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Vitamin D Deficiency

  • 25th February 2013 |
  • Author: Iris

During the latter part of 2012, I ran into my doctor’s office for my routine checkup to get it in before my new deductible kicked in for 2013.  A couple of days later, I got a call from my doctor’s office advising me that I had severe hypovitaminosis D or a deficiency of Vitamin D.

This diagnosis was a surprise and caught me totally off-guard.  I had not given much thought to Vitamin D deficiency before getting this diagnosis.  I was truly amazed at the degree in which Vitamin D, and its deficiency, affects the body and mind.

Vitamin D Deficiency -- Sunlight is Not Enough

Vitamin D Deficiency — When Sunlight is Not Enough

Vitamin D

Vitamin D’s major biological function is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.  Vitamin D helps to form and maintain strong bones by aiding in the absorption of calcium.  It increases bone mineral density, decreases fractures, and provides protection against osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer and several autoimmune diseases.

A deficiency may be a result of inadequate nutritional intake of Vitamin D, along with an inadequate amount of exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet B rays.  Or, Vitamin D deficiency may indicate an issue affecting the kidneys, liver, digestive system, or the presence of cancer.

Vitamin D is found in many foods, such as eggs, fish (salmon and tuna), fortified milk, and cod liver oil.  There are two forms of Vitamin D that is important to healthy bones and body:  ergocalciferon (Vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3).  Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants.  Vitamin D3is synthesized by humans in the skin when exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet B rays.  Foods may be fortified or enriched with Vitamin D2 or D3.

Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Frequent headaches
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Chronic pain throughout the body
  • Restless sleep
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Sugar cravings
  • High blood pressure
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Bladder problems
  • Chronic allergies

Diagnosis

Vitamin D deficiency is diagnosed from the testing of a blood sample.  There are some differences in the medical community when it comes to categorizing Vitamin D deficiency:

  • 0 – 10ng/ml  indicates the most “severe deficiency” level
  • 11 – 19 ng/ml indicates “deficiency” level
  • 20 – 39 ng/ml indicates “insufficient” level
  • 40 – 70 ng/ml indicates “healthy” level
  • 200 ng/ml and above indicates “toxicity” level

The differences in the categorization of Vitamin D deficiency may have a bearing on how effectively it is treated.

Treatment

It is extremely difficult to maintain a “healthy” level of Vitamin D through foods and exposure to the sun.   Children need 400 – 800 International Units (IUs) for good health, depending on their age, weight and growth.  Adults need at least 1,000 IUs of Vitamin D which equates to approximately 10 glasses of milk and one serving of fish per day.

A daily supplement is recommended for both children and adults to ensure appropriate levels of Vitamin D are maintained.   To treat severe deficiency, as much as 10,000 to 15,000 IUs of Vitamin D may need to be administered daily.  My doctor prescribed a daily intake of 10,000 IUs for me.

Prevention

To prevent Vitamin D deficiency or hypovitaminosis, you should request that your doctor check your Vitamin D level.  A diet rich in Vitamin D, such as eggs, fish, fortified milk, and cod liver oil, is essential to maintain good bone health but is usually not enough to prevent Vitamin D deficiency.  To maintain overall optimum health and wellness, Vitamin D supplements should be added to your daily regime.

It is important to prevent or correct a Vitamin D deficiency as soon as possible.  If you feel you may be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency, consult with your doctor to assess your condition.

If you have suffered from Vitamin D deficiency, please let us know what you experienced and how you’re maintaining your health by posting a comment below.

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Tiffany Dow says:

    I had those symptoms of fatigue etc. One of my readers suggested I get checked and I was a 13. About 1 week after starting 5k I felt amazingly better!

  2. Debi J says:

    It’s so important that people take this to heart. I live in Arizona, LOVE the outdoors and have been juicing long enough to drop my triglycerides from 349 to 140… but still had a Vitamin D deficiency. So sunshine, daily vitamins and healthy eating still weren’t enough, especially on the D3 side. There are so many products that we use nowadays to protect us from the sun that a LOT of people are now missing out on the good side of the sun too!

  3. Iris says:

    Hi, Debi J!

    You are correct … we use sunblock to protect our skin but as a result, we block our bodies from receiving what nature gives us freely … Vitamin D via sunshine! However, Ultraviolet B rays along with our daily intake of foods rich in Vitamin D are usually not enough to meet the daily requirements. We need to include good Vitamin D3 supplements to ensure that we have healthy levels of Vitamin D.

    Vitamin D plays a very important role in maintaining good health. Vitamin D deficiency is believed to be linked to an increase in cancer. I will share some information on this in a couple of days.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment!

  4. Iris says:

    Hi, Tiffany!

    So glad you’re doing better!

    I had about 7 or 8 of those symptoms! I’ve been taking 10K IUs for about two months and I’m just beginning to feel better. As a matter of fact, today is the best I’ve felt in quite some time.

  5. I am so glad you did an article on vitamin D and shared your experience with us. I often work alongside doctors when I see a client so they can have tests done and when taking a case history so often a lack of Vitamin D shows up and I can then make changes in the clients diet to help them, and for some I use a pure vitamin D oil daily which I source from inside Australia which is good quality and cheap.

    Coming from Scotland originally I was so low in Vitamin D, it’s a huge problem over there.
    Lorraine

    I am looking forward to reading some more of your posts. By the way love your picture with the yellow glove!

  6. Iris says:

    Lorraine,

    Glad you stopped by!

    In areas where there are short summers, lots of rainfall or very little sunshine, there tends to be a higher incidence of Vitamin D deficiency. Supplementation is really the only way to get the daily recommended amount in order to maintain a healthy body and mind.

  7. Subsequently, after spending many hours on the internet at last We’ve uncovered an individual that definitely does know what they are discussing many thanks a great deal wonderful post

  8. Iris says:

    Thank you! Please feel free to share.

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