1. July 2011 04:00
I just found out that my vitamin D level is low. How could this be? After all, I live in sunny Florida, where we have an estimated 300 days of sunshine per year! I even take my daily multivitamin, plus calcium + vitamin D, but I do wear sunscreen every day.
In one study, 91% of people with diabetes were deficient in vitamin D (1). Knowing my personal experience, I am not surprised. Past studies have shown that vitamin D may also help keep blood sugars levels under control for type 2 diabetes (2). It is thought that it plays a role by increasing the release of insulin. For type 1 diabetes, a study published this month also concluded that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased mortality (3).
How do you know? If your vitamin D level is low, you may have bone pain or muscle weakness, but many symptoms are subtle.
What do you do?
- Get your level checked. Ask your doctor.
- Make sure you are getting 10-15 min. of sunshine per day, without sunscreen.
- Eat foods with vitamin D: fish, milk/soy milk, cereals, fortified orange juice, mushrooms
(1)Esther Krug, MD, ENDO 2010, 92 Annual Meeting and Expo, Endocrine Society, June 19-22, San Diego
(2)Diabetes Care, Feb. 2011
(3)Diabetes Care, May 2011