Vitamin D Deficiency is a Major Problem - but with a Simple Solution
Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common. A recent study showed that over half of adults in the UK did not have enough vitamin D. We have been offering Vitamin D tests at Skelian for the last 12 months. Our results show that 80% of those tested were below optimal levels, with 1 in 5 being severely deficient. There is clearly a major problem.
Why is Vitamin D Important?
It has long been known that Vitamin D is essential for growth and strong bones. Severe deficiencies result in rickets and osteomalacia. However there is also a large volume of research evidence linking deficiency with lots of other conditions, such as heart disease, brain dysfunction (eg Alzheimer's, depression), cancer, diabetes, musculoskeletal problems (eg fibromyalgia, back pain), infections and autoimmune disease. Vitamin D plays an important role in cell communication, so it is not surprising that deficiencies can result in such a range of different health problems.
What are the Symptoms?
Many people have no symptoms at all, or just complain of a vague aches and tiredness. However, others can report weakness, tender bones, muscle or joint pain, depression, fatigue, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If a deficiency increases the risk of so many other problems, then an apparently unrelated condition may be the first symptom you experience.
Are You at Risk?
Given the statistics, the chances of being vitamin D deficient are fairly high. However, there are some groups that are at particular high risk, including pregnant and breast feeding women, children under 5, adults over 65, people with darker skin, those with low sun exposure, and people who are obese.
You can find out your vitamin D level by having a simple pin-prick blood test. These are quick, simple and inexpensive and give you the information to decide whether you need to do anything.
What can You Do?
Sunlight (UVB rays) reacts with cholesterol in your skin to make vitamin D. Direct exposure to a large area of skin on a regular basis is needed to make sufficient quantities. However, for 6 months of the year (October to April) the sun in the UK is not strong enough. There is vitamin D in some foods, but this will rarely provide more than 5-10% of your requirements. Vitamin D supplements are a good, cheap and readily available. In the vast majority of cases, this is the simple solution.
Vitamin D Testing
At Skelian Chiropractic Clinic, we provide a Vitamin D Testing Service. This involves a simple pin-prick blood test. It only takes a few minutes and the results are available after a few days. We can then advise whether a supplement is necessary and re-test at a later date if necessary.
If you would like more information or advice, then please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your circumstances with you and advise whether we can help