A vitamin D deficiency is actually rather common amongst those living in the northern United States because of the lack of exposure to sunlight. As vitamin D is produced within the body in response to exposure to sunlight, people living in places like Chicago are at a higher risk of a deficiency. In addition to location, risk factors include diabetes, age, obesity, and gender (females are at a higher risk).
Symptoms and Testing
Unfortunately, symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency are very subtle, so it is hard to identify whether or not you are dealing with a deficiency. Sometimes people will feel tired and unproductive. However, it is rather important that you are getting enough vitamin D; normal levels are above 30 ng/mL. Fortunately, it is a rather simple test, as one can be tested with a simple blood draw. Your general practitioner will be able to administer this blood draw and let you know relatively shortly if you are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency.
Once you are tested, if you are found to have a vitamin D deficiency, it is important to begin taking supplements. In addition, some fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, and fortified dairy and grain products have vitamin D in them. Vitamin D is essential to keeping bones healthy and strong. Deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, decreased bone mineral density, fractures, and can delay healing after bone surgery. You can also be tested after you have been increasing your vitamin D intake to see your progress.
Call Alpine Foot Specialists!
Healthy bones help maintain healthy feet. If you notice any foot or ankle pain, especially if you have a vitamin D deficiency, contact Alpine Foot Specialists today!