Vitamin D Deficiency
Have you ever wondered, “How’s my vitamin D today?” Chances are, you probably have not. But we should know our vitamin D levels to help maintain good health as we grow older.
A deficiency in vitamin D in adults can lead to loss of bone density (becoming too thin) which can contribute to osteoporosis and fractures. It’s important to know whether or not you’re deficient so your doctor can advise you on how to increase levels of vitamin D, if it’s needed.
There are a few ways we intake vitamin D:
- Food (what we eat)
- Sunlight (how much time we spend outdoors)
- Supplements (may help provide what our bodies are lacking)
According to Elisabeth Brown MD, Family Medicine Physician at PIH Health, “Vitamin D consumed through diet is often less than what is recommended. Sunlight exposure can help make up the difference, but even still, that’s not enough to keep bones healthy. And if we factor in the use of so much sunscreen these days, our vitamin D intake is even less than what it should be.”
Dr. Brown recommends that all patients talk to their doctor about whether or not they should take a vitamin D supplement. A little bit of sunshine a day will also help. To help increase vitamin D levels from food, try incorporating (more of) these into your daily diet:
- Fatty fish (ie: tuna, mackerel or salmon),
- Dairy (cheese, yogurt, etc.)
- Fortified foods (certain dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, etc.)
To find a primary care doctor, visit PIHHealth.org/Find-a-Doctor.