Vitamin D deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide in adults and children. Vitamin D can be consumed as a nutrient through food or supplements, and is synthesized through the skin from sunlight exposure. Foods rich in vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. There are also many foods that are fortified with vitamin D. However, the majority of an individual’s circulating vitamin D is synthesized in the skin from UV light exposure.
Vitamin D deficiency in severe cases can result in rickets (skeletal abnormalities) and osteomalacia (bone pain and tenderness). Deficiency may also increase the risk of chronic diseases including certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and upper respiratory tract infections.
Your vitamin D level can be determined by a blood test. Based on the results your doctor may recommend vitamin D supplementation, either over-the counter or prescription strength. Individuals who may be vulnerable to develop vitamin D insufficiency include the elderly, people with increased skin pigmentation, and individuals who use certain medications or have inadequate sun exposure.
Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, is pleased to offer vitamin D testing to her patients. Dr. Hermann maintains offices in Tampa and St. Pete Beach, Florida. Please contact the office at (813) 902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.