Vitamin Deficiencies: Vitamin D & Vitamin B12

Deficiency of Vitamins

Vitamin D & B12 are the vital nutrient components which, just like protein, calcium, fat, and water, act as a significant element for the growth and development of human body.  Vitamin Deficiencies usually lead to diseases like rickets, scurvy, and beriberi.From the past few years, it has been noticed that due to an increase in erratic lifestyles, urban youth has shown an increasing occurrence of vitamin deficiency such as Vitamin D & B12. Let’s study about the reasons, symptoms, and corrective measures of Vitamin D &B12 in urban youth.

vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms
Vitamin D – deficiency of Vitamins

Vitamin D, also known as the Sun Vitamin is produced through the process of synthesis inside the human skin due to direct exposure to the sun. The main function of Vitamin D is bone growth. It fosters the process of calcium absorption in the gut. Vitamin D is also required for other processes like neuromuscular and immune operation and modulation process in cell growth. It is estimated that one billion people around the world are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency.

With increasingly long hours spent indoors, the youth is showing higher numbers of Vitamin D deficiency. This is compounded by the fact that whatever little time we spend outside, we are covered by sunscreen, which prevents our skin from converting sunlight to Vitamin D.

Causes

  1. Low or no exposure to sun
  2. Limited outdoor activities
  3. Wearing too much sun block creams to prevent the process of synthesis.
  4. Obesity due to consumption of unhealthy and junk food
  5. Maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle during aging years.

Symptoms & Risk Factors

Woman with back pain
Woman with back pain

1.Darker Skin –People with darker skin are found to be more susceptible to Vitamin D deficiency because their skin needs 10 times more exposure to the sun for producing the same amount of Vitamin D as compared to the people with pale skin.
2.Feeling Depressed- The brain hormone Serotonin is associated with your mood upliftment. As per the research conducted by scientists in 2006, if you lack Vitamin D you are 11 times more prone to depression than your counterparts.
3. Gut problem- Since Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin hence if you are suffering from a gastrointestinal condition which affects your fat absorption, you may absorb fat soluble Vitamin D less hence leading to troubles like celiac, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, Crohn’s, and bowel disease.
4. Frequent sweating- Frequent excessive sweating, especially in elderly people and newborn, is an early and classic symptom of Vitamin D deficiency.
5. Aching bones
6. You have crossed the 50’s- When you get old your skin doesn’t produce the similar amount of Vitamin D when exposed to the sun as compared to the days of youth.

Corrective Measures

  1. Increasing outdoor activities
  2. Including Vitamin D rich food sources in diet like cereal, milk and related products, orange juice, doctor prescribed supplements, fish, and salmon.
  3. Adopting a healthier lifestyle like healthy diet and regular exercising to avoid obesity.

 

Vitamin B12

Abstract word cloud for Vitamin B12 with related tags and terms
Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 helps in building red blood cells, required for carrying oxygen and DNA in the human body. Efficient functioning of the central nervous system that’s responsible for maintaining alertness and memory recall also requires healthy doses of B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is mainly diet based, and a sedentary, erratic lifestyle, compounded by a lack of a well-balanced diet, leads to B12 deficiency.

Let’s study the causes, symptoms, and corrective measures for the treatment of Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Causes

  1. Due to condition Atrophic gastritis, in which the stomach lining has thinned.
  2. Condition Pernicious Anaemia making difficult for the body to absorb Vitamin B12
  3. Stomach surgeries to remove a part of stomach and weight loss surgery.
  4. Lack of dairy products in the diet.
  5. Excessive alcohol consumption

Symptoms

  1. Weakness
  2. Anaemia
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Loss of vision
  5. Pale skin
  6. Diarrhoea
  7. Nerve related problems like weak muscles, the problem in walking, and numbness.
  8. Depression, memory loss, and alteration in behaviour
  9. Dementia symptoms

Corrective Measures

  1. The inclusion of dairy and meat products like eggs in your diet.
  2. Doctor prescribed supplements
  3. In the case of Pernicious Anemia, initially, high dose of injections are given to the patient initially and later continued injections and medicines are prescribed usually for a lifetime.

Refer the links below to study more about the above deficiencies:

http://www.webmd.boots.com/healthy-eating/guide/vitamin-b12-deficiency

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/#h7

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