Vitamin D deficiency

Did you know that as many as 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children in the UK have low vitamin D levels?

Vitamin D deficiency

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
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Mushrooms
  • 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
  • Fractures
  • 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.