Six red flag signs of vitamin D deficiency to spot, according to expert

Dr Ellie on why people should be taking Vitamin D supplements

An expert has outlined the six most prevalent symptoms of vitamin D deficiency as many Britons may be at risk.

As the temperatures creep down and days grow shorter, it’s difficult to get enough vitamin D through sun exposure.

Your instincts might be prompting you to eat more foods packed with the sunshine vitamin like oily fish, red meat or egg yolks, but getting enough of vitamin D from diet alone can be challenging. 

According to Samantha Greener, wellness expert from Simply Supplements, all of these factors could be paving the way for vitamin D deficiency.

Greener said: “Many people are unknowingly deficient in this essential nutrient because some of the symptoms can be easily overlooked or attributed to a busy lifestyle, potentially masking underlying more significant health concerns.”

READ MORE Six foods to boost your vitamin D levels this autumn and winter

Worryingly, inadequate vitamin D levels can contribute to a range of health issues, making symptom awareness front and centre.


Greener explained that feeling unusually tired could be one of the first red flags of a vitamin D deficiency.

“Lack of vitamin D is often overlooked as a potential cause of fatigue; however, it can significantly reduce your energy levels and cause sleep problems,” she said.

2.Bone and lower back pain

The sunshine nutrient is closely linked to calcium absorption, which means that deficiency can weaken your bones.

This can result in bone pain, especially in weight-bearing bones like the spine. “That’s why the lower back area is particularly susceptible to pain and discomfort,” Greener said.

3.Muscle aches

Apart from bones, vitamin D is also essential for optimal muscle function, helping to ensure that muscles operate efficiently and without unnecessary strain. 

The expert added: “Additionally, a deficiency in vitamin D is closely linked to increased inflammation, contributing to muscle pain and aches.”

4.Frequent illness

If you keep getting one cold after another, the lack of the sunshine vitamin could be to blame.

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“People with low vitamin D levels are more likely to catch colds, infections and the flu, so if you’re constantly ill then nutrient deficiency might be a contributing factor,” Greener said.

5.Hair loss

Your hairline could also ring alarm bells, as insufficient vitamin D levels can disturb the natural hair growth cycle. “This can result in reduced hair growth and increased shedding,” the expert added.

6.Impaired wound healing

Another job that vitamin D gets done is helping your body repair and regenerate tissue.

“If you get a wound and it takes longer than usual to heal, then it may suggest that your vitamin D levels are too low,” Greener said.

Fortunately, taking vitamin D supplements during the autumn and winter months in the UK could help you shield from developing the deficiency.

Greener added: “Vitamin D supplements are cost-effective, widely available over the counter, and are generally safe when taken as recommended.

“People lacking this essential nutrient should consider supplements because vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and contributes to the healthy function of bones, muscles, teeth and the immune system.”

The Public Health England also advises all adults and children over the age of one to consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D in a pill form between October and early March.

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