Vitamin D Deficiency in Elderly

Posted: October 7, 2020

   Vitamin D Deficiency in Elderly :

                  Is Your Loved One Getting Enough Vitamin D?


A lack of vitamin D is a common issue among people of all ages, but there is an increased risk for vitamin D deficiency in elderly adults. Oxford University Press estimates that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood and it is particularly prevalent among elderly people. Vitamin D deficiency is correlated with low bone mass and osteoporosis, which is estimated to affect 10 million U.S. adults over the age of 50.

Why is Vitamin D Important?

Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has powerful effects on several systems throughout the body. Recent studies have discovered vitamin D goes beyond its well-known role in bone health and a golden tan. There is evidence of reducing the risk of diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and more. What makes vitamin D distinctive is that it is not only a vitamin, it is a hormone the body makes naturally from sun exposure. People get vitamin D in three ways: through skin absorption, diet, and from supplements.

Vitamin D-eficiency

Signs that your older loved ones are not getting adequate vitamin D are frequently subtle and often mistaken for other health conditions.

Common Risk Factors for Vitamin D Deficiency:            vitamin d deficiency in elderly
  • Being elderly
  • Having dark skin which limits the creation of vitamin D
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not eating enough fish or dairy
  • Living far from the equator/where there is less sun year round
  • Staying indoors/reduced sun exposure
  • Gastrointestinal diseases and chronic illnesses such as malabsorption disorders or reduced renal function
Signs & Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency:
  • Tiredness and Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Muscle Pain
  • Overall Weakness
  • Weight Gain
  • Bone and Back Pain
  • Getting Infections and Sick Regularly
  • Impaired Wound Healing
  • Bone Loss
  • Hair Loss
  • Cognitive Impairment

How to Fix a Vitamin D Deficiency in Elderly

Fixing a vitamin D deficiency is simple and can have significant health benefits. Talk to your loved one’s doctor and request that their blood levels are measured. If there is a vitamin deficiency discuss options including increasing sun exposure and possible vitamin D supplements. Adding more vitamin D rich foods into their diet, such as fatty/oily fish or fortified dairy products will help.