Vitamin D Deficiency in Children: A Growing Problem
Vitamin D deficiency is a long-standing condition. Research on vitamin D, especially those related to disease, has increased recently.
What is vitamin D deficiency?
People need a certain amount of vitamin D to be healthy. The condition that occurs when they are deprived of this amount is called vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D helps the nervous, muscle and immune system work in the body.
Vitamin D also helps the body absorb calcium. Calcium is an essential component of our bones. Therefore, according to data from the US National Library of Health, vitamin D prevents osteopenia that sometimes occurs in premature babies.
Sources of vitamin D
To prevent vitamin D deficiency in children, it is important to know the sources of this vitamin. Vitamin D can come from different sources:
- Through the skin
- With diet and supplements
Although the body naturally produces vitamin D after sun exposure, the problem is that overexposure to sunlight can lead to skin aging and cancer.
Nutritional Rickets: a condition caused by vitamin d deficiency
Rickets is a condition that occurs when the bones soften in growing children, according to information from the American Academy of Pediatrics. It occurs when bones cannot absorb enough calcium and phosphorus to form healthy and strong bones. While there are genetic and metabolic causes for rickets, the most common is vitamin D deficiency and is known as nutritional rickets.
Therefore, rickets is a common disease in developing or underdeveloped countries. It is characterized by delayed growth and is accompanied by bone deformation. It is usually seen in children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years, as they are the fastest growing periods.
Too much vitamin D is also a problem
According to the information from the US National Library of Medicine, which we mentioned earlier, taking too much vitamin D can also be harmful to the body. This is known as vitamin D toxicity.
As this study published in the Pharmacological Bulletin points out, symptoms of vitamin D toxicity include:
- Weight loss
Too much vitamin D can also damage the kidneys. Excess of this vitamin also raises calcium levels in the blood. High calcium levels in the blood, called hypercalcemia, can cause confusion, disorientation, and heart rhythm problems.
Vitamin D deficiency in children
It is very important to meet your child’s vitamin D needs. While doing this, you should definitely consult a doctor in order not to do unconscious treatments.
It should also be noted that taking too much vitamin D is just as harmful as vitamin D deficiency. That’s why it’s important to find the right balance between safe sunbathing and taking adequate vitamin D supplements.