It’s estimated that nearly 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. Low vitamin D levels may affect bone health and increase your risk of osteoporosis. Lora Hurley, ND, CTN, CHP, ICHT, CPT at Hurley Hyperbaric & Wellness Center in Kannapolis, North Carolina, offers vitamin D testing and supplements when needed. To assess your vitamin D level, call the office today, or schedule an appointment using the online booking button.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in your health. It’s best known for its benefits to bone health. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and keeps blood levels of calcium and phosphorus in balance to support bone mineralization.
Vitamin D also promotes cell growth, supports neuromuscular function, and immune health.
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D isn’t an essential vitamin because your body can make what it needs, but you need sun exposure in order to do so. Unfortunately, due to the concerns you may have about the sun and its link to skin cancer, you may not be getting the sun you need to ensure your body is manufacturing enough vitamin D.
Ideally, you need up to 30 minutes of sun exposure between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm twice a week without sunblock to make enough vitamin D to support your needs. You may find this difficult in North Carolina most of the year due to the cold winters and hot summers.
Vitamin D is also found in food, either naturally or through fortification. Some of the best food sources of vitamin D include:
If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D from the sun or through your diet, you may be at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, which is a bone condition that makes you susceptible to fractures.
Dr. Hurley tests vitamin D levels in multiple ways. If she has concerns about your vitamin D level, she may recommend a blood test that looks at:
25-hydroxyvitamin D is an inactive form of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D. It has a long half-life and high concentrations, making it an ideal measure of vitamin D status. A low level may indicate that you aren’t getting enough vitamin D from either the sun or food.
1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels may provide more information about overall health. Low levels of this hormone may be an early indicator of kidney disease.
If your blood test indicates you aren’t getting enough vitamin D, Dr. Hurley may suggest supplementation, which she offers at the office. She provides a dose appropriate for both your age and health needs to prevent chronic disease.
For vitamin D assessment and testing, call Hurley Wellness & Hyperbaric Center today, or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation.