Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, a hormone- thus making it not considered a vitamin at all. At present, it is reported to be in epidemic proportions in the USA. World wide it is reported to effect 1.5 to 2 billion people as stated by, Dr Holick MD, PhD at Boston University School of Medicine, authored ‘The Vitamin D Solution’.
What is Vitamin D deficiency?
What is Vitamin D deficiency resulting from?
What are the sign and symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?
How is Vitamin D deficiency tested for a definitive diagnosis?
Some recommendations and options if you are Vitamin D deficient?
WHAT IS VITAMIN-> D DEFICIENCY?
It is a deficiency of Vitamin D in the body, and is also known as HYPOVITAMINOSIS D. (wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_d_deficiency)
What is Vitamin D deficiency resulting from?
It usually results from inadequate exposure to the sun light exposure (UVB) which is responsible at the skin level to convert those UVB rays into a functional form of Vitamin D at the skin level or insufficiency as a result from medication, supplementation or in daily food intake. Levels of Vitamin D can also be affected by any lotion that has sunscreen, the latitude (35th parallel and above… for instance in the USA the northern border of Georgia), the season (winter) and prescription drugs to also include supplements and nutraceutical such as- antiseizure meds, anti-infectious medications, and St John’s Wort for instance. Having any gastrointestinal issues that interfere with the absorption of Vitamin D also impinge its proper absorption… such as an over growth of non-friendly bacteria eg.Tropheryma whippelii, Intestinal-Liver-Kidney diseases, including being over-weight (obesity) and genetic linked diseases which all resulting in poor bone mineralization of Vitamin D.
Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency:
Sign and symptoms vary and the list is complex to include: mental disorders (like schizophrenia and depression), infectious diseases and respiratory diseases (asthma, wheezing). There appears to be a direct relationship between cardiovascular diseases, diabetes I and II, autoimmune diseases, dental diseases, cancers to include breast, prostrate, colon, rectal and pancreatic caners; and a link to dementia- Alzheimer’s and, also Parkinsonson’s. It is even suggested that dark skin people are prone to Vitamin D deficiency based on the color of their skin. It is reasoned because with dark skin the higher levels of melatonin which prevent absorption of Vitamin D. This can be expressed in the form of rickets (children), osteoporosis and osteomalacia in adults, muscular aches noted usually in the lower limbs along with weaknesses and twitching of the muscle.
How Vitamin D deficiency is tested for a definitive diagnosis?
Because there is a pain link involved in Vitamin D deficiency it is common to see misdiagnosis of this deficiency- for example in fibromyalgia which is a problem with ‘all over’ pain and neuromuscular function and in other chronic conditions of people with pain, you see an increase in pain medications being taken which interfere with absorption rates of Vitamin D. In an evaluation, a physician would take note of bone pain that is symmetrically on thinned areas like the clavicle, sternum, tibias and locations on the body with less subcutaneous fat. These areas could indicate further evaluation is in order if- there is the complaint of pain and bone swellings. The blood work specifically to sort this out is the measurement of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d (25(OH)D) to rule out other musculoskeletal problems. If the person is deficient then, this test would be repeated periodically as indicated to monitor progress while being in a safe range. It should be noted that Vitamin D excess is rare and more than likely involves other kidney issues. Testing would need to be done to specifically link the excess and it root cause(s).
Some recommendations and options if you are deficient?
First, get sunlight but in acceptable time slots or with use of a UVB spectrum lighting (will vary person to person and needs to be discussed with your physician as to the correct amount), supplementation and not altering any necessary usual medical care or supervision in place. It is a primary health care function and treatment that can be monitored by your primary Medical Doctor, Doctor of Chiropractic or any other health care practitioner that can order blood work or works along with someone who has the ability to order the blood work and dispense supplementation. In fact Functional Medicine practitioner would be another great avenue and resource to consider.
According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences it is recommended that the Vitamin D dose range form: 5 micrograms (200 IU or International Units) daily for all individuals (males, female, pregnant/lactating women) under the age of 50 years-old. For all individuals from 50-70 years-old, 10 micrograms daily (400 IU) is recommended. For those who are over 70 years-old, 15 micrograms daily (600 IU) is suggested. Some authors have questioned whether the current recommended adequate levels are sufficient to meet physiological needs, particularly for individuals deprived of regular sun exposure. The upper limit (UL) for vitamin D has been recommended as 2,000 IU daily due to toxicities that can occur when taken in higher doses. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-d/NS_patient-vitamind/DSECTION=dosing)
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