Posted by: Anonymous | 2015/01/21

Vitamin D Deficiency - 30 year old male

Hi Doctor. I am a 30year old male who smokes 15 cigarettes a day. I am fairly healthy, follow a well balanced diet, and I take BESTUM multivitamin a few times a week. Recently I have been feeling pain in my legs and an overall sense of being ill (Body aches, loss of appetite, low energy) and went to visit a GP who sent me for blood tests. The blood test showed a shortage of Vitamin D (my reading is 14units where the range is between 30 and 100 units) My concern is what could the reason for this deficiency be? My multi vitamin contains vitamin D, I spend at least 15 to 20 minutes in the sun on a daily basis, and I eat well. Is there anything I should worry about or any further tests to be done as a precaution? The GP currently prescribed "CALCIFEROL 50000units" once a week for three months. My Sugar/iron/vitamin B12 levels are all fine as per the blood test. Another possible concern is my Testosterone levels are on the lower end of normal. Please advise on the possible causes and the necessity of any further tests? Kind Regards

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageVitamin Expert
- 2015/01/27

Good day,

Thanks for posting your question. I am not a doctor, so I just wanted to make sure I meet your expectations in terms of my professional knowledge and insights. I am a dietitian, so I am happy to give advice on nutritional matters. Low levels of Vitamin D is more common than previously thought. Possible contributing factors (other than limited sunlight exposure that is not relevant to you). Low dietary intake may be a contributing factor - if your diet is low in vitamin D rich foods such as oily fish, eggs, full cream dairy, etc. Being overweight may result in lower circulating levels of vitamin D.  Some people naturally have a lowered absorption of vitamin D in their digestive system, notably with digestive system diseases such as Chron's disease. In some cases, the kidneys are not able to effectively convert vitamin D to its active form. If your low levels persist despite supplementation, you can discuss with your doctor the tests required to assess the roles of these possible contributing factors. Your doctor made a good recommendation. I would advise to have your blood levels tested again after 3-6 months.
Kind regards,
Andrea du Plessis

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