Friday, April 17, 2015
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rock doc: Vitamin D levels can be checked

By
March 29, 2014 |

My mother lives with me and I’m involved in her medical care. She’s a tough cookie. But like many 88-year-olds, she has several health problems. We visit her doctor at least once a month to report what’s working and what isn’t doing the trick. Recently the doctor ordered blood work that showed she was low in vitamin D. So now I’ve added vitamin D tablets to her daily medication regime.
In the summer our bodies produce vitamin D when sunlight strikes our skin. But during the dark winter months, that source of vitamin D dries up. Vitamin D is in fortified milk (and some OJ) but my mama is living proof not everyone gets enough vitamin D from their diet.
Vitamin D is important in its own right in terms of what it does for us. But as a sideline, it helps us absorb calcium. As we age, getting more calcium to where it’s needed in the body can help us avoid osteoporosis. For that reason alone, it’s worth talking to your health care provider about vitamin D levels.
If you don’t like the thought of taking pills, there are foods that are good sources of vitamin D. The Mayo Clinic Website recommends eggs, milk, fish and cod liver oil. (The thought of downing spoonfuls of cod liver oil makes taking pills seem like a pretty good deal — but maybe that’s just me.)
In extreme cases of low vitamin D, rickets can result. Rickets is a softening and a weakening of bones. My poor mother had rickets when she was a kid in the early 1930s. It’s quite possible the milk she drank back in the day wasn’t fortified with vitamin D. But you can experience some degree of vitamin D deficiency without developing rickets.
You may be at higher risk for vitamin D problems if you are obese, elderly, or you don’t get much sun exposure. People with inflammatory bowel disease are also more likely to have low levels of vitamin D.
According to the WebMD Website, sufficient vitamin D can potentially help lower your blood pressure, as well as lowering your risk of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and even such major maladies as multiple sclerosis.
Taking vitamins sometimes seems like a fad idea, and anything can be done to excess. There are also some ins and outs about different types of vitamin D, as well as the importance of complementing it with calcium intake. I would say it’s worth talking to your medical provider, not just trying to treat yourself blindly. Once you are at your doc’s office, a simple blood draw can determine if you are low in Vitamin D.
I’m glad my mother’s doctor tested her for vitamin D levels. I’ve now scheduled my own blood draw appointment for the same simple check. Like mother, like child?
Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

Comments

Subscription Required

Thank you for reading the MtDemocrat.com digital edition. In order to continue reading this story please choose one of the following options.

Current Subscribers
If you are a current subscriber and wish to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com, please select the Subscriber Verification option below. If you already have a login, please select "Login" at the lower right corner of this box.

Subscriber Verification

Special Introductory Offer
For a short time we will be offering a discount to those who call us in order to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com and start your print subscription. Our customer support team will be standing by Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm to assist you.

Call and Save! (530) 344-5000

If you are not a current subscriber and wish not to take advantage of our special introductory offer, please select the $12 monthly option below to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com and start your online subscription

Help?

E. Kirsten Peters

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Georgetown wildfire contained

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

     
    Heard over the back fence: Glow in the dark walk

    By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

    Harris found guilty of first-degree murder

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Closing arguments attempt to sway jury

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

    Geyser erupts on Main Street when service line separated

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Grand Jury asks CSD to amend parcel tax

    By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

    SLT to hold Citizen’s Academy

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A8

     
    Pondo queen on to state competition

    By Julie Samrick | From Page: A11

    .

    Opinion

     
    Something to think about: The sound of the gun

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A4

    Main Street ‘under construction’

    By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Letters

    The water problem is not going away

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Animal Shelter vs. human shelter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    Animal Shelter Open House

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Supervisor Ranalli unresponsive

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    Are you really trying for a hole in one?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Foundation thanks Board of Supervisors

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    .

    Sports

    Beam’s laser wins it for El Dorado

    By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6

     
    Many winners at conference finale

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Roundup: April 15, 2015

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Dwarf cars join tomorrow’s action

    By News Release | From Page: A6

    D’backs pull even with Cordova

    By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6

     
    El Dorado dominates Rosemont

    By J. Cool McSmooth | From Page: A7

    .

    Prospecting

    Art Studio 360 celebrates opening

    By News Release | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Things to do: April 17, 2015

    By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

    Imagine images of spring and more

    By Placerville Arts Association | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    The Ramblin’ Years returns to its roots

    By Julie Samrick | From Page: B3

    Patrons Club serves up scholarship lunch

    By Folsom Lake College | From Page: B4

     
    Fabulous Liars playing at Lions Club opening

    By Fabulous Liars | From Page: B4

    ‘Cloud Nine’ offers surprises

    By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B4

     
    Step into the past

    By Folsom Historic District Association | From Page: B6

    Artist mixes architecture and paint

    By Placerville Arts Association | From Page: B7

     
    Connecting the nature of humans through dance

    By News Release | From Page: B7

    .

    Essentials

    .

    Obituaries

    Alden “Al” Stoddard funeral notice

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Vickey Christine Moreno

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Allen H. Tuttle

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Steven Allen Chasen

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Robert Joseph Gatlin Jr. funeral notice

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Real Estate

    Why I hate home inspections

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS2

     
    Pillow talk part two: Picking the perfect sheet

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

    .

    Comics

    Shoe

    By Contributor | From Page: A9

     
    Sudoku

    By Contributor | From Page: A9

    Rubes

    By Contributor | From Page: A9

     
    TV Listings

    By Contributor | From Page: A9

    Long Story Short

    By Contributor | From Page: A9

     
    Speed Bump

    By Contributor | From Page: A9

    Tundra

    By Contributor | From Page: A9

     
    Horoscope, Friday, April 17, 2015

    By Contributor | From Page: A10

    New York Times Crossword

    By Contributor | From Page: A10

     
    Horoscope, Sunday, April 19, 2015

    By Contributor | From Page: A10

    Horoscope, Saturday, April 18, 2015

    By Contributor | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Home Source

    Why I hate home inspections

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS2

    Pillow talk part two: Picking the perfect sheet

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4