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Q: What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

Posted March 19, 2014 in Advice Column, Grimes

A: Tired and feeling sluggish after this long winter? It could be due to a vitamin D deficiency. If you avoid the sun, do not eat dairy products, have dark skin, eat a vegetarian diet or are obese, you may be at risk for a vitamin D deficiency. Other risk factors include breastfed infants and men and women older than 60.

Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency are often subtle but may include fatigue, muscle aches or weakness, bone pains and depression. If you have any of these symptoms, you may want to contact your health care provider and ask about having a vitamin D level checked. Treatment of vitamin D deficiency includes vitamin D supplementation. It is recommended that infants and children get 400 international units (IU) and adults younger than 60 get 600 IU daily. Adults older than 60 should receive 800 IU of vitamin D daily. You can also get vitamin D from dietary sources such as milk and yogurt and fatty fish such as salmon, trout, tuna and halibut. If you’re concerned about whether you’re getting enough vitamin D, talk to your medical provider about your diet and whether a vitamin supplement might benefit you.

Information provided by Carin A. Bejarno, A.R.N.P., UnityPoint Grimes, 101 S.E. Destination Drive, 986-4524.

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