The Importance of Getting Your Vitaman D Levels Tested

Posted on | June 14, 2014 | Comments Off on The Importance of Getting Your Vitaman D Levels Tested

Latitudes of continental U.S. population centers. From October to March, most of the U.S. does not have enough sunlight to create the vitamin D you need.

The NYT reported today that low vitamin D levels have been tied to premature death. This finding underscores an important point: Especially if you live in a place like Seattle (actually, anywhere north of Arizona), it’s important to get your vitamin D levels checked regularly. There is a good chance that sunlight alone isn’t giving you all the vitamin D you need. Consequently, your levels may be low if you aren’t supplementing.

This is particularly important if you don’t work an outside job. Moreover, the older you get, the more likely it is that your vitamin D levels will be low. So for those of us over 45, it’s time to start paying more attention to this metric.

When your doctor orders blood work for glucose, cholesterol, etc., make sure s/he includes a vitamin D test as well. Trust me on this. You may be surprised what you find.

Recently, I asked for a vitamin D test. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had one, because my doctor had not suggested it. I found out that my levels were quite low, which was odd to me, because a few years ago they were quite high. But I was supplementing around the time of the last test, and I had not been supplementing lately.

Now, I understand just how much vitamin D levels can vary over time, and how supplementing can raise them up. But if you stop supplementing and spend a lot of time indoors, as I often do, they can go way down again.

That’s why it’s important to supplement and get your levels tested periodically. It’s the only way to get a rough picture of where things stand.

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