamin D causing its deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common phenomenon for the elderly population and those who are hospitalized. It has been estimated that in the US, about 60% of nursing residents and 57% of patients who were hospitalized developed vitamin D deficiency .
Seasonal variations also have an impact on the vitamin D status of individuals. A study carried out on healthy individuals of Boston revealed that, at the end of winter season, the individuals under study had insufficient levels of vitamin D .
Vitamin D primarily exists in 2 different forms, D2 known as ergocalciferol and D3 known as cholecalciferol. The D3 form is synthesized when the body is exposed to sunlight. Some dietary sources such as fish oils and salted fish also contain vitamin D3. Vitamin D is important for optimal functioning of various body organs. However, its most vital functioning is to promote the absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestine, thereby maintaining optimal bone health. Therefore, deficiency of vitamin D causes poor bone health predisposing individuals to develop several bone disorders .
In order to avoid vitamin D deficiency from setting in, it is required that individuals get adequate exposure to sun. Children should be encouraged to indulge more in outdoor games. Infants who are exclusively breastfed should be started on vitamin D supplements after 2 months; this is so because breast milk does not contain adequate amounts of vitamin D. In addition, pregnant women should also be given vitamin D supplements, to prevent onset of its deficiency in the woman and the fetus. Elderly population who do not get enough sun exposure should also take daily of 10 micrograms of vitamin D .
Vitamin D deficiency is characterized by insufficient levels of vitamin D in body that can cause several debilitating conditions. Lack of intake, exposure to sunlight and, or, malabsorption can cause deficiency of vitamin D to set in. Vitamin D is vital for calcium and phosphorus homeostasis, as well as is important for maintaining skeletal health. Most often signs of mild vitamin D deficiency do not show up easily. However, in cases of severe deficiency, affected individuals often end up contracting bone diseases such as rickets and osteomalacia .
Individuals who stay indoors, such as hospitalized patients, or nursing residents, do not get sufficient sun exposure. Lack of sun exposure can cause vitamin D deficiency to set in. In addition, malabsorption syndromes, such as celiac disease, cystic fibrosis and short bowel syndrome, can also increase the risk of developing vitamin D deficiency.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in infants include delayed crawling and walking. Affected children prefer to sit rather than walk, and in severe cases can develop rickets. In adults, vitamin D deficiency manifests as development of osteomalacia.
Serum level of 25(OH) D is assessed to diagnose vitamin D deficiency. Levels low than 15 or 20ng/mL confirms vitamin D deficiency.
Treatment involves giving vitamin D supplements to the affected individuals. In case, when supplements do not work, then UVB light therapy can be considered.
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- Lagunova Z, Porojnicu AC, Aksnes L, et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation and ultraviolet B exposure on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in healthy volunteers: a randomized, crossover clinical trial. Br J Dermatol 2013; 169:434.
- Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention of Vitamin D Deficiency: an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Jun 6 2011