What causes vitamin D deficiency?

Updated: Dec 15, 2020
  • Author: Vin Tangpricha, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Vitamin D deficiency can result from inadequate exposure to sunlight; malabsorption; accelerated catabolism from certain medications; and, in infants, the minimal amount of vitamin D found in breast milk. In children, vitamin D deficiency can result in rickets, which presents as bowing of the legs; in adults, it results in osteomalacia, which presents as a poorly mineralized skeletal matrix. See the image below.

Findings in patients with rickets. Findings in patients with rickets.

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