Vitamin D Testing

Vitamin D deficiency has been long known for its role in the prevention of childhood rickets and in the intestinal absorption of dietary calcium, vitamin D has now been found to be important in protecting the body from a wide range of diseases. Disorders linked with vitamin D deficiency include stroke, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, several forms of cancer, some autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and type I diabetes and even type II diabetes, depression and schizophrenia. A major culprit in vitamin deficiency is inadequate sun exposure. Vitamin D deficiency is especially problematic for people who spend much of their time indoors, or who live in colder climates. Vitamin D3 is practically a prohormone and is regulated by parathyroid hormone.

Who is at risk?

  • The elderly. The vitamin D precursor decreases in the skin with age, therefore elderly people are more prone to deficiency. Living in the rest homes or becoming home-bound can limit exposure to the sunshine. Muscle weakness and osteoporosis associated with vitamin D deficiency make the elderly more susceptible to falling and fracture risk. Clinical trials indicate that vitamin D supplementation may decrease the risk of fractures
  • Dark-skinned people who require much sunlight exposure to generate adequate circulating vitamin D compared to fair-skinned people
  • People with limited sunlight exposure. People living at northern latitudes or who have limited sunlight exposure because of their working environment or cultural clothing rules may have low vitamin D levels
  • Musculoskeletal pain sufferers. Patients with symptoms of hypothyroidism, nonspecific musculoskeletal pain, chronic low back pain, or fibromyalgia are frequently found to have low vitamin D levels and show clinical improvement after supplementation. Vitamin D screening is strongly recommended in patients presenting with musculoskeletal pain
  • Overweight or obese people. Vitamin D can be locked in fat in obese patients, who have been found to have lower levels of circulating 25-hydroxy vitamin D and are at risk for deficiency
  • Breast fed infants and children with limited sunlight exposure. All children require adequate circulating vitamin D to prevent rickets. Dark skinned children and those who spend much of the day in indoor daycare centers are at risk for of deficiency. Breast fed infants often receive inadequate amounts of vitamin D, particularly when their mothers are deficient. Maternal supplementation or the use of cod liver oil or other vitamin D supplements in infants and children can avoid the risk of developing type I diabetes in childhood

Vitamin D (when insufficient/deficient):

  • contributes to cancer prevention (up to 75% of all)
  • helps multiple sclerosis and autism
  • increases bone mass (reduces osteoporosis, decreases fragility and fracture risk)
  • improves muscle strength
  • helps periodontal disease
  • improves jump height (its velocity and force)
  • improves depression
  • helps to reduce dementia
  • reduces coronary heart disease, left ventricular hypertrophy, and blood pressure
  • increases insulin sensitivity (improves diabetes mellitus)
  • reduces chronic vascular inflammation
  • improves heart failure outcomes and treatment
  • reduces circulating cytokines (pro-inflammatory and pro-pain chemicals in the body)
  • prevents of autoimmune disease (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis)

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Marek Gawrysz, MD

Marek Gawrysz, MD

I earned my medical degree from the Medical Academy in Krakow (Collegium Medicum of the Jagiellonian University), Poland in 1978. My training requirements were fulfilled at the Medical Academy in Krakow, Poland, Swedish Covenant Hospital and Columbus-Cuneo-Cabrini Medical Center in Chicago. I am board certified and have dual fellowship (extra training) in Family Practice and Anti-aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine.

I am practicing medicine for 35 years.

I am also a recipient of 2012, 2011 and 2010 People's Choice, Most Compassionate Doctor 2011, and 2003 Physician of the Year awards.

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American Academy of Anti-Aging MedicineFellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative & Functional MedicineAmerican Academy of Family PhysiciansAmerican Board of Physician SpecialtiesJagiellonian UniversityPolish-American Medical Society
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