Vitamins are organic compounds. They are either fat-soluble or water-soluble. While fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fatty tissues, water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body, and are excreted in urine. From helping the body recover from wounds and injuries to boosting the immune system, vitamins play a range of roles. The human body requires a constant supply of vitamins (derived from food) to sustain itself. One of the most important vitamins required for a healthy life is vitamin D.

Vitamin D: An Overview

Not many people know that vitamin D is actually a hormone. It is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is also found in certain foods such as fatty fish, egg yolk, and cheese. Once introduced into the body, vitamin D is converted into its active form, calcitriol. It is known for regulating body levels of calcium. Primary care doctors in Sonoma, California use a manufactured form of calcitriol to treat various health complications such as low blood calcium due to hypoparathyroidism (poor functioning of the thyroid gland) and osteoporosis.

Functions of Vitamin D

There are more benefits of vitamin D than you could imagine. It is regarded as one of the most essential vitamins required by the body due to a reason. Some health benefits of vitamin D are:

  • Helps prevent the progression of cancer
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Reduces the risk of developing depression and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Promotes healthy teeth and bones
  • Helps prevent heart diseases and rheumatoid arthritis

Some Problems Associated with Vitamin D Deficiency

A study estimates that around a billion people in the world are vitamin D deficient. That’s around 15 percent of the world population. Vitamin D deficiency can result in a number of health concerns including:

  • Muscle spasms and pain
  • Depression
  • Vulnerability to infections
  • Poor bone health (severe vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of fracture)
  • Poor wound healing

How is Vitamin D Deficiency Diagnosed?

Many adults do not have optimum vitamin D levels(20 nanograms/milliliter-50 nanograms/milliliter). People with less than 12 ng/mL are considered vitamin D deficient. Primary care doctors in Sonoma use the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test to measure the amount of vitamin D in their patients’ body.

High-Risk Groups

  • Dark-skinned people
  • Senior citizens
  • Morbidly obese and overweight people
  • People with kidney or liver disease
  • People who are reliant on steroids or laxatives. Those who are on seizure and cholesterol medications are also at risk

How to Get Enough Vitamin D

Follow these tips to get enough vitamin D:

  • Spend at least 10-15 minutes in the sun (between 10 AM and 3 PM)
  • Include foods rich in vitamin D such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel in your diet
  • Take vitamin D supplements

Are you experiencing vitamin D deficiency symptoms? Reach out to Dr. Guy before things get out of hand. We are trusted by several families in Sonoma to meet their health care needs. For us, nothing is more important than helping our patients maintain good health. To book a free consultation session, call us at (707) 938-1255.