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Vitamin D- Are you deficient?

Vitamin D- Are you deficient?

Written by Dr. Julianna Englund, ND, LAc

Did you know that approximately 35% of adults in the US are vitamin D deficient (and that this statistic is higher in elderly and dark-skinned persons)?(1)   

Here are some symptoms and signs that you mayhave low vitamin D: (2) 

-        Muscle weakness and/or chronic muscle pains 

-        Bone pain in the low back or extremities 

-        Abdominal pain 

-        Bone pain that can be reproduced with pressure applied to the sternum or tibia    

Having low vitamin D increases your risk for: (2) 

-        Osteoporosis 

-        Rickets 

-        CardiovascularDisease 

-        Colon Cancer 

-        Major Depression 

-        Muscle weakness which can increase fall risk 

-        Low levelsof vitamin D have also been associated with certain autoimmune diseases and                           lowered immunity.   

Are you at riskfor vitamin D deficiency? Here are a few conditions that can leave you susceptible: (2) 

-       People who spend most of their days indoors 

-       Consistently wearing sunscreen, clothing that covers most ofskin and hats   

-       Small bowel resection & gastrointestinal diseases thatcause malabsorption 

-       Liver and/or kidney disease   

How much vitamin D should you take? 

Official recommendations generally suggest that adults take 400-800 IU of vitamin D3 each day. Others suggest higher doses. It is best that you first have a blood test done and seek an individualized dose based on that result.   

You can take too much vitamin D.

Did you know that you can actually take too much vitamin D? Vitamin D is fat soluble and your body stores it. Thus, you can easily take too much. That is why before supplementing with vitamin D it is best to check with your health provider regarding your current vitamin D levels.   

If you are concerned about having low vitamin D, be sure to discuss your concerns with your health care provider.  Checking vitamin D levels is a simple blood test.   

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