Vitamin D deficiency: Are you at risk of the condition this winter? Find out here

Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium – one of the building blocks of healthy bones. Without it, bone disease can occur. Are you at risk of the condition?

There are three ways to get the vitamin D you need, explained MedlinePlus – through your skin, from your diet, and from supplements.

Adults up to 70 years of age are recommended to have 600IU (international units) of vitamin D everyday; this increases to 800IU for people aged 71 and beyond.

Certain individuals are at a higher risk of a vitamin D deficiency, including those aged 71 and over.

This is because the skin isn’t able to effectively transform the sun’s rays in vitamin D upon exposure.

In addition, this process is less efficient due to the kidneys being less able to covert vitamin D to its active form.

Those with darker skin are also less able to produce vitamin D from the sunshine.

People with disorders, such as Crohn’s or celiac disease, aren’t able to handle fat properly, which is needed in order for vitamin D to be absorbed.

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Anybody at risk of a vitamin D deficiency are able to request a blood test to measure how much vitamin D is in the body.

It’s important for your health to address any vitamin D deficiencies, as it can lead to osteoporosis.

What’s osteoporosis?

The National Osteoporosis Foundation explained this disease occurs when the body “loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both”.

As a result, the bones become weak and may break from falls or minor bumps.

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Viewed under a microscope, healthy bone resembles a honeycomb. However, this appearance alters during osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis means “porous bone”, as the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than that seen in healthy bone.

Bone density is reduces, and abnormal tissue structure is present in the bone disease.

Osteoporotic bone breaks are most likely to occur in the hip, spine or wrist, yet any bone can snap.

Regarded as a “silent disease”, most people are unaware that their bones are becoming weaker.

Breaking a bone is usually the first sign of osteoporosis, but there are other indications.

One sign of osteoporosis is getting shorter in height as you age; another sign is the upper back curving forward.

For more information on this disease visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation.



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