Vitamin D is essential for a human body to work as it should. It’s present in some foods, and plays an important part in keeping bones strong.
Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body – nutrients which are needed for healthy teeth, bones and muscles.
About vitamin D
Who can get treatment online
Adults can get treatment online, if a vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency is confirmed by a blood test.
How to place your order
- Fill out a short online assessment about your health
- Place an order for your preferred treatment
- A Zava Doctor will check your assessment to see if your order is right for you
- If your order is right for you, then it can be posted to your preferred address or you can collect it from a local post office instead
Common side effects of vitamin D supplements and treatments
We offer Cholecalciferol, in dosages of 1000 IU and 10000 IU. Side effects of Cholecalciferol can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach ache
- Needing to pee more often
- Muscles weakness
- Bone pain
Vitamin D is essential for healthy teeth, bones and muscles. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may develop soft, brittle bones – known as osteomalacia in adults, and rickets in children.
As well as this, Vitamin D helps our muscles to stay healthy and working well. The immune system also uses vitamin D to fight off bacteria and viruses, helping us to stay healthy.
If you are deficient in vitamin D, you might feel one or more of:
- bone pain
- wounds take longer to heal
- muscle pain
- becoming ill more often than usual
There are other risks associated with vitamin D deficiency. For example, some studies have shown that there is an increased risk of:
- some cancers
- cardiovascular disease
- rheumatoid arthritis
- multiple sclerosis
There are three categories when measuring vitamin D:
A sufficient vitamin D status is over 50 nmol/l (nanomoles per litre). This is when you have enough vitamin D for your body to be healthy.
Vitamin D insufficiency, which affects around 50% of the UK population, is defined as a concentration of between 30 and 50 nmol/l.
Vitamin D insufficiency isn’t enough to cause bone and muscle disease like vitamin D deficiency, but it can leave you susceptible to illness caused by bacteria or viruses.
If this isn’t treated, vitamin D levels can keep getting lower, ending up in the range of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is defined as having less than 30 nmol/l of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in your blood.
Severe vitamin D deficiency can causes bone pain and weakness. It can also mean you are more likely to suffer from infections and illness.
The most reliable way to check your vitamin D status is with a blood test.
You can do this through Zava – order a test online, and follow the simple steps to have your blood tested by our partner lab.
Or if you’d prefer, your GP will be able to carry out a blood test instead.
Our main source of vitamin D is direct sunlight. The human body can make vitamin D from sunlight that makes contact with our skin. The vitamin D produced by the skin from sunlight can last twice as long in the blood as the vitamin D acquired through our diet.
Added to this, not much vitamin D comes from the food we eat, unless we include food in our diet that has had vitamin D added to it.
You can try to make sure your vitamin D levels are high enough by:
- getting more direct contact with sunlight
- eating foods that are rich in vitamin D
- taking supplements or treatments – if your status is insufficient or deficient
Food sources of vitamin D include:
- cod liver oil
- beef liver
- egg yolks
Vitamin D is also available in a supplement and as a treatment.
If your vitamin D status is insufficient you may be given supplements of 1000 IU (international units). If you are deficient, you’ll first be offered given a starter pack, containing 10000 IU cholecalciferol, to give a quick boost to your vitamin D levels. Then you’ll take supplements containing 1000 IU.
The supplement form of vitamin D contains 1000 IU (international units). 1000 IU is equivalent to 25 micrograms.
Some groups are advised to take vitamin D supplements to ensure they are getting enough:
- babies from birth to one year old
- children between one and four years old
- people who don’t get a lot of direct sunlight. For example, people who live in care homes, or who wear clothing which covers most of their skin
10000 IU vitamin D is given to people who have been diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, to give a quick boost to their vitamin D levels. This is usually given as a daily dose for eight to 12 weeks, and helps to get the body’s store of vitamin D back to normal.
Dr Nicholas Antonakopoulos
Dr Nicholas Antonakopoulos graduated from the University of London in 2006. He did his postgraduate training in hospitals in the London area, and he trained for four years in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery before completing his training in General practice in 2015.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 02 Nov 2018
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