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Vitamin D deficiency - Symptoms , Diagnosis and supplementation.

Mrs. Sita is 54 year old housewife . She developed diabetes 4 years ago and was constantly feeling tired in-spite of following diet, physical activity and oral hypoglycemic medication. 

Most of the regular check ups done revealed normal study. This tiredness sometimes better and sometimes worst now part of her life. Recently, tiredness increased to an extent which impaired her activities of daily living. That's when vitamin D levels was done which showed 11.78 ng/ml indicating she was deficient for vitamin D which was reason for her unexplained tiredness. 

She followed the report with doctor who gave her oral supplements  and she felt much better. 

India is a tropical country with an abundant sunlight . Despite which many deficient cases of vitamin D are seen.

Vitamin D is synthesised by our skin from cholesterol  in our body upon exposure to the sunlight through a chemical reaction.


SOURCES OF VITAMIN D :

Sunlight : Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D . Foods rich in vitamin D are few, so expose yourself to good amount of sunshine vitamin in the morning and evening. In rainy and winter season,expose according to intensity of sun.

Other sources of vitamin D :




 Foods fortified with vitamin D like dairy products such as milk,cheese.



Mushrooms



Fatty fishes such as Tuna, Mackerel and Salmon










Egg yolks












Orange


Signs and Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:


  • Tiredness unexplained
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain mainly in muscles
  • Often getting infections
  • Back pain
  • Depression
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Bone loss
  • Hair loss.


Note : If u experience any of the above symptoms, go to the physician check for vitamin D levels in the blood.

Cost of the test: Rs.700 to rs 1000 varies according to the place.
*Normal value: 30 - 80 ng/ml.
Mild to moderate deficiency:10 -30
Severe deficiency: < 10
*Normal values may slightly vary.


Prevention

''Prevention is better than cure.'' as the saying goes...Here are few tips to prevent vitamin D deficiency.


  • Spend around 15 min a day in sun especially in mornings and evenings and avoid sunscreen in these hours.

  • Focus on outdoor activities for children.

  • Include foods rich in vitamin D.


NOTE: Deficiency of vitamin D causes Rickets in children which impairs growth and development. Expose infants and children to sunlight . Involve Children in outdoor games to prevent this deficiency. 

I would like to end this blog saying , solar energy is the basic element of life on earth as well as within our body. Take your natural dose of sunlight everyday and stay healthy.

By Divya Lokesh.


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