I only checked my vitamin D levels as this deficiency in linked to increased risk of cancer in particular colon, breast and prostate. I didn't once suspect I'd be deficient because I live in Queensland Australia and have a tan. I had severe vitamin D deficiency! O_o
My reasons for vitamin D deficiency - magnesium deficiency and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (autoimmune hypothyroidism). My symptoms of vitamin D deficiency - very poor immune system, bone pain in my hands, mildly weak leg muscles, having to clear my throat constantly due to excess mucus.
Causes of vitamin D deficiency include:
* Lack of sunlight
* Everyone who lives more than 35 degrees latitude north or south of the equator is at risk of vitamin D deficiency in the winter months
* Dark or black skin needs up to 10 times the amount of sun than light skin to absorb vitamin D in their skin
* Wearing sunscreen - prevents absorption of UVB rays that create vitamin D
* Lack of vitamin D co-factors - magnesium (most important co factor), zinc, vitamin K2, boron, and a tiny amount of vitamin A
* Magnesium and calcium compete for absorption so excessive consumption of calcium can cause a magnesium deficiency
* Low cholesterol - cholesterol is the precursor to vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is made in the skin when 7-dehydrocholesterol absorbs UVB ultraviolet light at wavelengths between 270 - 300 nm
* Kidney and liver disease - vitamin D is processed (metabolized) by the liver and kidneys into an active form of vitamin D
* Parathyroid conditions (parathyroid - glands in front of the thyroid). PTH (parathyroid hormone) regulates calcium in the blood. As the calcium level increases, the level of vitamin D decreases
* Malabsorption including coeliac disease, Crohn's disease, food allergies, dysbiosis (yeast or bacterial)
* Hypothyroidism = possible explanations: poor absorption of vitamin D from the intestine or the body may not activate vitamin D properly
* Older adults - the skin converts less vitamin D from sunlight
* High cortisol levels (caused by stress, medications like steroids or medical conditions such as Cushing's Disease). When the body is in an active stress response, most of the cholesterol is used to make cortisol and not enough is left over for vitamin D production
* Medications including statins (cholesterol lowering drugs), acid lowering medications, anti-inflammatories, laxatives, prednisone, corticosteroids, anti-convulsants, replacement hormones, anticoagulants, blood thinners.
* Conditions that impair fat absorption such as Cystic Fibrosis, IBS, IBD, gall bladder, liver disease
* Inflammation of any type reduces the utilization of vitamin D
* Very large or obese body, as a larger body requires more vitamin D
* Gastric bypass surgery
* Very low fat diet - in order to absorb vitamin D the body needs to have fat (vitamin D is fat soluble)
* Lacking vitamin D in the diet or a strict vegetarian diet - natural food sources of vitamin D are animal based
* Pesticides: most are fat soluble and steroid hormone disruptors (vitamin D is a steroid hormone)
* Hereditary disorders
- Renal 1 alpha-hydroxylase deficiency (also called type I hereditary vitamin D-dependent rickets)
- Type II Hereditary Vitamin D-Dependent Rickets
- Type III hereditary vitamin D-dependent rickets
That's so weird! Sounds just like me! Vitamin d us 15/16 cortisal was high 23/24 but my 24 hour urine was normal!
Make sure you're taking D3 not D2. You need D3 daily along with magnesium and Vitamin K2 (if you don't get enough dark leafy greens in your diet and you're not on other medications where K2 would be an issue). D2 depletes your body and us harmful. Also, weekly/monthly doses of D won't stay in your body long enough.