Vitamin D Deficiency

Dr. Anurag Shahi (AIIMS)MBBS,MD

January 15, 2019

March 06, 2020

Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D Deficiency

What is vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency, also known as hypovitaminosis D, is a condition wherein there is a reduced or diminished amount of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins which regulates calcium absorption and also helps in the release of hormones from the parathyroid gland. It is estimated that in India, the prevalence is extremely high, around 70%-100% of the population.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Most individuals aren't diagnosed at first since they tend to be asymptomatic. Severe cases of vitamin D deficiency result in:

  • Rickets in children
  • Osteomalacia in adults
  • Muscle tiredness
  • Deep bone pain
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty in maintaining posture

What are the main causes?

Vitamin D is found in very few sources of food and sunlight is the chief source of this vitamin. UV rays from the sun convert the inactive form of the vitamin in the skin to its active form. This is further activated in the liver and the kidneys before it performs its function of regulating calcium in the body.

There are many causes that can trigger the deficiency of this vitamin. Among them are,

  • Lack of dietary intake of vitamin D
  • Inadequate vitamin D absorption in the body due to lack of fats in the diet
  • Not enough exposure to the sun
  • Imbalance in the conversion of vitamin D to its active form due to kidney or liver diseases where vitamin D is processed
  • Drug interactions with vitamin D interfering with its conversion and absorption

These causes can lead to reduced bone density leading to brittle bones and cause early fractures.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Vitamin D deficiency may be diagnosed by measuring vitamin D levels in the blood. Before that, the physician may perform a physical examination and ask about the history. Various tests for minerals may be performed especially calcium, phosphorous and parathyroid hormone levels.

The recommended dietary intake (RDA) of vitamin D for adults is 15 mcg per day. There are various supplements available to correct vitamin D deficiency. These supplements are available in two forms -  oral and injectable forms of vitamin D2 and D3. Dietary modifications are important methods for managing vitamin D deficiency. Foods that contain vitamin D should be consumed to meet everyday requirement e.g. liver, egg yolk and cheese. It is advisable to have a walk or do any physical activity in the morning where there is enough sunlight. This will help to provide adequate sunlight exposure and the body can convert vitamin D to its active form in the skin. The morning sunshine will be less harsh on your skin. This can, in turn, help in rectifying the deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can be easily corrected with a timely diagnosis.



  1. G,Ritu & Gupta, Ajay. (2014). Vitamin D Deficiency in India: Prevalence, Causalities and Interventions. Nutrients. 6. 729-75. 10.3390/nu6020729.
  2. Cleveland Clinic. [Internet]. Cleveland, Ohio. Vitamin D & Vitamin D Deficiency.
  3. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Vitamin D Deficiency.
  4. Health Harvard Publishing. Harvard Medical School [Internet]. Vitamin D and Health. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  5. Linus Pauling Institute [Internet]. Corvallis: Oregon State University; Vitamin D.
  6. National Institutes of Health; Office of Dietary Supplements. [Internet]. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Vitamin D.
  7. American Heart Association, American Stroke Association [internet]: Texas, USA AHA: On the Possible Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Cardiovascular Disease.

Doctors for Vitamin D Deficiency

Dr. Narayanan N K Dr. Narayanan N K Endocrinology
16 Years of Experience
Dr. Tanmay Bharani Dr. Tanmay Bharani Endocrinology
15 Years of Experience
Dr. Sunil Kumar Mishra Dr. Sunil Kumar Mishra Endocrinology
23 Years of Experience
Dr. Parjeet Kaur Dr. Parjeet Kaur Endocrinology
19 Years of Experience
Consult a Doctor

Medicines for Vitamin D Deficiency

Medicines listed below are available for Vitamin D Deficiency. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Lab Tests recommended for Vitamin D Deficiency

Number of tests are available for Vitamin D Deficiency. We have listed commonly prescribed tests below:

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