Vitamin D deficiency usually occurs at this time of year because with shorter daylight hours and reduced UV levels it’s more difficult for the body to synthesise vitamin D.
Nicknamed the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is important when it comes to healthy function of the body, as it keeps bones and teeth strong, helps the body to absorb calcium, and helps the immune system stay in good shape.
A deficiency in vitamin D could cause a number of symptoms to develop.
These include tiredness, weakness, and muscles and bone pain. But one many people might not associate with the condition is incontinence.
Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to pelvic floor disorders, such as urinary and decal incontinence, according to a study.
“Higher vitamin D levels were associated with decreased risk of any pelvic floor disorder in all women,” said researcher Samuel Badalian of SUNY Update Medical University in Syracuse, New York, and colleagues in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
He added: “Given the increase in the number of patients with pelvic floor disorders, further evaluation of the road of vitamin D is warranted.”
Having urinary incontinence means you pass urine unintentionally, explains the NHS.
When and how this happens varies depending on the type of urinary incontinence you have.
The health body advises: “It’s a good idea to see your GP if you have urinary incontinence.
“It’s a common problem, and seeing your GP can be the first step towards finding a ay to effectively manage it.”
There are a number of other signs to note that many people wouldn’t necessarily associated with vitamin D deficiency.
Research has demonstrated that lack of vitamin D can lead to hair loss because vitamin D stimulates new and old hair follicles.
When there isn’t enough of the vitamin in your body new hair growth can be stunted.
Deficiency in the vitamin has also been linked to alopecia, a condition which causes bald patches on the scalp and hair loss in other areas of the body.
Another study, ‘Serum ferritin and vitamin d in female hair loss: do the play a role?’, found women 18 to 45 years old who experienced alopecia or other types of hair loss had low levels of vitamin D
Another sign of vitamin D deficiency is if you feel pain when you press on your breastbone, also known as the sternum, which is located in the middle of your chest, according to Karen Langston, a spokesperson for the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.
Speaking to Arthritis Foundation she added: “The biggest concern [of vitamin D deficiency] is osteomalacia, or the softening of the bones.
“In children, it’s called rickets. It also can cause brittle bones, weak muscles.
“Other symptoms are fractures of the hip and pelvis, bone pain and tenderness, tooth decay and hearing loss because the bones in the ear become soft.”