Vitamin D deficiency

In times past the peoples of the world were outside more often. They worked and played outside, while the indoor areas were used more for eating and sleeping. Today, a large part of the populace doesn’t go outside as much, and the lack of sunlight is causing damage to their bodies. The sunlight is utilized by our skin to create a natural form of vitamin D (cholecalciferol), and without the sunlight, health issues can arise.

We also don’t eat as well as we should be eating. We claim that we don’t have enough time to eat balanced meals, so we resort to fast food providers which use processed foods that are not healthy for us. This in turn can be another reason that vitamin D deficiency is a rising and ongoing problem.

There are so many maladies that can be caused by the lack of proper amounts of vitamin D dispersed throughout the body, and we should all pay closer attention to our health, our lifestyles, what we eat, how often we exercise, and how much sun we soak up. Extreme deficiency of vitamin D, also known as rickets, can lead to many other problems, such as: heart disease, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, arthritis, hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, obesity, Crohn’s disease, cancer, PMS, MS, renal insufficiencies and other autoimmune diseases. You may not think that vitamin D is that important, but you sure don’t want any of these problems afflicting you, do you?

Vitamin D works in your body by controlling phosphate and calcium levels. If your body gets too low on either of these compounds, then it will make hormones that release the calcium and phosphates from the bones into circulation. That would cause brittle and soft bone matter. To stop this from occurring you need to obtain about 4,000 units of vitamin D every day. This amount can come from food and/or supplements that you ingest, or from the natural production of the vitamin that your skin provides with ample sunlight.

Many factors come into play when considering whether or not you are susceptible to “D” deficiency. If for any reason you don’t get outside as often as you should, then you may require further vitamin supplementation. If you live somewhere that’s really cold, then you may not go outside as much, or if you work indoors during the daytime, then you are definitely losing out on the sunlight your body needs to produce vitamin D. Other lifestyle factors can come into play, as well.

People who are lactose intolerant, do not use dairy products, or are vegetarians may not obtain the required amount of cholecalciferol from their diets alone. Another often over-looked fact is that genetics can play a large part in deficiencies, so check your background to see if you are more at risk than others are. Did your parents or grand-parents have any vitamin D problems?

If you feel that you are having a problem with vitamin D deficiency, never ever self- diagnose. You always want to speak with a medical doctor about any problems that you may think you have. Only after you obtain the necessary information from a reliable source should you make changes to your daily regimen.

There are some tests that your doctor can run to check your vitamin levels, and we’ll talk about a couple of them. For the diagnosis of rickets these tests may be used: serum phosphorus, serum alkaline phosphatase, arterial blood gases, blood tests, bone biopsy (which is rarely done), and x-rays. If they are looking for phosphate and calcium levels then they will use one of the following: ALP (alkaline phosphatase) isoenzyme, calcium (ionized), or a urine calcium test.

Drink your milk, eat healthy vitamin D rich meals, soak up that sunlight, and do generally anything that is going to increase those levels and keep you healthy. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you, because it can and will if you do not take the proper preventative measures.

Last updated on Oct 14th, 2010 and filed under Vitamins and Minerals. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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