Tips for Avoiding the Vitamin D Blues

January 21, 2012

It seems winter has officially arrived in Rochester! These gloomy, gray months can make everyone want to stay inside, away from the cold and snow (and wind!). Now is the time of year to think about taking a vitamin D supplement.

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Vitamin D is an important building block for health.  It helps control other minerals for bone growth, tooth growth, and assists with hormone regulation. It also affects the immune system and nervous system.  We get a majority of our vitamin D from being exposed to the sun’s UVB rays and also from food we eat.

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

In young children, vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, a disorder of bone and teeth growth with signs like pain in the arms and legs, loss of muscle strength or muscle cramps, broken bones and increased number of cavities.

In older children and adults, the symptoms are more subtle.  Low levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and even dementia. Studies are now starting to show that vitamin D plays a part in preventing diabetes, high blood pressure and even your bad mood!

Keeping Your Levels Up

So in these dark days of winter, here are a few things you can do to make sure you keep you and your family’s vitamin D levels up:

  1.  Make sure you are getting outside for a little sun exposure when you can. Even 10 to 15 minutes makes a difference!
  2. Breastfed babies are at risk too!  Make sure they are taking their vitamin D supplement (400IU) every day.
  3. Watch your diet!  Vitamin D is naturally found in fish, egg yolks, liver, and fish oil. It’s also in dairy products and grains that have been fortified. Take a look at those labels!
  4. If your family is vegetarian, make sure you each take a supplement with at least 600IU of vitamin D.
  5. If you feel your family members are at risk, talk to your doctor and see about having a blood test to check your vitamin D level.

Here are a couple of resources for further information:

Dr. Lloyd is moving!

On May 21st, 2018, she joined Portland Pediatrics! Her new office is located at:
Portland Pediatrics- Webster Office
(behind the Holt Road Wegmans)
1110 Crosspointe Lane, Suite D
Webster, NY 14580
Phone: 585.872.3390

New Families

We are accepting new patients! Please call to schedule a "meet and greet" visit to look around the office and ask any questions you have.

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