There has been a lot of press and diagnosing of vitamin D deficiency recently (at least I have seen a steady increase in my office of patients being told by their M.D. that they are vitamin D deficient). So, what are some of the common symptoms, what is causing the steady increase and what is the best supplement/way to resolve the problem? As for the common symptoms there are a thousand web sites to give that info so I am going to just share the ones I think are most accurate and relevant.
Symptoms of Bone Pain and Muscle Weakness
Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following:
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- Severe asthma in children
- chronic fatigue
- weight loss
- heart disease
Some of the common causes of deficiency are:
- Limited exposure to sunlight can also be the cause. This is very easy to treat. Just go out more. Everyone lathers up the sun screen to the point that they aren’t getting enough sun.
- Your kidneys cannot change vitamin D into its active form. This comes with age. The older you get, the harder it becomes for your kidneys to do this process.
- You are overweight. Vitamin D is absorbed by fat cells which can lead to low levels of vitamin D in your body. Lose some weight, because if you don’t your bones will become more fragile.
- If you have dark skin, you should be aware that melanin in your skin reduces skin’s ability to produce vitamin D. Take a vitamin D supplement.
How to Get Vitamin D
As discussed earlier the SUN
Very few foods in nature contain vitamin D. The flesh of fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best sources [1,11]. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Vitamin D in these foods is primarily in the form of vitamin D3 and its metabolite 25(OH)D3 . Some mushrooms provide vitamin D2 in variable amounts.
Supplements, and not the kind you get at Costco as discussed in earlier blogs. Don’t get me wrong, I love Costco but not for your vitamins. There are numerous types and brands out there on the market. As always we recommend you get them from your doctor/chiropractor acupuncturist etc. In our office, we use a few different brands and which ever brand tests well for that patient is what we suggest. The dose again needs to be determined on an individual basis. In my office, we will dose out what the patient needs so they don’t get too much or too little.
I hope this helps clear up some of what you may be hearing in the media and from your M.D.