VITAMIN D

VITAMIN D

 

At Resolve we provide vitamin D injections from our clinic in Sutton Coldfield, North Birmingham.

 

Vitamin D injections enable you a boost for your health; if you have a long term health condition, don’t get enough vitamin D from your diet, are feeling run down, suffer with digestion/gut problems, or simply aren’t getting enough sunlight due to your job/lifestyle. 

 

It’s well known that about 20% of the UK population is deficient in vitamin D. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) advises that everyone in the UK should supplement daily with 10 micrograms of vitamin D between October and March due to the lack of daylight exposure, minority ethnic groups encouraged to supplement throughout the whole year. 

 

How we get vitamin D

  1. From food- although we do not get enough.  Most foods rich in vitamin S derive from animal products, vegetarian and vegan diets will require extra attention to supplementation.  Intensively farmed animals and animal products won’t be rich in vitamin D. So we need to choose free-range, grass-fed animals to increase the chance of a better vitamin profile.  Vitamin D is fat-soluble and as such, being delivered in a fattier format aids absorption. Low-fat foods fortified with vitamin D won’t be as good as full-fat products. 

  2. From sun: Our bodies create vitamin D from sunlight on the skin. The problem with this is that we need to protect our skin from harmful UV rays in order to protect us against cancers and so we wear sunscreen. Sunscreen with SPF 30 and above effectively blocks out UVB rays, indirectly reducing vitamin D production by up to 95%.

 

Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency

A vitamin D deficiency can put you at higher risk of health conditions including heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and depression. Signs that you may need more vitamin D include the some of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue and low energy levels

  • Low mood

  • Eczema

  • Musculoskeletal aches and pains

  • Muscle weakness

  • Hair loss

  • Generally feeling unwell

  • Impaired cognition

 

What causes a vitamin D deficiency?

We see a lot of patients with chronic health issues that lead to low levels of vitamin D. Gut issues, like celiac disease and Crohn's disease can cause malabsorption, preventing the body from using nutrients from food. Although less common, because vitamin D is mostly stored in the liver, kidney and liver disorders can lead to problems converting vitamin D into its active form.

There are a number of other factors that can increase your risk of vitamin D deficiency including:

  • Obesity

  • If you wear a lot of SPF when outdoors it blocks out UVB rays, indirectly reducing vitamin D production

  • If you have darker skin (Asian, Mediterranean and Afro-Caribbean, for example). Darker skin tones or skin that tans easily makes less vitamin D compared to paler skin

  • Age. Elderly people make less vitamin D. It’s thought that absorption may be poorer in older skins, and the body is less efficient in converting it to its active form

  • If you spend a lot of time indoors

  • If you cover up your skin when outside

Those with darker skin tones may require 3-6 times more in the sun to make the same amount of vitamin D compared to paler skin tones.”

The NHS recommends people with dark skin, "for example people with an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background", should consider taking a vitamin D supplement "throughout the year".

Why opt for a vitamin D injection?

Vitamin D, when taken orally can take weeks, usually months, to have some impact on your health, since a large proportion of the dose is lost when it is converted in the gut.  Vitamin D levels, if given IM, shows a sustained increase from baseline, unlike oral supplementation and doesn’t require you to follow a strict regimen of oral intake.  Intramuscular vitamin D injections have a much more immediate impact because the vitamins are administered directly into the muscle, bypassing the gut, therefore a much higher percentage of the vitamin can be utilised by the body.

What are the benefits of Vitamin D injections?

  • Strengthen bones by aiding absorption and use of calcium, which is needed to develop and maintain bone density and health. Therefore, reduces the risk of fractures. May alleviate symptoms of arthritis (research is ongoing but shows promising results).

  • Supports the immune system to fight against infection.

  • Helps cancer patients - a low level of vitamin D has shown to increase the risk of colon cancer and can have a negative impact on the survival of these patients

  • Protective against heart disease - patients with low levels of Vitamin D have a 60% higher risk of heart disease 5

  • Reduces risk of hypertension by reducing systolic blood pressure 

  • Reduces the risks associated with obesity - low levels of vitamin D are common in patients with obesity and may explain the increased risk of these patients for certain cancers and higher cardiovascular disease risk

  • Benefits in pre-diabetes - research shows that those who took combined calcium-vitamin D supplements had a lower rise in glucose levels at 3 years compared with those without

  • Improves symptoms of depression

  • Reduces risk of cognitive decline - low levels of vitamin D were associated with substantial cognitive decline in the elderly population

  • Reduces risk of Parkinson’s disease

  • Reduces risk of Multiple Sclerosis

  • Reduces risk of Influenza A

  • Reduces risk of Bacterial Vaginos- in pregnant women, a deficiency of Vitamin D increases the risk for Bacterial Vaginosis

  • Reduces risk of Pelvic Floor Disorders - higher vitamin D levels are associated with a decreased risk of pelvic floor disorders (urinary and faecal incontinence) in women

  • Protects against Age-related macular degeneration -  may protect against early AMD in women under 75 years old

  • Improves Restless Leg Syndrome - vitamin D supplementation has shown to improve the severity of restless less syndrome symptoms

Vitamin D is fast becoming the Nation’s essential vitamin with recent links to the fight of COVID 19, because of the role it has in modulating the response of white blood cells.  The government recommended all those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable or at high risk to supplement given the increased time spent indoors of late.  Observational studies show certain groups are both more likely to have vitamin D deficiencies and to catch Covid - older people, people with obesity, people with darker skin (including black and South Asian people). It may be that a deficiency is the reason these groups are at higher risk, or there may be other health and environmental factors driving both a fall in levels of vitamin D and greater susceptibility to the virus.

 

What do we recommend?

3 injections per year, at divided intervals. This is dependent on the patient’s personal medical history and comorbidities.

 

What happens at the appointment?

You will have a brief consult with the practitioner, followed by the injection, which is performed by a health care professional fully licensed and registered to perform these injections in the UK.

Prices

100,000 IU vitamin D2 intramuscular injection

£50