Vitamin D deficiency on the rise,docs blame it on lifestyle

Deficiency of vitamin D among city dwellers seems to have become a cause for concern for the doctors here.

Written by TANBIR DHALIWAL | Chandigarh | Published: June 22, 2013 1:39:07 am

Deficiency of vitamin D among city dwellers seems to have become a cause for concern for the doctors here. Incidentally,the deficiency has been noticed even in areas where sunlight is abundant.

According to Dr Babita Ghai,consultant,Pain Clinic,PGIMER,in the last six months around 200 people were tested for vitamin D level in blood. “Around 90 per cent of them have been reported to have less than required level,” she said. Ghai said the deficiency was a major reason for body pains.

“A significant number of population,one can say more than 80 per cent of the people are suffering from vitamin D deficiency,” said Dr Raj Bahadur,head of orthopaedics department,PGIMER.

Apart from causing ricket and osteomalacia (softening of bones) and other bone-related ailments,Raj Bahadur said,vitamin D deficiency may increase of risk of several diseases. It has manifestation in heart disease,brain and nerve problems,gastrointestinal diseases.

“Vitamin D supplements that are easily available in markets can be taken. One can have daily intake of minimum of 1,000 IU of vitamin D or 60,000 IU a week,” he suggested.

Dr R K Kanojia,associate professor,department of orthopaedics,PGIMER,said a research on vitamin D deficiency was on. “Till now we have examined about 200 office-going people above the age of 40 years. We have found that more than 70 per cent of them were vitamin D deficient,” he said.

He said the main reason for increasing cases of vitamin D deficiency was the changing lifestyle. “We are working for long hours,not taking balanced diet and hardly spend any time out in the sun,” the doctor said.

Talking about symptoms,Dr Sudhir Garg,head of department,orthopaedics,GMCH-32,said,“If you have bone pain and muscle weakness,it means that one has vitamin D deficiency. However,for many people the symptoms are subtle.”

Even without symptoms,too little vitamin D can pose health risks. “There is mounting evidence that links low levels of vitamin D to an increased risk of bone and muscle pain,type 1 diabetes,cancers of breast,colon,prostrate,ovaries,esophagus and lymphatic system.”

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