Vitamin D Guidance for patients – New guidance October 2020
Your recent bloods results show you have a Vitamin D insufficiency.
The level will be between 25-50nmol. Anything above 50mmol/l is considered sufficient and healthy.
Vitamin D is usually caused by a lack of vitamin D in the diet or a lack of sun / daylight exposure. Having a good supply of both should ensure good vitamin D levels. Symptoms of low vitamin D include more frequent illness, exhaustion, fatigue, muscle pain, depression, bone pain, aching joints and hair loss. Vitamin D deficiencies in the UK are very common and many patients are unaware of it. Vitamin D deficiencies are easily treated with the treatment and advice below.
Advice – 80 % of our vitamin D comes from daylight exposure. You should ensure you have exposure to 20-30 minutes of day/ sunlight at least 3 times a week without sunscreen on face, arms and legs if possible and also have a diet containing vitamin D rich foods. These foods include oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines. Tinned tuna is not classed as an oily fish and only have very low levels of vitamin D). Other foods containing lower amounts of vitamin D include eggs, mushrooms, fortified cereals and dairy produce.
See leaflet for calcium and vitamin D checked in food.
Treatment recommended is a long term maintenance dose of vitamin D with a dose of between 800-2,000units per day depending on dietary intake. This treatment is no longer prescribed on the NHS and must be purchased over the counter, they are readily available at reasonable prices from pharmacies, supermarkets, health food shops and the internet with prices starting at 99p for 60 tablets (1000units) Failure to take these supplements or make dietary changes often result in treatment failure which may require further investigation so it is vitally important you follow this advice.
Follow up – there are no follow up blood tests and it may take 6 months of maintenance treatment to get to steady if after this time you feel unwell please consult with the GP.