|Vitamin D Deficient|
No need for vitamin D hysteria; basics still apply
Vitamin D is making headlines and with good reason: one in every four Americans is deficient. However vitamin D “therapy” is just one component of the ever-changing picture of health. The real story is that with concerns about the economy, people are not tending to regular doctors’ appointments – whether for well checks or to follow up on health concerns. The bottom line is an annual visit with the doctor can resolve concerns over vitamin D deficiency and a whole lot more.
Vitamin D Basics
· The average healthy body can naturally synthesize about 10,000-15,000 IU of vitamin D3 in the skin within minutes of sun exposure, without ill effect. However, people who live north of Atlanta, Georgia do not convert Vitamin D from the sun between November and February.
· Obesity is a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency; increased body fat reduces the body’s ability to convert vitamin D. People with darker skin are at greater risk because vitamin D can’t be synthesized as efficiently. As we age we lose ability to metabolize Vitamin D. And women with renal problems or intestinal concerns (Crohn’s, Irritable Bowel Disease) may have trouble synthesizing vitamin D.
· Vitamin D deficiency can be characterized by muscle pain, weak bones/fractures, low energy and fatigue, lowered immunity, symptoms of depression and mood swings and sleep irregularities. But similar symptoms occur with sleep deficiency, menopause and other vitamin/mineral deficiencies.
· Eat a diet rich in whole foods. Nutrient-dense, fatty fish; egg yolks; and fortified milk, dairy and juice. Take a look at your eating habits and make necessary changes for optimal, overall health.
· Take a multi-vitamin every day to fill in nutrition gaps.
· Get tested and take 1,000 IU of vitamin D supplement daily or more if your doctor recommends it.
· Get regular exercise.
The Bottom Line
· Routine visits can help women stay up-to-date on age-appropriate screenings, such as tests for cervical cancer and breast cancer, and also vaccinations.
· The annual exam is more than a series of tests. Regular
face-to-face visits strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and
allow for women to ask questions and address health concerns.