PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How is vitamin D deficiency treated?

ANSWER

Treatment for vitamin D deficiency involves getting more vitamin D -- through diet and supplements. Although there is no consensus on vitamin D levels required for optimal health -- and it likely differs depending on age and health conditions -- a concentration of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter is generally considered inadequate, requiring treatment.

Guidelines from the Institute of Medicine increased the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin D to 600 international units (IU) for everyone between the ages of one and 70, and raised it to 800 IU for adults older than age 70 to optimize bone health. The safe upper limit was also raised to 4,000 IU. Doctors may prescribe more than 4,000 IU to correct a vitamin D deficiency.

If you don't spend much time in the sun or always are careful to cover your skin (sunscreen inhibits vitamin D production), you should speak to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly if you have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.

From: Vitamin D Deficiency WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Institute of Medicine: "Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and vitamin D."

Office of Dietary Supplements: "Dietary Supplement Sheet: Vitamin D."

Melamed M. , August 2008. Archives of Internal Medicine

News release, Peninsula Medical School News.

WebMD Health News: "Low Vitamin D Linked to Severe Asthma."

Garland C.F.  , July 2009. Annals of Epidemiology

MedlinePlus: "25-hydroxy Vitamin D Test."

Harvard School of Public Health: "Vitamin D: How Much Is Enough?"

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas on May 16, 2018

SOURCES:

Institute of Medicine: "Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and vitamin D."

Office of Dietary Supplements: "Dietary Supplement Sheet: Vitamin D."

Melamed M. , August 2008. Archives of Internal Medicine

News release, Peninsula Medical School News.

WebMD Health News: "Low Vitamin D Linked to Severe Asthma."

Garland C.F.  , July 2009. Annals of Epidemiology

MedlinePlus: "25-hydroxy Vitamin D Test."

Harvard School of Public Health: "Vitamin D: How Much Is Enough?"

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas on May 16, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What is rickets?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.