Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue doesn’t properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. Research is increasingly revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health complications, and it is important for you to know about reducing your risks as well.
Vitamin D deficiency can occur if:
- You don’t consume the recommended levels of the vitamin over time.
- Your exposure to sunlight is limited.
- You have dark skin.
- Your kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to its active form.
- Your digestive tract cannot adequately absorb vitamin D.
- You are obese.
What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?
Below are some of the most common, though there is no clear pattern of consistent symptoms.
- General muscle pain and weakness
- Muscle cramps
- Joint pain
- Chronic pain
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Restless sleep
- Poor concentration
- Bladder problems
- Constipation or diarrhea
What diseases are associated with vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to play a role in almost every major disease. This includes:
- Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
- Varieties of Cancer (including breast, prostate and colon)
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
- Autoimmune diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Infertility and PMS
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Chronic Pain
- Periodontal disease
How much vitamin D do I need?
How much vitamin D you need varies with age, body weight, percent of body fat, latitude, skin coloration, season of the year, use of sun block, individual variation in sun exposure, and whether or not you are ill.
Here are some guidelines:
If your blood level is above 32ng/ml and for maintenance, I recommend 1000 IU daily depending on age, weight, season, how much time is spent outdoors, where one lives, skin color, and obviously, blood levels.
If your blood level is below 32 ng/ml, I recommend you correct it with 5,000 of vitamin D3 a day or 50,000 IU a week for 3 months under a doctor’s supervision. It takes a good 6 months usually to optimize your vitamin D levels.
If you think you may be at risk of having a vitamin D deficiency, or are experiencing any of the above symptoms, see a specialist at Reddy Medical Group today. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.