Vitamin D deficiency or hypovitaminosis D is one of three top deficiencies found in elderly patients. This is important since your loved ones may be suffering from vitamin deficiencies, not Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Causes for Vitamin D deficiency:
#1. Diet which lacks Vitamin D and insufficient exposure to sunlight being instructed by doctors and almost everyone not to go out in the sun without sunscreen covering every inch of exposed skin, to wear hats and protective clothing. This may help protect you from skin cancer but also leads to Vitamin D deficiency. I know this well since I burn easily and don’t tan. I don’t use sunscreen but just go out when the sun is less intense. I was never a sun worshiper having experienced severe sunburns in the early part of my life. I am extremely fair skinned. Older adults often are in the house, in bed or in a nursing home with little outside exposure to the sun. If they are taken out, they are provided with a hat and sunscreen.
#2. Specific diseases such as liver disease and prescription medications including steroids, some weight-loss drugs, some cholesterol-lowering drugs and some drugs used to control seizures, can interfere with the absorption and utilization of Vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most serious health issues for older adults. My father in law played golf 3-4 weeks until 4 months before he died and did not use sunscreen was still diagnosed with many deficiencies including B12 and Vitamin D at 94. Even the last 3 years that we took care of him, taking him off alcohol, after heavily drinking for most of his life, was deficient despite taking the supplement right up to his death. This was confirmed by lab tests several times. It is a good idea to get your loved one checked for Vitamin deficiencies early on. I had to fight two doctors to get him tested. I knew he had to be deficient after 70 years of drinking and eating junk food, sweets, and heavy calorie laden food. He played golf so they said he should be fine. He was severely deficient after testing.
What problems occur with Vitamin D deficiency? increased risk of infections, heart issues, metabolic issues such as diabetes type 2, stroke, heart failure. increased risk, and severity, of osteoporosis, atheromatous disease, pressure sores, poor wound healing , pneumonia susceptibility, decreased lung function, falls, bone breaks, eye diseases, tooth decay, bleeding gums or periodontitis, tooth decay, IBS, digestive conditions, auto-immune diseases, teeth grinding, arthritis, sore joints, and last but not least brain-fog, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s, Memory Problems, and Dementia can be a result of Vitamin D deficiency or at least making memory issues worse.
Cancer risks from a Vitamin D deficiency include colo-rectal cancer confirmed by researchers. Vitamin D and its relation to other cancers susceptibility is still being debated but it is logical that when this vitamin is used in so many functions in the body, that its lack or insufficiency would influence the formation of cancers or at least create a medium that encourages cancer cells to grow.
Foods that contain Vitamin A include wild oily fish such as non-farmed salmon (#1), herring, sardines cod liver oil, canned tuna, oysters, shrimp, beef liver, ghee, emu oil, and egg yolks . Plant sources include mushrooms, black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, adzuki beans, peanuts, peanut butter, lentils chickpeas, green peas, barley, almonds, almond butter pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, oats, teff, quinoa, wild rice, kale and spinach just to begin the list.
Specific diet and eating Problems with the elderly: They have stomach problems and often an appetite problem. They don’t cook or have the financial means to eat well. They may only want sweets. In many cases they have gum disease, ill fitting dentures or no teeth to chew different foods. They often just won’t eat much and if they do, it may not be foods that contain the needed vitamins including Vitamin D.
How to test for Vitamin D Deficiency? There are two main tests given: 1,25(OD)D and 25(OH)D with the most accurate one for overall D status being the 25OH)D or also called the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Once you receive the results how do you make sense of them. If you are deficient it will state<50ng/ML. Optimal levels should read from 50 to 70ng/ML.
How much Vitamin D should you take through capsules?
There have many so many articles for and against Vitamin D supplementation, it has totally confused people. Most of these research studies against Vitamin D are biased and paid for by the drug manufacturing companies who are against vitamin supplementation. They would rather sell you drugs for the disease later that deficiencies cause.
It is interesting the the guidelines for Europe are much higher for Vitamin D. An example for ages 9 to 70 in Europe is 4,000 per day but in the US its only 600 IU.
Over the age of 70 in the US it’s only 800 IU per day but in Europe is 4000 IU per day. That is quite a difference in suggested dosage.
Most holistic doctors and healers would go along with the European standards for real health. In Europe children from 1 to 10 years should receive 2000/IU per day and children 11 to 17, 4000 IU/per day.
Do get your Vitamin D levels checked if possible. You can order tests so that you can test your own Vitamin D levels. You buy the kit and pay a lab to take your blood. You then send the blood to the company who sent you the test. Remember, even if you are out in the sun, you can still be deficient Vitamin D.
The best Vitamin D supplement to buy is Vitamin D3 which is the most effective and usable by the body and its tissues. Make sure it is organic and not synthetic.