Published December 10, 2021 by Ichor Blood Services
What are the Dangers of Insufficient Vitamin D Levels?

Canadians are disproportionately affected by a lack of vitamin D due to the dark winter months when the UV index is too low to provide any benefits. This puts Canadians at higher risk of certain illnesses and diseases that adequate vitamin D levels would prevent. Vitamin D has long been recognized as an important factor in preventing rickets in children, but recent research has shown many other diseases it helps to defend against. Below are some of the medical issues that vitamin D deficiency contributes to and how you can help prevent them.

What Vitamin D Is And What It Does

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. Vitamin D also helps the body to prevent abnormal cells from multiplying in the breasts and colon, helps regulate blood pressure in the kidney, and helps regulate blood sugar levels in the pancreas. There are ways to obtain vitamin D other than through exposure to sunlight, such as by taking supplements or by eating certain vitamin D rich foods like fish oils, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products. Getting enough vitamin D can be particularly difficult for those who are over the age of 70, as the skin does not produce as much vitamin D and that age group tends to spend less time outdoors in the sunlight. Vitamin D is also essential for the growth and health of children.

Illnesses Are Associated With Vitamin D Deficiencies

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that typically occurs during the fall and winter season. It can make you feel moody, fatigued, disinterested in activities you usually enjoy, or hopeless. Vitamin D and serotonin deficiencies along with a change in your circadian rhythm can lead to higher rates of SAD.
  • Increased Cardiovascular Disease. This encompases many different heart maladies, including coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attacks, and more. A lack of vitamin D contributes to heart complications.
  • Diabetes. Because vitamin D helps to regulate blood sugar levels within the pancreas, people suffering from type 2 diabetes are likely to benefit from increased vitamin D levels.
  • Osteoporosis. Vitamin D is essential to bone health, as it helps the body absorb calcium. A lack of vitamin D can cause the bones to weaken and be more prone to breaking.
  • Compromised Immune System. A lack of vitamin D can contribute to an overall weakening of the immune system, which makes you more susceptible to colds and flu. This is particularly concerning during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a strong immune system can help fight off the virus as well as fight off other viruses that may leave a person susceptible to COVID-19.

Treatment For Vitamin D.

For Canadians, where getting more sunlight isn’t an option, there are two main ways to get more vitamin D: eat vitamin D rich foods and take supplements. The amount of vitamin D you will need will depend on your age, health conditions, and current vitamin D levels. Vitamin D2 and D3 testing is now available through Ichor Blood Services in partnership with the renowned Mayo Clinic Laboratories for analysis.

Get Your Vitamin D Test With Ichor Blood Services

Testing your vitamin D levels is a great way to assess the health of yourself and your family. Early prevention of disease starts with early detection, and getting blood work done is an important part of your health journey. If you would like to test your vitamin D2 and D3 levels and take control of your health, contact the experts at Ichor Blood Services private lab for our convenient vitamin D testing in partnership with Mayo Clinic Laboratories. You can book a vitamin D test by calling 1-844-424-6728 or filling out the contact form, and with Ichor Blood Service’s new mobile in-home testing, you can get your bloodwork done from the convenience of your own home.

FAQ

Q: What happens when children don’t get enough vitamin D?
A: Children need vitamin D to facilitate bone growth, strengthen muscles, and help develop motor function. Children also need enough vitamin D to help prevent aches and pains, fractures, and rickets, as well  as heart disease, osteoporosis, and some cancers later in life. Children can also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, although it is more common in older teenagers.

Q: Which cities does Ichor Blood offer services?
A: Ichor Blood offers private lab testing services in Calgary, AB, Edmonton, AB, Red Deer, AB, Fort McMurray, AB, Medicine Hat, AB, Fredericton, NB, and Toronto, ON.

Q: Can I get tested for COVID-19 at Ichor Blood Services?
A: Yes. We offer a variety of COVID-19 tests (PCR and antibody tests included), with both in-clinic and virtual testing streams. If you’re interested in getting a COVID-19 test, you can view those here.

Contact Us for Physician Requisitioned General Blood Work, or Corporate Group Testing for the COVID-19 Antibody or COVID-19 Active PCR Test, or for Travel Testing Test Collection Services for the COVID-19 Antibody or Active PCR Test.

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