What do you think of when you hear Vitamin D levels? Do you think of osteoporosis or bone fractures? This vitamin is needed to grow and maintain strong bones. It helps absorb calcium from foods and supplements. Having a good level is also proven to boost energy from within the cells. Doctors are concerned that people may have a deficiency with their Vitamin D levels and may want to have their patients’ levels tested.

Having a Vitamin D deficiency is a serious problem. It can cause loss of bone density that can lead to osteoporosis, fractures and osteomalacia.  In children it can cause rickets. Symptoms of low levels are:

Vitamin D Sunlight Shining on Grass Field
  • Osteoporosis (thinning or brittle bones)
  • Frequent bone fractures
  • Muscle weakness or pain
  • Depression
  • Hair loss
  • Getting sick or infected often
  • Bone pain
  • Decreased sleep

If you think you may have any of the symptoms please see your provider. Adults with long periods of low Vitamin D deficiency are more likely to develop:

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Depression

The normal intake amount of this vitamin is 25-100mg/day but before taking any supplements consult your provider first. That way the your healthcare team can monitor what amount would be best for you. Some foods that are high in the vitamin are:

  • Fatty Fish (Tuna, Mackerel and Salmon)
  • Foods fortified with Vitamin D (some dairy products, orange juice and cereals)
  • Beef liver
  • Egg yolks

Here are some other ways to get more:

  • Spend time in the sunlight
  • Eat fortified Vitamin D foods
  • Eat fatty fish
  • Eat mushrooms
  • Take vitamin supplements
  • Try a UV lamp

If you don’t spend much time in the sun and rarely eat fatty fish, consider supplementing but consulting your doctor first. Getting enough Vitamin D can go a long way to boosting your health.

If you need to have your levels tested, contact our Laboratory Services Department today to set up an appointment at Windom Area Health.

Learn more about this vitamin at the National Institutes of Health by Clicking Here.

Author: Dixie Duerksen, Medical Lab Technician

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