How can both deficiency as well as an excess of vitamin D be harmful to the body?

Medically Reviewed by Checkmark Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Sravanthi Sunkaraneni

Vitamin D is among the 13 vitamins that our body needs for proper functioning. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, and your body can also synthesize it. Vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitates normal immune system function. It also maintains serum calcium concentration and is important for good musculoskeletal health. Therefore, you need it for the growth and development of bones and teeth and improved resistance to various diseases.

What are the side effects of excessive Vitamin D in my body?

Excess vitamin D can lead to toxicity. The symptoms of its toxicity appear after several months to years of consuming its excessive doses. The side effects include hypercalcemia (excess calcium in the body) and imbalance in bone metabolism regulation, which can lead to dehydration, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue and, in a few cases, kidney failure. Other side effects can be neurological symptoms such as confusion, apathy, agitation, irritability, and in severe cases, stupor and coma. Severe hypercalcemia can even cause cardiac arrhythmias. 

What happens to the body due to vitamin D deficiency?

You can have Vitamin D deficiency if your diet does not include enough nutrients rich in fat-soluble vitamins or if you have impaired intestinal absorption. Persons who get inadequate sun exposure are also susceptible to its deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to certain symptoms including a loss of bone density, muscle weakness, high or rising blood pressure, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, decreased endurance, chronic pain, and unexplained infertility.

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), a quarter of the Indian population is at risk for “inadequacy” of Vitamin D.

To measure the levels of Vitamin D in the body, a person can take a 25-hydroxy Vitamin D blood test. A level of 20 nanograms/ millilitre (ng/mL) to 50 nanograms/ millilitre (ng/mL) is considered adequate for healthy adult people. People having less than 20 nanograms/ millilitre (ng/mL) levels of serum Vitamin D are considered having the deficiency.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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