A vitamin D deficiency can affect both physical and mental health, but many people have low levels of vitamin D without realizing. The physical symptoms of a deficiency may include muscle pain in the joints, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain, which often occurs in the knees, legs, and hips.
In this article, we look at the evidence for a link between vitamin D and joint pain. We discuss how people can obtain vitamin D and what their daily intake should be.
Why do we need vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps regulate the amount of calcium in the body. This vitamin is crucial for bone health.
A deficiency of vitamin D causes bones to soften and become weak. This is called osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children. Vitamin D can also help prevent osteoporosis, which is another condition that weakens bones.
In addition, the vitamin may affect the immune system and could help to manage autoimmune conditions such as RA, Type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis (MS).
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency vary from person to person. Typical symptoms include:
- joint pain
- muscle pain and weakness
- bone pain
- respiratory issues
- neurological concerns including numbness
- low mood, specifically seasonal affective disorder (SAD)