Vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the gut. We produce it when our skin is exposed to sunlight.
- Common condition with few symptoms
- Can lead to bone deformity
- Easily treated with supplements
1 treatment(s) for Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency, also known as hypovitaminosis D is most commonly caused by inadequate exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D is often referred to as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin and is essential for our body to maintain healthy bones and teeth. It is made when skin is exposed to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. It can also be found in certain food sources, such as oily fish and fortified cereals, but generally only in small amounts.
Anyone can be susceptible to vitamin D deficiency but there are specific groups who are more at risk. Expectant mothers and mothers who are breastfeeding provide their child with lots of nutrients, including vitamin D, so their own stores may become depleted. People over the age of 65 years and those who are housebound also have a greater risk because in many cases their skin is not exposed to enough sun.
As we age the layers of our skin get thinner which makes it harder for it to produce sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Darker skinned people do not tend to naturally produce enough vitamin D either. Certain medical conditions and medications can alter the way the body deals with vitamin D. Crohn’s and coeliac disease are prudent examples.
Our skin produces differing amounts of vitamin D depending on skin type and the strength of the UVB rays that it comes into contact with. Their strength is altered by the time of day and year. The geographical position of the United Kingdom means that during the winter months the majority of the area is not penetrated by UVB rays at all. This means that from November to March most of the population relies on vitamin D stores that their body should have created over the summer.
Vitamin D deficiencies are highly common in the UK but many people do not realise that they have one. This is because mild cases don’t tend to cause obvious symptoms and can just leave the person feeling generally unwell, achy and tired. However, reported symptoms include bone pain and muscle weakness affecting mobility. If left untreated, a lack of vitamin D can worsen and lead to more severe health complications such as osteomalacia, osteoporosis and bone deformities. Children with low vitamin D levels can develop rickets, a condition where bones are soft, weak and easily deformed.
Your doctor may suspect you have a vitamin D deficiency simply by looking at your past medical history, lifestyle and any symptoms. However, they can also confirm a deficiency with a blood test. Without vitamin D the body is unable to efficiently absorb calcium and phosphorus in the small intestine.
The use of supplements in the treatment of vitamin D deficiency can be highly effective. For at risk groups it can also be extremely beneficial to ensure a deficiency is avoided.
Fultium D3 comes in the form of easy-to-swallow capsules. The prescribed supplement course can vary in length and strength depending on whether it is being used for preventative measures or actively treating a deficiency. The prescribed dose is usually taken once a day with water.
Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to serious health complications such as permanent bone deformities, osteoporosis and osteomalacia.
Those with instances of deficiency will usually be advised to increase their intake, by getting more sunlight and eating more foods containing. vitamin D
The condition can also be treated with a course of supplements. One such treatment is fultium D3, which is available to buy in several strengths.
At risk groups such as pregnant women and housebound people may be advised to take a supplement as a preventative measure.
How do they work?
Fultium D3 contains the active ingredient colecalciferol which is also known as vitamin D3. Vitamin D is used by the gut to help with the absorption and processing of calcium and phosphate. It does this by helping the small intestine absorb the nutrients, improves the distribution of them from the bones and regulates the amount being excreted by the kidneys.
What are the side effects?
Fultium D3 can cause unwanted side effects. One of which is known medically as hypercalcaemia and refers to excess calcium in the blood. This can cause symptoms such as sickness, a loss of appetite, stomach ache, constipation, muscle weakness, drowsiness and confusion.
Vitamin D supplements can also lead to too much calcium being found in the urine which is known as hypercalciuria. You can read further information on the side effects on the specific product page and also within the patient guide.
Can I take them with other medications?
There are some medicines that may interact with or alter the efficacy of vitamin D treatments. They include heart medicines, laxatives, epilepsy drugs, barbiturates, glucocorticoids, actinomycin and imidazole antifungals. Your doctor will make an assessment of any drugs you are currently taking or have recently taken.
What’s the difference between the medications?
Fultium D3 20000iu is a treatment dose for vitamin D deficiency, whereas 800iu is a maintenance dose. The numbers indicate the difference in the strength of the active ingredient colecalciferol. The 800iu capsules have the equivalent to 20 micrograms of vitamin D whereas the 20000iu versions have the equivalent of 500 micrograms.
Should I take fultium D3?
This will depend on the severity of your vitamin D deficiency or how likely it is that you might develop one. Your suitability may also be influenced by current or previous medical conditions or treatments.
Are there different side effects?
Fultium D3 can cause excess calcium in the blood or urine. For a full breakdown of side effects, take a look at the page for this product by clicking on the above image.
Is it right for me?
Check with your doctor to find out. They will be able to suggest an appropriate dose for you, after carrying out an assessment.
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