Vitamin D Deficiency: The Under-lying Reason Behind Repeated Infections

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When a fetus has developed in utero and his body starts functioning, from that time, all systems get activated and start working like a machine and this complicated machine needs a lot of substances which work like a petrol to engine. Such substances include various nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Vitamins are sort of essential nutrients that play a role of assistant in all metabolic functions. There are 13 essential nutrients and they all have different roles from head-to-toe.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients which we have to take daily in recommended doses. But interesting fact is that this vitamin is also produced by our body itself while exposure to sunlight that’s why this vitamin is also called “Sunshine Vitamin”.

Functions:

As it’s a common fact and a common person also knows the relation between vitamin D and bones or joint, YES we can say the major role of this vitamin is for bones in collaboration with calcium. But It has so many other roles in our body which can not be neglected. Following are the different actions of vitamin D throughout our body.

It increases the absorption of calcium from GI tract. It maintains the level of calcium and phosphate in blood so that it can use for bone growth and remodeling. It helps to maintain the calcium level in the bonse by just check and balance system. This balance system is regulated by Parathyroid hormone.

Another function of Vitamin D is its action as immune booster. It boosts our self defense mechanism. It prevents us from infection and other illnesses. Vitamin D is playing a significant role in muscle strength. It increases the workability of muscles.

Commonly misdiagnosed scenarios:

30 years old lady, presented with a spot on her leg, which become infective and was considered as a boil. She was treated with antibiotic creams. Again after a month she started having same thing on another leg which became so much painful and infective that at this time, it was diagnosed as folliculitis (baal tor) and was again treated with creams and pain killers and the condition settled. This condition repeated again and again and was treated accordingly but the question was why it happened? So then with some routine investigation, it was found that it is due to Vitamin D deficiency.

5 years old child suffering from repeated respiratory infection sometimes treated as normal flu, some times allergy and so on. But the question was WHY a healthy kid is suffering again and again! The ultimate diagnosis was Vitamin D deficiency. You should visit a qualified doctor in any such such scenario so that he or she can identity the under-lying cause. You can book an appointment with the best general physicians in Lahore or in any other city of Pakistan via marham.pk. 

There are so many cases like this and they become all perfectly normal after taking Vitamin D therapy. Our skin acts as a big protector as it is working like a shelter and does not allow any invader to come in and affect us. Skin is loaded with immune receptors which become activated when germs try to attack us and Vitamin D plays a great role in activating immune system and if its deficient, it creates a big fault in our immune system and it can not work properly to protect us from infective organisms which results in repeated infections.

Other than skin, immune receptors are located in each and every system and have a same role in protecting our body from foreign attackers. Vitamin D plays a same role as in skin to act as a immune mediator.

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms:

  • Bone weakness
  • Joint pains
  • Repeated infections
  • Fatigue
  • Delayed dentition
  • Rickets( a disease of children in a vitamin D deficiency in which overall growth of bine affected along with mental health issues. Usually diagnosed when walking is not proper and delayed dentition)
  • Dry skin

Diagnosis:

Blood test and Vitamin D3 levels:

  • Deficient: 0-30ng/ml
  • Insufficient: 31-39ng/ml
  • Sufficient: 40-80ng/ml
  • Toxic: >150ng/ml

Management:

Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D. According to recent studies, it is suggested that the best time for sun exposure is 10am to 3pm and duration should be 5 to 10 minutes twice a day. Proper exposure of face, arm, legs or back without sunscreen is recommended.

Dietary Products:

  • Fish
  • Fortified milk
  • Fortified cereal
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggs
  • Fortified yogurt

Recommended Dietary Values:

  • 1-50 year old: 200 to 600 IU
  • 50-70 years: 400 to 600IU
  • More than 70 years old: 600 to 800 IU

Conclusion:

So it is very clear that whenever you are suffering from repeated infections, you must rule out vitamin D deficiency. Every problem is treated as per symptoms but it is important to identify rge underlying cause, the treatment of which is necessary to maintain quality of life.

About Author: Dr. Sania Bashir is a practicing General Physician from Hyderabad. To book an appointment or consult online with her, call 042-32591427.

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Sania Bashir

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