Vitamin D is necessary to keep your body functioning correctly. It can be found in various foods, and your skin creates it by using sunlight. When your body cannot absorb vitamin D through food or sunlight, deficiency occurs.
Vitamin D has many functions, including keeping your bones strong, absorbing calcium, and working with the parathyroid gland to balance calcium in the blood.
- Having dark skin
- Always wearing sunscreen
- Not having enough sunlight/ staying indoors
- Not eating enough fish or dairy (strict vegan diet, milk allergy, etc)
- Being overweight
- Living far from the equator
- Having crohn’s/celiac-
- Having kidney and liver disease
- Age- skin less able to absorb Vit D as you age
- Infants being breastfed- Human breast milk has low quantities of Vit D
- Certain medications (steroids, laxatives, cholesterol-lowering drugs, anti-seizure drugs, certain weight loss drugs, certain TB drugs)
- Bone/back pain
- Slow wound healing
- Bone density loss
- Hair loss
- Chronic muscle pain/ weakness
- Cognitive impairment in adults
- Get more sunlight (15-20 minutes, 3 days a week)
- Take Vitamin D3 supplements
- Eat more dairy/fish
How much vitamin D is needed by age:
- 0-6 months: 400 IU/day
- 6-12 months: 400 IU/day
- 1-3 years: 600 IU/day
- 4-8 years: 600 IU/day
- 9-70 years: 600 IU/day
- Over 70 years: 800 IU/day
- Females 14-50 years/pregnant/lactating: 600 IU/day
Daily intake of vitamin D should not exceed 5,000 IU. Toxicity can occur when too much of the vitamin is taken.
Blood work can be done to determine if you are deficient, and your doctor will work with you to bring your vitamin D levels to a healthy place. If you believe you may be vitamin D deficient, you can make an appointment at one of Premier Health Associates’ facilities. We are open 7 days a week.