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Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Researchers have found that 60 percent of woman are vitamin D-deficient. What are the causes?

Last year while getting my yearly physical, I was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency.

Rated on a scale from 0-35, my level was a 5, one of the lowest my doctor had ever seen. He gave me a prescription for vitamin D, one pill once a week for 3 months. He would then repeat the blood test. I asked him how something like this happens. Was I lacking something in my diet? I hadn't "laid in the sun" in over 10 years, and I was never a milk drinker. He explained that all could have played a part, but most commonly, researchers are finding that its hereditary.

Women who don’t get enough vitamin D, found in sunshine, fish and fortified foods including milk and orange juice, have a higher chance of heart failure and stroke than those with sufficient amounts, a Danish study found.

I have a pale/alabaster skin tone. An English study suggests that pale people tend to be deficient in the "sunshine" vitamin and that without supplements they're unlikely to get their levels up without getting sunburned. Besides supplements, foods including cod liver oil, salmon, and mackerel contain the daily value of vitamin D, while foods like, tuna, milk, yogurt, and eggs contain some amounts of the vitamin.

Three months after taking the supplements and eating foods rich in vitamin D, a repeat blood test revealed my number, although improved, was still considered on the low side. I continue to take vitamin D, I eat salmon twice a week, and take a 30 minute walk every day in the sunshine.

My young adult children were tested as well. The oldest who is 28, his levels were normal. My daughter (22) and my son (19) were both vitamin D deficient. They both changed their eating habits, take supplements and get a safe amount of sunshine.

If you are at all concerned about your vitamin D levels, consult your doctor. It's a simple blood test.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rica Mendes December 09, 2011 at 11:43 AM
There seems to be a correlation between Vitamin D deficiencies and breast cancer - another reason to monitor Vitamin D levels. If you're deficient, you may also want to raise that issue with your doctor.
Alexandria Useted December 09, 2011 at 01:57 PM
Thanks Rica, Vitamin D deficiencies can cause a multitude of problems. Your best defense is getting yourself tested. Most women are unaware of the problem. I am tested every 3 months.

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