Did you know that as many as 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children in the UK have low vitamin D levels?
Why is vitamin D deficiency so common in the UK?
We gain some vitamin D from food, but most from sunlight.
What are the food sources of vitamin D?
- Oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel and sardines), cod liver oil and other fish oils
- fortified foods – such as most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals
Why is vitamin D important for our health?
- For our bone and muscle health
- Deficiency is associated with Diabetes, Heart disease, Breast cancer, Bowel cancer, Alzheimer’s disease
Who is at risk of Vitamin D deficiency?
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Under 5 year olds
- Over 65 year olds
- People who have little or no exposure to the sun eg those who cover-up for cultural reasons, people who are housebound or who stay indoors for long periods of time.
- People with darker skin (these groups are not able to make as much vitamin D as those with paler skin).
How does vitamin D deficiency present itself?
- Many have no symptoms or only vague symptoms of tiredness or body aches
- Proximal muscle weakness
- Rib, hip, pelvis, thigh and foot pain are typical
- Extreme cases can cause rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults
How can you find out if you have vitamin D deficiency?
- A simple blood test done by Dr Sumi Soori at Roseneath Medical Practice, with same day results.
- This may be combined with further blood tests to look for changes linked to low vitamin D and possible referral for wrist x-ray in a child to check on bone development.