Vitamin D Deficiency – Symptoms & Diseases
Vitamin D Deficiency - Symptoms & Diseases

Acute vitamin D deficiency symptoms can usually be overcome quickly. The healing of chronic vitamin D deficiency diseases, on the other hand, takes time. In many cases, it is no longer possible due to the degenerative damage that has occurred. This mainly affects the deformation of the bones in osteomalacia (softening of the bones, called rickets in children) as well as vertebral body fractures and bone damage in advanced osteoporosis.

Typical Symptoms Of Acute Vitamin D Deficiency


Cramping, twitching, trembling, vibrating, pain and weakness of muscles.


Powerlessness, listlessness, loss of energy, constant exhaustion and dejection.

Nervous System

Disturbance of the nervous function, causing sleep disturbance, constant tiredness and exhaustion, high need for sleep, headaches, concentration disorders, restlessness and inner unrest, changes in behavior, coordination disorders, and insecurity when walking and standing.


Circulatory disorders, sensation of cold, especially in the hands and feet.

Skeletal Damage

Osteoporosis (loss of bone mass) and osteomalacia (pain due to the softening and deformation of the bones).

Disturbance Of The Muscle Function

Severe vitamin D deficiency often leads to eyelid twitching and twitching of the arm and leg muscles, to vibration of muscle fibers (fasciculations), and to cramps and muscle pain, especially at night. The soles of the feet can also cramp and the neck muscles can be tense. Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to heart failure.

How are these symptoms to be explained? The function of the muscle depends on a sufficient supply of calcium because the contraction of a muscle cell starts by the influx of calcium. If there is a lack of calcium due to a lack of vitamin D, the body has to save and, especially at night, less calcium is provided for the muscles. This mainly explains the nocturnal occurrence of symptoms, such as the typical pain in the leg muscles. An improvement is usually achieved within seven days.


A healthy person is dynamic, they enjoy exercising and activity, while a sick person is adynamic, they suffer from frailty, exhaustion and listlessness (fatigue syndrome). These patients have a high need for sleep, but are never properly regenerated and full of energy even after a long rest.

Textbooks of medicine cover entire chapters with this phenomenon, but what is probably the most common cause today, vitamin D deficiency, has not yet been mentioned.

We associate the term lime with dead stone. The name of the trace element calcium is derived from this. However, it has extreme responsiveness. If pure calcium is thrown into water, it leads to a violent chemical reaction with hissing and steaming.

The calcium ions in the organism can be compared with what the ignition voltage is in a combustion engine. If this is reduced, the combustion process is slowed down. If the vitamin level is low, the calcium supply is disturbed and consequently savings must be made when releasing the calcium. Thus, there are problems in getting the muscle cells to activity, which is at the expense of muscle strength and in extreme cases is perceived as leaden fatigue.

The symptoms usually worsen at night. If the deficiency is particularly pronounced, normalization does not occur during the day either.

An improvement in Adynamia is usually achieved within seven days with vitamin D therapy.

Disturbance Of Nerve Function

Just like the muscle cell, the nerve cell is also activated by an influx of calcium.

If the required ignition voltage is missing, what happens in the brain is what happens in a computer with a poor voltage supply. When we are awakened at night, our mental performance is quite poor at first.

In patients with severe vitamin D deficiency, this is a permanent condition. A calcium deficit in the brain as a result of a vitamin D deficiency worsens mental abilities.

The undersupply of calcium leads to restless sleep and insomnia via the disturbance of the nervous system’s disturbance, which is responsible for tiredness and fatigue, to concentration disorders, perplexity and inner restlessness.

This is also to be seen in connection with the fact that if the vascular muscles’ regulation is disturbed via calcium ions, the falling blood pressure is stabilized alternatively via the adrenaline system. However, this fire brigade system stimulates the brain cells, which is particularly annoying at night.

When the deficiency is corrected, the symptoms improve promptly, usually within seven days.

Patients often complain about depression, sadness and melancholy.

Since the cause remains undetected without determining the vitamin D level, this depressive state is often misdiagnosed as “endogenous depression.”

This asserts that there is no external cause. In many cases it is a “secondary depression” that has developed only due to persistent lack of vitamin D.

The evidence can be provided by healing with vitamin D therapy. Of course, there are also depressions with other causes that do not improve even with an adequate vitamin D supply.


If you get up quickly from a lying position, your blood pressure is sometimes not enough to supply blood to all areas of the brain: it goes black before your eyes. The technical term for the “upright stance” is “orthostasis“. The lack of vitamin D is probably the most important cause of orthostatic problems, so-called circulatory problems.

After the deficiency has been remedied, circulatory problems, headaches that occur after getting up, headaches after standing for a long time, nausea under stress, persistent head pressure, morning sickness, sensitivity to cold, paleness, falling asleep of the arms and legs usually improve.

Vitamin D deficiency also disrupts the function of the vascular muscles. Circular muscles surround all blood-carrying tubes, like the pressure suit of a jet pilot. This prevents the blood from being pressed into the arteries of the legs by the radial acceleration in a curve and from missing in the brain.

