It is estimated that around 1 billion people in the world have too low levels of vitamin D in the blood. According to the National Institutes of Health, 7.6 million American children and adolescents have vitamin D deficiency, and 50.8 million have insufficient blood levels of this vitamin.
Vitamin D? I need the sun
Vitamin D is the only vitamin your body produces from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to the sun's rays. It is a fat soluble substance. Vitamin D comes in many forms - the two most important are vitamin D2 and D3. The effects of vitamin D are compared to the hormone because every cell in the body has a special receptor needed for its production.
It is true that vitamin D can be obtained from the diet, but only to a limited extent, insufficient for proper functioning. We'll find her in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), or some enriched products - dairy, breakfast cereals.
What are the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in a child?
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in a child can be subtle. Associated simply with the nature of a "small child". Meanwhile, examining vitamin D levels in the laboratory helps determine their true source.
How do you know that your child may have a deficiency problem?
- frequent and long sickness - although small children catch infections quickly due to the underdeveloped immune system, there are limits that may indicate a problem. The body needs a sufficient supply of vitamin D to be able to efficiently fight viral and bacterial infections.
- tiredness, fatigue, irritability - the child gets tired quickly, is drowsy, tired and even irritable? It can also be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. In extreme situations, vitamin D deficiency can cause depression.
- slow wound healing Low vitamin D levels can affect slow wound healing. Studies have shown that vitamin D allows the production of compounds necessary for skin formation and wound healing.
- hair loss,
- muscle and bone pain Vitamin D deficiency can also cause muscle and bone pain.
- tendency to break bones - vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus into the bones.
- tooth deformation,
- low height and skeletal deformities - rickets (especially legs exile under the influence of the weight of the upper body, arch legs, thick wrists, ankles)
- curvature of the spine, pelvic deformity.
Some studies indicate that vitamin D helps to prevent cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Which children are particularly at risk of vitamin D deficiency?
- all children living in Poland and other countries with low sunlight in the autumn and winter season,
- children taking anticonvulsants,
- obese or overweight
- with cystic fibrosis, Crohn's disease
- children with darker skin tones.
Due to the fact that there are few foods rich in vitamin D, and the widespread use of creams with UV filters hinders the production of vitamin D, doctors recommend supplementation. It is necessary especially in the autumn and winter season. If in doubt, discuss the matter with your pediatrician. Simple blood tests are also available to answer if your child is deficient in vitamin D. Large deficiencies are the basis for increasing the dose of vitamin taken.