Vitamin D Deficiency (Low levels of Vitamin D)
What is it? Vitamin D Deficiency is a lack of sufficient levels of Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D helps the body use calcium and is essential for strong bones. Lower levels of Vitamin D have been shown to be associated with a number of health problems, including cardiovascular disease.
What causes it? Vitamin D is produced by your body in response to sunlight. It is also obtained through foods such as fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, and fortified dairy and grain products. Deficiency is often caused by one or more of the following: lack of Vitamin D intake through the diet, limited sunlight exposure, dark skin, kidney or digestive problems, and obesity.
How is it treated? Treatments may include dietary changes, dietary supplements and more sunlight exposure.
What if it is not treated? Low levels of Vitamin D can cause softening of the bones. There is some evidence that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with long-term illnesses such as autoimmune diseases (Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis) and high blood pressure.
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