That would lead to a life-threatening blackout for the pilot. If there is a calcium deficiency, the activity of these circular muscles is reduced. Getting up suddenly at night can make you feel dizzy. If there is a pronounced vitamin D deficiency, the blood pressure can even drop during the day, with dizziness and visual disturbances.

Pain and pressure in the head are the results of counter-reactions. As soon as a reduced blood pressure is measured by the pressure sensors in the carotid arteries, an emergency reaction occurs: adrenaline and similar hormones are suddenly released in order to stabilize the blood pressure by activating the vessels’ ring muscles. This adrenaline system turns on automatically like a turbo.

However, adrenaline and the related angiotensin lead to cramping of the head’s vascular muscles at higher doses. This becomes noticeable as a headache. This reflex often comes so quickly that the headache starts immediately after it goes black before your eyes.

If there is a severe deficiency in vitamin D, the continuous tension of the circular muscles fails because there is a lack of calcium. The adrenaline system, which is actually only intended for emergency situations, then has to be constantly active. This explains the persistent headache of many patients.

Restless sleep with vitamin D deficiency can be explained by two mechanisms: on the one hand by the electrical instability of the nerve cells, on the other hand by the unstable control of the vascular muscles.

The blood vessels’ sphincters are no longer stimulated to the adrenaline system as the tension decreases during the night, and the blood pressure drops.

However, people with a vitamin D deficiency then have far too little activity of the calcium system. The blood sinks into the arteries that are too wide open and the blood pressure can reach critical values ​​below 80 mmHg. In this nocturnal emergency the adrenaline system switches on to prevent the blood pressure from falling further. The stimulating effect of adrenaline on the brain disrupts sleep. As a result, you wake up.

The often recommended sleeping drink made from milk and honey only achieves small initial successes because the provision of calcium and sugar postpones the point in time when the adrenaline system kicks in. Only after vitamin D deficiency has been remedied will the quality of sleep improve over the long term.

Unfortunately, it is hardly possible to diagnose this interaction by measuring blood pressure. If normal blood pressure is found at night, it remains unclear whether this value is due to the calcium system’s action or the adrenaline system. Subtle indications of the adrenaline system’s unwanted acitivty can be sweating, fidgety and a high diastolic (second) blood pressure value.

“I don’t like sport,” some people complain, “it always makes me sick.” Nausea that occurs during exercise is also often the result of a sudden activation of the adrenaline system. Those who are untrained and have a bad vitamin D status are often prevented from running by nausea and sometimes even vomiting.

Many patients complain of cold hands and feet. Sometimes the fingertips and even the hands turn white. This is often due to the spasmodic narrowing of the sphincter of the blood vessels under adrenaline. Here, too, there is an improvement after the vitamin D treatment.

Often, after months of taking vitamin D, people who do not have suitable veins for a blood sample have veins that are perfectly fine again. The spasms of the sphincters are released.

An improvement in orthostatic problems usually takes longer than with other vitamin D deficiency symptoms. After the deficiency has been rectified, you have to wait up to five weeks for improvement. The delayed response is probably the result of weak sphincters, which take time to strengthen.

Skeletal Damage

If there is a vitamin D deficiency, calcium absorption and utilization are impaired, which is made worse by a poor diet. In the case of food with excess acidity (meat, fish, eggs, cheese, quark and cereal products), the kidneys’ calcium loss increases, while it is lower in the case of excess food (fruit and vegetables).

A constant high concentration of calcium ions in the blood is necessary to keep the heart and brain functional. However, the calcium deficit resulting from vitamin D deficiency and increased losses through the kidneys can only be covered by the body attacking the bone’s calcium reserves.

First of all, bone mass is broken down in places with little static importance: the skull and sternum are damaged first in rickets. If these calcium reserves are used up, the supporting bones also shrink, and the bone density decreases. Over time, a creeping osteoporosis develops, which is associated with an increased risk of fractures. Not only older people, but increasingly also younger people are affected.

The decrease in bone mass is initially reversible. However, in the advanced stage, the trabeculae dissolve, leading to permanent damage which is initially symptom-free.

Over time, the vertebral bodies’ height and shape change, leading to a change in the statics of the spine and chronic back pain. Even the vertebral bodies interrupt, and the intervertebral discs are put under unfavorable stress. It often takes more than a year with high-dose vitamin D before the vertebral bodies have stabilized with back pain like this.

However, vitamin D therapy works faster if back pain is muscular-related.

If there is a strong vitamin D deficiency, the mineralization of the bones is disturbed, they become soft and can be deformed under stress. This is known as osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children. The bending of the softened bones leads to the periosteum’s tension, which results in pain when stressed.

If the foot and pelvic bones have become flexible due to osteomalacia, it pains in the groin and feet when you stand, whereas the pain disappears again when lying down. Such symptoms respond well to a vitamin D therapy. A noticeable improvement in the symptoms can only be achieved within a few months. Studies show that the normalization of bone metabolism (AP enzyme) often takes a year. The patient and the therapist must therefore be patient with such disorders.

In severe osteomalacia, the bones that are stressed when standing are deformed, especially the leg bones. In children with rickets, the deformation often persists. And to avoid permanent damage, a vitamin D deficiency must be diagnosed and remedied in good time before the bones become deformed.

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