Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that help in regulating the levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood. Vitamin D is found in the food we eat, dietary supplements and exposure to the sun. It aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous from the intestines and re-absorption of calcium at the kidney stage. This promotes normal bone mineralization while preventing hypocalcemic tetany. These are important functions in the body that vitamin D is responsible for. This means that deficiency of vitamin D is bound to cause some problem in the normal functions of the body. Thinking about this, the question that is likely to come to mind is what is insufficient vitamin D during childhood associated with?
Knowing that these minerals are a necessary part of the diet for growing children because of formation of healthy bones, one should expect deficiency of vitamin D to have very adverse effects on the body of the child. Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency should be a serious concern to every parent. Deficiency has been found to be not only prevalent on young children but more prevalent in teenagers.
Infants and young children having vitamin D deficiency suffer from rickets, a bone softening disease that affects children. If this condition goes untreated, young children may suffer permanent skeletal deformities. Deficiency of vitamin D during childhood may predispose the child to the risk of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. Children with Type one diabetes need adequate amounts of vitamin D as it stimulates insulin production for diabetic children.
Some children are more at risk of having vitamin D deficiency than others. Babies who are breast-fed exclusively with no exposure to sunlight can be at risk as well as premature babies. Dark skin absorbs sunlight at a lower rate than light skin due to melanin block, as such, dark skinned babies may also be vitamin D deficient.
A parent can know level of vitamin D in their child by having them checked by the doctor by a simple blood test. A level of 20 or less means that the child needs to supplement their intake of vitamin D so that they do not suffer the effects of deficiency of the vitamin. Doctors recommend that every child should have a minimum level of 30 to be free of deficiency. Thus, it is important to know the answer to the question of what is insufficient vitamin D during childhood associated with is because of the serious consequences involved.