Vitamin D deficiency
- Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).
- Bone formation.
- Immune function.
- Muscle strength.
- Hair growth.
- Fighting infections.
- Reducing the risk of autoimmune diseases.
- Certain fish and fish oils are good sources of vitamin D.
- Vitamin D supplements which can be bought over-the-counter (without a prescription) are available in 400 IU (international units), 600 IU, 700 IU, 800 IU, and 1000 IU tablets.
- Delayed tooth formation.
- Dental deformities.
- Muscle cramps.
- Poor growth in children.
- Spine and other bone deformities.
- Stooped posture and a loss of height.
- Dietary Intake: Vitamin D deficiency can be prevented, and the treatment can be made effective by the consumption of natural foods that are a rich source of vitamin D. These include foods like eggs, beef liver, fish and fish oils (like cod liver oil), cow's milk, soy milk, etc.
- Artificial Ultraviolet B Radiation: This form of treatment is administered to those who do not have access to direct sunlight. Exposure to ultraviolet B radiation, created by artificial light sources, works as a substitute for direct sunlight exposure, and allows the synthesis of vitamin D by the skin.
- Daily vitamin D supplementation of 800 to 1,000 IU is a reasonable dose for adults.
- Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D should be maintained above 32 ng/mL (80 nmol/L) to maximize bone health.
- In patients with severe vitamin D deficiency (serum levels of below 8 ng/mL with hypocalcemia), 50,000 IU of vitamin D should be given daily for one to three weeks, followed by weekly doses of 50,000 IU.
- After repletion of body stores, 800 IU of vitamin D daily or 50,000 IU of vitamin D once or twice monthly is adequate maintenance therapy.
- In critically ill patients, albumin-adjusted calcium levels underestimate true or ionized hypocalcemia. Therefore, measured ionized calcium levels are recommended, particularly in patients who are being treated in an intensive care unit.
- If calcium supplementation alone fails to maintain normal serum levels, the patient is vitamin D deficient or resistant and may benefit from a trial of calcitriol (Rocatrol).
- If the vitamin D deficiency is severe, the patient will require 90 mmol/L in the first 24 hours: 6 mL of K2PO4 added to each liter of fluid and given at 200 mL/hr (1 mL of K2PO4 is equal to 4 mEq of potassium and 3.0 mmol/L or 93 mg of phosphate).
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