Vitamin D Deficiency is a "silent syndrome," said Medical News Today, and while most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients may not notice that they are deficient, the side effects can be very harmful. Those suffering Vitamin D Deficiency may develop severe sweating, aching bones, uncomfortable gut conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, severe bouts of depression, and heart complications. Surprisingly, even given the risks, "It’s not unusual for people with Kidney Failure to have low levels of vitamin D," noted DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.
Vitamin D is produced in the body with ultraviolet rays from sun exposure, and it can also be consumed through diet. Since many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients often do not have enough time or energy to go outside regularly, avoid the sun due to various types of prescribed medications, and must limit Vitamin D rich foods due to dietary restrictions, they are often deficient in the nutrient.
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In the body, vitamin D helps control calcium and phosphate levels in the blood, and it plays an essential role in bone and teeth formation. Recent research also suggested that Vitamin D can "Reduce Heart Disease risks in Kidney Disease Patients." Researchers further stated, "Our study shows that simply identifying and correcting this abnormality has the potential to improve the outcomes in these patients."
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Hence, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should work with their Healthcare Teams to ensure that they are getting enough Vitamin D. Your Nephrologists can make this determination with a simple blood test.
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Good sources of the vitamin include oily fish and eggs, fortified cereals, and fat spreads. Yet, supplementation is also widely used because it can be difficult to get enough Vitamin D through diet alone. The generally recommended intake varies and is provided in the following list courtesy of, Techtimes.com:
- 600 IU for ages 1 to 70
- 800 IU for those older than 70
- 400 to 1,000 IU per day for preventing Osteoporosis and fractures
- 1,200 IU daily are suggested for fighting the Flu.
While Vitamin D supplements are very easily accessible, it is encouraged for all Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients to discuss the idea of using additional supplements with their Nephrologists before making any changes to their medication regimen.
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