When it comes to deficiencies, we usually think of anemia or some nutritional deficiencies. Deficiencies like Vitamin D3 deficiency and Vitamin B12 deficiency are often missed out or overlooked. Even more shocking is that many physicians are also not aware of the importance of doing the special tests for these deficiencies. At times, even when the physicians are aware of these tests of deficiencies, they just ignore prescribing the tests as they are expensive. It may also happen the other way round that the patients themselves may not do it after they learn that the tests are expensive. The patients are also not informed about the need for these special tests, what these vitamin deficiencies can cause, or what would be the consequences if one does not know the levels of Vitamin D3 and Vitamin B12 in their body.
It is a human tendency that we generally aim at thinking big or look for doing something great out of something. But, we do not pay attention to some small things which occur in our body or somethings we experience for the first time. We are so busy in our lives that we tend to overlook our bodily discomforts. Also, before the year 2000, many doctors did not even consider the possibility of Vitamin D deficiency. It later came into the limelight when the clinicians learned that its deficiency was so rampant. In comparison with Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 deficiency came into the picture quite early. There are a few foods that contain therapeutic doses of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. However, it is not yet clear how efficiently they get absorbed in the gut. Hence, an introspection is essential in order to learn about this neglected deficiency in the body.
In a metro city like Mumbai, there are lakhs of individuals who are working in a corporate set-up. They have a mundane working schedule of eight to nine hours a day. They generally start their work between 9 am to 10 am and finish their office hours between 6 pm to 7 pm. With this work schedule, there is no scope of getting exposed to the early morning or setting sun. The offices are usually enclosed with tinted glasses and centralized air conditioners. Hence, they are constantly working in an artificial light without coming in direct contact with sunlight during the day. This makes one prone to Vitamin D deficiency. Also, many people are turning vegan nowadays. There are almost nil sources of Vitamin B12 in vegetarian foods. Also, gastrointestinal diseases have become quite rampant these days which further affect the Vitamin B12 absorption. Vitamin B12 can only be synthesized if some external source is available. Many individuals are unaware of these deficiencies, as they do not know the signs and symptoms of the deficiencies. So, when a patient visits the clinic with a set of complaints, such as joint pains, depression, memory weakness, easy tiredness, confusion, lethargy, children complaining of leg pains, and other complaints, one may need to perform these special tests. These symptoms are quite commonly mentioned by patients, but as they do not cause any significant harm to your body they are overlooked. These may lead to significant health consequences ahead. So, as it is rightly said that “A stitch in time saves nine”. One can prevent these symptoms from getting worse if these deficiencies are tapped and corrected on time.
To know more about these deficiencies and their causes, you need to be aware of the signs, symptoms, and the food sources which can be included in your daily diet in order correct the deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is also known as hypovitaminosis D. This sunshine vitamin as it is rightly called as a fat-soluble vitamin, as it needs fat as a catalyst in order to get absorbed in the gut. There are a few sources of vitamin D, such as cheese, soya beans, meat, foods fortified with vitamin D, oranges, and other vitamin D rich foods, which have some amount of Vitamin D. Following are the signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.