It’s no secret that vitamin D is critical to balancing many areas of health. But from pediatric broken bones to cluster headaches, physicians and scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) are still learning just how powerful the so-called “sunshine vitamin” is.
Vitamin D deficiency is already extremely common, affecting approximately 42% of the U.S. population, according to research published in the National Institutes of Health database. Because of this, some researchers across the globe have referred to vitamin D deficiency as an “invisible epidemic.”
Doctors ranging from orthopedic surgeons to family medicine practitioners are seeing an uptick in patients with vitamin D deficiency. More testing, people staying indoors because of skin cancer risk, or more recently, safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, have been factors in the increase.
“The reason why we’re seeing an upward trend is that we’re checking for it,” said family physician Deepa Iyengar, MD, professor of family and community medicine, and Stanley G. Schultz, MD, Endowed Professor in Global Health with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. “Identifying vitamin D deficiency is such an important part of the family medicine genre because deficiency is seen across all ages.” Iyengar sees patients at UT Physicians, the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School.
Although most people have no symptoms, severe cases of vitamin D deficiency can lead to thin, brittle, or misshapen bones. Fortunately, the deficit is treatable, with doctors often prescribing over-the-counter vitamin D supplementation.
How vitamin D affects the body
Vitamin D is best known for promoting healthy bones and teeth. The human body can only absorb calcium, the primary component of bone when vitamin D is present……
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Source: MD LINX