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Vitamin D Deficiency

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency is a low level of vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from foods.

Vitamin D is also essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. The function of the immune system is to prevent or limit infection.

Your body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. You can also get vitamin D from certain foods. Most of the vitamin D in your body comes from sunlight exposure.

What increases my risk for vitamin D deficiency?

What are the signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

Low levels of vitamin D can lead to weak and brittle bones that are more likely to fracture. You may not have any signs and symptoms, or you may have any of the following:

How is vitamin D deficiency diagnosed and treated?

Blood tests will be done to measure the amount of vitamin D in your blood. Your healthcare provider may give you high doses of vitamin D for 8 to 12 weeks to increase your levels. Your levels will then be rechecked. If your levels are still low, you will need to take vitamin D supplements for another 8 weeks. After your levels have gone back to normal, you may need to continue to take a vitamin D supplement.

How much vitamin D do I need each day?

The amount of vitamin D you need depends on your age. You may need more than the recommended amounts below if you take certain medicines or you have obesity. Ask your healthcare provider how much vitamin D you need.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

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How can I help prevent vitamin D deficiency?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Treatment options

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.