Normal vitamin D levels are essential for a healthier and more active life. People who have normal levels of vitamin D have strong bones and muscles. Children benefit from maintaining optimum levels of vitamin D as this keeps them healthy and energetic; while older ones do not become prone to sustaining fractures if there is an adequate amount of vitamin D. Those whose vitamin D levels are within the normal range can avoid the harmful effects of having abnormal quantities of vitamin D.
Failure to reach and maintain normal vitamin D levels increases the risks of suffering from major health problems. While vitamin D deficiency is very common across the globe, vitamin D overdose may also occur. A visit to the doctor is the surest way an individual can determine if his or her vitamin D levels are within the normal limits. The doctor may recommend diagnostic tests and tailor appropriate treatment plans should the levels prove abnormal.
Why maintain normal vitamin D levels?
Maintaining normal vitamin D levels is very extremely important since this vitamin plays a vital role in the absorption of phosphorus and calcium and ensures that they are in healthy levels. Phosphorous and calcium are needed in the production and mineralization of bones and this can only happen if calcium is absorbed in the intestines. Babies need normal levels of vitamin D for optimum growth while adolescents need them to be fit and active. Older people must also maintain normal vitamin D levels to avoid bone fractures.
Normal vitamin D level
Normal vitamin D levels should be anywhere between 35 ng/ml to 50 ng/ml for good health. The standard range may slightly differ from one lab to another and between countries. Vitamin D can be obtained from various sources, including food, supplements and sun exposure. People are required to consume 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D for healthy levels.
What do abnormal vitamin D levels indicate?
The amount of vitamin D in the body is said to be abnormal when it is lower or higher than the normal vitamin D levels. A low level of vitamin D is a strong indication that the person has inadequate amounts of vitamin D and is at high risk of developing life-threatening heart diseases. It could also be a sign of cancer, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, cognitive impairment among older people and serious asthma in children. On the other hand, high level of vitamin D is an indication that the person is at risk of developing certain medical problems such as cancer, autoimmune disorder, heart disease and osteoporosis. It may also give rise to elevated calcium levels which could lead to tissue and vascular calcification.
Vitamin D levels low or high
There are several reasons why vitamin D levels become abnormal, and these vary depending on the kind of abnormality detected, whether high or low.
- Low vitamin D levels
Low or inadequate vitamin D level is the most common vitamin D abnormality which affects all groups of people, from infants to the elderly. Deficiency in vitamin D occurs in a variety of reasons, and these are:
o Limited sunlight exposure
o Insufficient intake of vitamin D through diet and supplementation
o Effects of certain diseases such as colitis and Crohn’s disease
o Impaired digestive tract
o Failure of the kidneys to convert vitamin D to its active state
o Darker skin
- High vitamin D levels
This condition rarely occurs as it only happens when a person takes excessive amounts of vitamin D supplements. High intake of vitamin D-rich foods and too much sunlight cannot elevate the levels of vitamin D in a person’s body, but vitamin D supplementation can and puts the person at risk of vitamin D toxicity. Vitamin D cannot be eliminated from the body with water overload, instead, it gets stored resulting to manifestations of harmful symptoms.
High, Low Vitamin D symptoms
Those who do not have normal vitamin D levels will exhibit a variety of symptoms. People with low levels of vitamin D have pigmented skin, feel depressed, are obese and have knock-kneed appearance. Rickets, tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, hypertension and diabetes are signs that a person has low vitamin D levels and could be associated with joint pain, persistent fatigue, muscle pain and bone pain. On the other hand, people with high levels of vitamin D suffer from weak and painful muscles, bone pain and loss, hearing impairment, calcification and urinary stones.
How to keep vitamin D levels in check
Normal vitamin D levels can be maintained through healthy diet, vitamin supplementation, regular exercise and adequate sunlight exposure. Those with high levels of the vitamin should consult their physicians for proper dosage of vitamin D supplements so as to avoid toxicity.
Maintaining normal vitamin D levels is important for all sorts of people for optimum health and to avoid the dreadful health problems that may result due to abnormal amounts of vitamin D in the body.