VITAMIN D INJECTIONS
Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb other vitamins as Calcium and Phosphors which are need to keep healthy bones and muscles. Vitamin D also helps with our general health and mood. There is also evidence to suggest that Vitamin D can help prevent diseases such as Cancer, Diabetes and Heart Disease.
Before bookinmg a Vitamin D Injection you should undergo a blood test with your GP to establish if you have a deficiency.
1. You get frequent infections
Vitamin D is vital to the health of the immune system.
‘Without sufficient amounts, our immune cells are unable to react appropriately leaving us more susceptible to infection,’ says Pearson.
‘Vitamin D is essential to the function of two essential parts of the immune system, adaptive and innate immunity.’
Adaptive immunity is that which remembers viruses you have had – for example, chicken pox – and ensures you don’t get them again.
Your innate immune system is present in places like inside your nose and is there to guard against everyday infections. Both are essential and both need adequate levels of vitamin D to function, says Pearson.
If you feel like you’re always catching any infection going and/or it takes you longer than most to shake it, get tested.
Now, scientists are studying the role played by vitamin D deficiency in an increased risk of cancer, in particular colorectal, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers.
2. You’re depressed – especially in winter
‘Vitamin D is understood to play a key role in maintaining healthy levels of serotonin in the brain,’ says Pearson.
‘These are neurotransmitters in the brain that are essential to mood and deficiencies have been associated with depression.’
In 2014, researched published in the journal Medical Hypotheses looked at 100 scientific papers on vitamin D and found a specific link between vitamin D deficiency and Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD which happens when people experience low mood during the winter months, thanks to a lack of light and sunshine.
‘Vitamin D levels fluctuate in the body seasonally, in direct relation to seasonally available sunlight,’ said research Alan Stewart of the University of Georgia College of Education.
‘For example, studies show there is a lag of about eight weeks between the peak in intensity of ultraviolet radiation and the onset of SAD, and this correlates with the time it takes for UV radiation to be processed by the body into vitamin D’.
3. You’re literally ALWAYS tired
‘Vitamin D is essential for converting food into energy,’ says Pearson.
‘If you’re always tired, a lack of this vitamin could mean you’re not assimilating nutrients from your food and your body’s cellular ability to make energy from what you eat is compromised thanks to a lack of vitamin D’.
This vitamin she explains, is essential to the functioning and the efficiency of mitochondria (known as cell batteries) within the muscles.
The good news is, this can be quickly remedied by supplementation.
A double-blind placebo controlled randomized clinical trial published last year in the journal Medicine found that vitamin D supplementation significantly improved fatigue levels.
4. You have joint pains or weak bones
Vitamin D is essential to help regulate calcium and phosphate levels in the body, giving it a key role in the functioning of joints, muscles and teeth and adequate levels help ward off osteomalacia (soft bones) and osteoporosis (loss of bone density) in later life.
‘When you’re running low on vitamin D, your bones can weaken increasing your risk of stress fractures,’ says Pearson.
‘This is related to vitamin D’s essential role in regulating calcium uptake. People often think about calcium for bones, but they’re rarely aware that vitamin D is essential to calcium’s absorption.’
One study in 2014 predicted that adults with a vitamin D deficiency who are older than 50 are more likely to develop pain in their hip and knee joints and also noted that the pain is more likely to get worse if the deficiency isn’t treated with supplementation.
5. Your muscles hurt
Vitamin D supports muscle function because receptors for it are located all over the body, including in the muscles.
‘Having lots of general muscle aches is often the first tell tale sign of a deficiency’, says Pearson.
Vitamin D enters muscle cells when it is metabolized, enhancing muscle contractions, which is vital for preventing falls and for building muscle strength and bones through exercise.
In fact, researchers have found links between chronic pain that doesn’t respond to treatment and vitamin D deficiency and supplementation has been shown to help.
Vitamin D Deficiency is common in the UK, where certain groups are more at risk. Vitamin D Deficiencies are be caused by three main reasons.
Increased need for vitamin D
Growing children, pregnant women, and breast-feeding women need extra vitamin D because it is required for growth. So, vitamin D deficiency is more likely to develop in the following groups of people:
Pregnant or breast-feeding women. Vitamin D deficiency is even more likely to develop in women who have had several babies with short gaps between pregnancies. This is because the body’s stores of vitamin D get used up, and there is little time for them to be built up before another pregnancy.
Breast-fed babies whose mothers are lacking in vitamin D, or with prolonged breast-feeding, as there is little vitamin D in breast milk. (Note: there are significant advantages to breast-feeding; you should not stop breast-feeding due to concern about vitamin D levels – your baby can simply have vitamin D supplements as drops by mouth – also available at PrivateGP.com)
Where the body is unable to make enough vitamin D
This can occur for various reasons:
People who get very little sunlight on their skin are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. This is more of a problem in the most northern parts of the world where there is less sun. In particular:
People who stay inside a lot. For example, those in hospital for a long time, or housebound people.
People who cover up a lot of their body when outside. For example, wearing veils such as the niqab or burqa.
People with pigmented skin (because less sunshine gets through the skin).
Strict sunscreen use can potentially lead to vitamin D deficiency, particularly if high sun protection factor (SPF) creams (factor 15 or above) are used. Nevertheless, children especially should always be protected from the harmful effect of the sun’s rays and should never be allowed to burn or be exposed to the strongest midday sun.
Elderly people have thinner skin than younger people and so are unable to produce as much vitamin D. This leaves older people more at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Some medical conditions can affect the way the body handles vitamin D. People with Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, and some types of liver and kidney disease, are all at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Rarely, some people without any other risk factors or diseases become deficient in vitamin D. It is not clear why this occurs. It may be due to a subtle metabolic problem in the way vitamin D is made or absorbed. So, even some otherwise healthy, fair-skinned people who get enough sun exposure can become deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency can also occur in people taking certain medicines – examples include: carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone, barbiturates and some anti-HIV medicines.
Not enough vitamin D in Your Diet
Vitamin D deficiency is more likely to occur in people who follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, or a non-fish-eating diet.
Treating vitamin D Deficiency
Most cases of Vitamin D deficiency are easily treated.
A course of Vitamin D injections can be recommended or alternatively Vitamin D supplements until the deficiency is under control.
Nutrition can also be discussed with our Nutritionalist