Vitamin D deficiency has become a real problem in Michigan and throughout the country. As such, it has become a popular topic in the media and among OB/GYN physicians, because vitamin D deficiency appears to be related to a variety of health concerns such as osteoporosis, depression, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, parathyroid problems, immune disorders, and weight loss.
For years doctors have believed vitamin D is a critical element to healthy bones and teeth, but deeper research has shown vitamin D places a larger role that spans from preventing rickets in children to reducing the levels of osteomalacia (“soft bones”) or osteoporosis (“porous bones”) in adults.
Medical Consequences of Being Vitamin D Deficient
- Increased risk for breast cancer
- Increased risk for heart disease
- Lowers our immune system making us more prone to infections
- Increase in muscle aches and fatigue
- Lowers our ability to absorb calcium which in turn leads to osteopenia and osteoporosis
We normally obtain Vitamin D through the sun as it reacts with our skin and through vitamin D rich foods within our diet. Unfortunately, in Michigan, we do not see the sun as often as we would like. Even on sunny days, we are either indoors or wearing sunblock to protect ourselves against skin cancer. We also do not drink enough milk which is fortified with Vitamin D. The result is that 50% of the patients that we check in our office are found to be Vitamin D deficient. This is a staggering number and one that can be prevented.
A simple blood test in our office can confirm your Vitamin D status. If it is low, either a supplement or prescription would be recommended to reverse this process.