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Vitamin D deficiency is a low level of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is found in a few foods. It is also produced when the skin is exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Vitamin D is stored in the body's liver and fatty tissues.
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Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by:
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
People with mild to moderate deficiency may not have symptoms. Those with a severe deficiency may have:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You may also be asked about your diet.
Your level of vitamin D will be tested. This can be done with blood tests.
The goal of treatment is to increase vitamin D levels. This can be done with:
The risk of this problem may be lowered by:
National Celiac Association
Office of Dietary Supplements—National Institutes of Health
American Academy of Dermatology. Position statement on vitamin D. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/Forms/Policies/Uploads/PS/PS-Vitamin%20D.pdf. Accessed February 4, 2021.
Dietary supplement fact sheet: vitamin D. Office of Dietary Supplements website. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional. Accessed February 4, 2021.
Holick MF. The vitamin D deficiency pandemic: Approaches for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2017 Jun;18(2):153-165
Vitamin D deficiency in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/vitamin-d-deficiency-in-adults. Accessed February 4, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN Last Updated: 2/4/2021