Vitamin D deficiency: The ‘painful’ sign in your lower back could be a symptom

Lorraine: Dr Amir says spine could shrink if deficient in vitamin D

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Vitamin D deficiency targets around one in five Britons. The deficiency can be even more prevalent during the winter months as your body might not be able to get enough of this vitamin from direct sunlight. Here are the warning signs to spot the lack of this nutrient.

Vitamin D helps with various functions in your body, including immunity and heart health, Heart UK explains.

The sunshine vitamin also plays a role in absorbing calcium and phosphorus from your diet.

Then your body uses these minerals to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy and strong.

So, when your body becomes deficient in vitamin D, these areas of your body can become targeted.

For example, your bones can start feeling painful under moderate pressure, a health portal Patient reports.

This is often more obvious in the ribs or shin bones.

Another place affected by this problem can be your back.

You might experience bone pain in this area as well as in your hips, pelvis, thighs and feet.

However, pain in your bones isn’t the only warning sign of vitamin D deficiency.

According to Cleveland Clinic, other symptoms include:

  • Tiredness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle cramps.

The health site adds that this deficiency can be hard to spot as it’s not “quite obvious” in adults.

Why is vitamin D deficiency more common in winter?

During the sunnier months which usually begin in later March and end in September, your body is able to synthesise enough of this vitamin just from sunlight.

So, spending times outdoors with bare skin can give you just enough, the NHS explains.

However, this becomes more difficult from October onwards as your body might struggle to meet the recommended amount.

That’s why the Government recommends looking into supplementing with vitamin D.

How much vitamin D do I need?

Adults, and children over the age of one year, need 10 micrograms of vitamin D on a daily basis.

There are also international units, IU for short, used for measuring vitamin D content.

One microgram of this vitamin is the equivalent of 40 IU, bringing your recommended daily target to 400 IU.

When it comes to babies under one year, they need around 8.5 to 10 micrograms a day, the health service adds.

Apart from sunlight, you can get vitamin D from certain foods, including oily fish and mushrooms, or supplements.

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