Prolonged Vitamin D deficiency and Osteomalacia


Q: I'm a 48 year old white male, no significant medical history at all, healthy but became vitamin D deficient 6-7 months ago. My GP but me on 2,000 units a day the 4,000 and then 6,000 and a blood test within the last 10 days reveals I'm still very deficient. I don't suffer any effects, if it had not been for the blood test, I would not have known. I know about sun exposure, thats not it.


A:   Vitamin D levels can be low due to a number of reasons: inadequate intake in diet and inadequate sunlight (UVB) exposure; poor absorption from the gastrointestinal tract; liver or kidney disorders and rarely, it may be a hereditary disorder. Prolonged deficiency in adults can result in osteomalacia, which contributes to osteoporosis, or thinning of the bone. It is therefore important even if you do not have symptoms now, to prevent these complications in the future. If deficient you may take up to 10,000IU/day or if you have a malabsorption disorder, you make take up to 50,000IU of Vitamin D2 every day or every other day. I advise returning to your family doctor for an increased prescription, and further investigation including liver and kidney function, to determine the reason you are deficient.

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