Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. It’s often called the sunshine vitamin because the body produces it after exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is important for strong bones, muscles, and overall health.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause health problems such as osteoporosis, rickets, muscle weakness, and other health problems. Individuals must be aware if they are at risk for a vitamin D deficiency so they can take steps to avoid the condition from occurring altogether.
Individuals at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency are those over 50, have dark skin, and are overweight or obese. However, anyone can be at risk for a deficiency, even if they do not have these risk factors. The only way to know if an individual has vitamin D deficiency is to get their blood levels checked by a healthcare professional.
There are several reasons why a person might not get enough vitamin D, including a diet that does not include enough foods that contain vitamin D. Spending too much time indoors can also contribute to vitamin D deficiency. Lastly, Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease can make it hard for the intestine to absorb vitamin D from food.
It’s no secret that fatigue is one of the most common complaints heard by doctors. In fact, according to a recent survey, nearly one-third of Americans reported feeling tired or exhausted all or most of the time. While there can be many different causes of fatigue, one that is often overlooked is vitamin D deficiency.
One study found that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D than those without CFS. Another study found that vitamin D supplementation improved fatigue in women who were not deficient in the nutrient. Additionally, people who are deficient in vitamin D often report feeling weak and having little energy.
While the exact mechanism by which vitamin D deficiency causes fatigue is not known, it is believed to be related to vitamin D’s impact on muscle function and energy production. Vitamin D plays a role in the synthesis of ATP, the body’s primary energy source. A lack of vitamin D may produce less ATP, leading to fatigue.