Low Vitamin D

Low vitamin D

Vitamin D has several important functions. For example, it helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.These nutrients are needed to keep bones and teeth healthy. A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone pain and tenderness and rickets in children.

Improving your diet

We get most of our vitamin D from sunlight on our skin. The vitamin is made by our body under the skin in reaction to summer sunlight. However, if you are out in the sun, take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before you turn red or get burnt.Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods. Good food sources are:

  • oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, tuna, cod liver oils
  • eggs
  • fortified fat spreads
  • fortified breakfast cereals
  • powdered milk

Foods that affect iron absorption

However, some foods and medicines can make it harder for your body to absorb iron. These may include:

  • tea and coffee
  • calcium, found in dairy products such as milk
  • antacids (medication to help relieve indigestion)
  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which affect the production of acid in your stomach
  • wholegrain cereals - although wholegrains are a good source of iron themselves, they contain phytic acid which can interfere with how your body absorbs iron from other foods and pills

Taking Vitamin D medication

Vitamin D suppliments can be obtained over the counter or at most pharmacies/supermarkets. It is very unusual to get side effects from vitamin D if taken in the prescribed dose. Very rarely, if you are taking very high doses of vitamin D then this can raise your calcium levels in the blood. This would cause symptoms such as thirst, passing a lot of urine, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and headaches. If you have these symptoms whilst taking the higher dose of Vitamin D (20,000 units), then see your GP for a blood test.