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Doctors review vitamin D deficiency testing, management practices

Category: Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment

The October issue of American Family Physician details a comprehensive review of the best practices for recognition, prevention and management of vitamin D deficiency in the family practice setting.

While vitamin D deficiency has long been linked to rickets in children, the report notes that "recent studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are associated with other pathologic conditions in persons of all ages."

The article specifically advises that the vitamin, most commonly used by the body when it's absorbed from sunlight, is elemental in promoting bone health and neuromuscular function and preventing cardiovascular disease, depression and colon cancer, MedScape reports.

Dr Robert Langan from the St. Luke's Family Medicine Residency Program said that the diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency is often missed because the signs and symptoms are nonspecific, leaving the condition untreated. The symptoms include muscle aches and bone pain in the low back and pelvis.

To counter the low rates of diagnosis, the U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test to accurately assess the condition.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, mushrooms are the only foods which naturally contain the sunshine vitamin.

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