Soaking up the sun – Vitamin D deficiency in India


Despite the abundance of sunshine in India, the incidence of Vitamin D deficiency has increased. Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to sun exposure. It is essential for calcium absorption, bone development, fighting infections, and alleviation of inflammation. A deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to rickets, weak bones, poor hair growth and an increased risk of cancer among other symptoms.
One would imagine that such a disease to be common in colder countries and not in a tropical country like India. However, with the fast paced lifestyle of today’s generation, there is hardly any time for outdoor activities. After a long day at work, people rush indoors yet again and try to avoid the sun.

At Apex Hospital, we have found that most of the people who have come in complaining of lethargy and restlessness have had a Vitamin D deficiency. A blood test measuring the 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels can determine this deficiency. Tests for calcium and phosphate levels and liver function may also show changes linked to a low level of vitamin D.

While being vitamin D deficient is a problem, there disadvantages of too much vitamin D as well. An excess may cause health problems such as dehydration, vomiting, kidney damage and kidney stones.

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