Kimberly R Faucher, M.D.
Vitamin D
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a natural substance that our bodies need for muscle and bone health, mental wellness, and more.
What are the main sources of Vitamin D?
Humans naturally produce vitamin D by the process of absorbing sunlight through the skin. Some foods contain it as well, such as fish, mushrooms, red meat some milks and soy milks, and egg yolks, but sunlight is the primary source of the vitamin.
Why is it important?
Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb essential nutrients including calcium and phosphorus. It helps protect and support the bones, teeth, and muscles as well as may prevent against some diseases including cancer.
What role does Vitamin D play in our bodies?
  • Maintains bone and teeth strength by regulating calcium and phosphorus
  • May support mental health by supporting the nervous system
  • Supports immune system functions
  • Regulates insulin levels
  • Helps lung and cardiovascular functions
  • May help prevent cancer by affecting the genes that are connected with cancer development
What are the health concerns of Vitamin D deficiency?
In older women especially, Vitamin D is important because it supports bone health. Osteoporosis and fracturing is more common for those deficient in Vitamin D. A healthy level of Vitamin D during pregnancy can also prevent the need for cesarian sections and can prevent some health problems such as bacterial vaginosis. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with many diseases and disorders including multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, autism, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer.
What are the signs of Vitamin D deficiency?
Signs can be subtle, but deficiency of this vitamin can be a serious health issue in some cases. Signs may include fatigue, general aches and pains, pained or weak feeling bones, or more frequent infections. However, sometimes no symptoms appear. A blood test can be ordered by Dr. Faucher to check for deficiency. 
Who is most at risk of Vitamin D deficiency?
People that experience less sun exposure to the skin may be deficient. Some groups at risk are darker-skinned people, people who spend a lot of time indoors or covered up, and residents of Northern states that have fewer sunny days. Older people, who typically have thinner skin, often cannot produce as much Vitamin D. Furthermore, infants, pregnant women, and overweight or obese people may be more at risk.
How can we obtain more Vitamin D?
Spending more time in the sun and eating foods that contain Vitamin D can increase one's levels. Nevertheless, in the case of deficiency a supplement is the most efficient and effective treatment. Your doctor can recommend and prescribe the supplement that is right for you.

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