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Vitamin D…."Sunshine Vitamin"

If you see in today’s era, each and every doctor asks his patients – whether adults, children, or pediatric patients – to get the vitamin D3 testing done. It is indispensable that your body should contain normal levels of vitamin D3.
If you shun the sun, suffer from milk allergies, or adhere to a strict vegan diet, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It is also occurs naturally in a few foods — including some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks — and in fortified dairy and grain products.
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue doesn’t properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. But increasingly, research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health problems. According to the recent researches, it also has a pivotal role to play in the management of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases

Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness can mean you have a vitamin D deficiency. However, for many people, the symptoms are subtle. Yet, even without symptoms, too little vitamin D can pose health risks. Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following:
* Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
* Cognitive impairment in older adults
* Severe asthma in children
* Cancer
If you see, a patient who chronically suffers from the problems related to bones, it could most likely be due to the deficiency of vitamin D3. The bone problems could be:
* Frequent bone fractures
* Osteoporosis
* Malabsorption of calcium
* Deficiency in calcium levels
In cases of pediatric age group patients, most of the pediatricians suggest to go for vitamin D3 testing. Frequent illnesses, low immunity level, and frequent absenteeism from school could be very well-known reasons for vitamin D3 deficiency in pediatric age groups.
Vitamin D deficiency can occur for a number of reasons:
* You don’t consume the recommended levels of the vitamin over
time. This is likely if you follow a strict vegan diet, because most
of the natural sources are animal-based, including fish and fish
oils, egg yolks, cheese, fortified milk, and beef liver.
* Your exposure to sunlight is limited. Because the body makes
vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight, you may be at
risk of deficiency if you are homebound, live in northern latitudes,
wear long robes or head coverings for religious reasons, or have
an occupation that prevents sun exposure.
* You have dark skin. The pigment melanin reduces the skin’s ability
to make vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure. Some studies
show that older adults with darker skin are at high risk of vitamin
D deficiency.
* Your kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to its active form. As people
age, their kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active
form, thus increasing their risk of vitamin D deficiency.
* Your digestive tract cannot adequately absorb vitamin D. Certain
medical problems, including Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and
celiac disease, can affect your intestine’s ability to absorb vitamin
D from the food you eat.
* You are obese. Vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cells,
altering its release into the circulation. People with a body mass
index of 30 or greater often have low blood levels of vitamin D.
How to recognize vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency can be recognized through signs and symptoms like muscle weakness and bone pain. Following which, we could go for a simple blood test that measures the level of vitamin D in our body. Test result for vitamin D3 is considered normal if it is 25-80 ng/ml.

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