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Vitamin D is an important nutrient that is needed to thwart disease, protect your bone structure, and regulate mood. When it becomes deficient, it can wreak havoc on your overall health and make it difficult to function properly.

When our body doesn’t have enough vitamin D, it creates a deficiency. One of the most unique aspects of vitamin D is that our skin can produce it by using sunlight. Even more unique is the fact that younger and pale-skinned individuals can produce the vitamin far easier than those who are older and have darker complecations.

Vitamin D has many important functions in the body, and if you have the symptoms of a deficiency it’s important to include more of it in your diet, to get more sunlight (if possible), or even take supplements as directed by your physician.

Check out the 12 signs of a vitamin D deficiency you should never ignore.

1. Frequent infection or illness.

If you find you easily get sick or ill, you may have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D supports our immune system and helps us to fight off illness and to prevent it. While everyone gets sick once in a while, if you are staying sick, this could be why.

2. Bone and joint pain.

When our body doesn’t have the proper amount of vitamin D, it can block our body from increasing our bone mass. Vitamin D also prevents bone loss, so if you are having frequent joint and bone pain, you could be deficient.

3. Muscle weakness.

Vitamin D is important to our muscles and bones. If we are lacking in vitamin D, we may feel weak or as though we are losing our strength. You may have a hard time lifting things you had no problem lifting in the past.

4. Depression.

In a 2019 review, it was concluded that lower levels of vitamin D can result in low mood and depression. Since we have vitamin D receptors in our brain, and vitamin D has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, scientists suggest people with depression can benefit from its effect.

5. Low energy.

Vitamin D aids in our overall mood, reduces inflammation and empowers our body. Without the correct levels of it, we may feel fatigued and less productive.

6. Hair Loss

Past studies have found a link between female pattern hair loss (which affects 55% of women over the age of 70) and vitamin D deficiency.

7. Teeth deformities.

This one is especially so for children. When children are developing, they need adequate amounts of vitamin D more than ever. Vitamin D helps their teeth to properly develop and without it, they may be weak or deformed.

8. Cardiovascular issues.

A 2013 study found a link between vitamin D levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Since vitamin D protects our heart, this makes sense. If you are having heart problems, and have other symptoms of a deficiency, it’s important not to ignore this sign.

9. Slow wound healing.

Due to our immune system being responsible for our wounds healing themselves, when our levels are low, our body will have a hard time doing its job. Broken limbs may heal slower, cuts may become infected and grow worse, and other wounds may heal much slower than they should.

10. Fractures

While fractures happen- they shouldn’t happen easily or often. When fractures become the new norm, or when you find that a fracture happened far too easily- a vitamin D deficiency is likely to blame.

11. Muscle fatigue.

Muscle endurance is important. It helps us to overcome obstacles, to exercise, or simply make it through a productive day. If you find your muscles give out easier than before, you should ensure a vitamin D deficiency isn’t present.

12. Erectile dysfunction.

Studies have found that men who experience erectile dysfunction typically have lower levels of vitamin D than those who don’t. While this won’t 100% solve the dysfunction, it’s an important place to start if you are having issues with ED.