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April 13, 2014

PETERS: Vitamin D levels can be checked

(Continued)

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 is the author of “Planet Rock Doc.” This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University. Peters can be reached at rockdoc.wsu.edu and on Twitter @RockDocWSU.

 

 

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