Vitamin D deficiency epidemic

It’s been a long dark winter, when the sun has come out the shadows are long and its too cold to bare any skin anyway. What does this mean from a chiropractic point of view?

Did you know that by the end of winter 87% of people have below optimal levels of vitamin D in their systems? Unfortunately in those who are over weight and/or over 50 years of age and those with darker skin tones that figure goes up to 100%.

Vitamin D deficiency results in persistent pain and dysfunction, stiffness in the morning, low mood or depression, behavioural problems, reduced immune function and fatigue.

Testing vitamin D levels has never been easier or more affordable – a simple finger prick tests costs just £30. Knowing what your vitamin D level is helps to inform diagnosis and treatment plan including taking supplements (natural exposure to the sun also helps) and manual therapy. We can also retest levels at the end of the treatment plan so that ongoing management plans can be made.

Because vitamin D deficiency is so common most GPs don’t want to test for it (you are probably deficient!). They will simply prescribe Calichew D forte which is calcium carbonate (aka chalk – an almost impossible form of calcium to absorb, especially in the elderly with low stomach acid) and 400 iu/10 mcg of Vitamin D. If you are lucky enough to get a test through the NHS you are very unlikely to get a retest to check to see if your levels have returned to normal.

For context full body sun exposure with no lotion on will allow the body to naturally produce up to 20,000 iu vitamin D in 30 minutes. A 400 iu tablet is very unlikely to provide a therapeutic dose of vitamin D and unlikely to restore normal levels in someone who is deficient in vitamin D.

We at Cathedral Chiropractic feel that this is a public health tragedy and have decided to take some action. We have started to stock vitamin D testing kits that are affordable (£30) and give quick, accurate results. We also stock an excellent quality vitamin D3 supplement.

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