Vitamin D is vital for our bodies; particularly our bones as it helps our body to utilise our calcium intake to help maintain strong and healthy bones. It’s also renowned for aiding the prevention of other health issues too, including serious problems like cancer and diabetes, to providing some protection from things like flu.
Therefore it’s such an important factor when it comes to looking after our health. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D, it can lead to some problems.
How much vitamin D do we need daily?
Before identifying whether you may be vitamin D deficient, it’s probably a good idea to start with knowing how much you should be taking each day. The Institution of Medicine recommends:
- Infants age 0 to 6 months: adequate intake, 400 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 1,000 IU/day
- Infants age 6 to 12 months: adequate intake, 400 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 1,500 IU/day
- Age 1-3 years: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 2,500 IU/day
- Age 4-8 years: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 3,000 IU/day
- Age 9-70: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 4,000 IU/day
- Age 71+ years: adequate intake, 800 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 4,000 IU/day
What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?
If you suffer from a vitamin D deficiency, there are some symptoms that will potentially help you identify and therefore solve the problem. The main symptom is a pain in the bones (most commonly the back, particularly in menopausal women) and muscle weakness. If these issues go without treatment for a significant amount of time, they can lead to problems such as rickets in children – a softening of the bones that becomes so severe that it leads to changes in the skeletal structure – and osteoporosis in adults; a weakening of the bones that can lead to fractures.
Vitamin D Infographic presented by Cytoplan
How do you know if you are vitamin d deficient?
It’s fairly easy to identify whether you are lacking in essential vitamin D, and it can be done with a simple trip to the doctors. They’ll perform a blood test on you, as the most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. A level of 20 nanograms/milliliter to 50 ng/mL is considered adequate for healthy people. A level less than 12 ng/mL indicates vitamin D deficiency.
How is a vitamin D deficiency treated?
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to treat a vitamin D deficiency. This can include upgrading your diet to include more foods with a higher level of the vital vitamin, getting some more sunshine when you can, and taking vitamin D supplements. It’s really important that you do discuss these changes with your doctor; especially regarding taking supplements as taking too much of the vitamin each day can have a highly negative effect on your health.
Article Submitted By Community Writer