Vitamin D Screening - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Vitamin D Screening

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Screening for Vitamin D deficiency has become routine in recent years, but the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is calling that practice into question for healthy adults.

"We really just don't have enough evidence to say one way or the other whether screening for Vitamin D has a health benefit," says Dr. Kristen Bibbins-Domingo.

Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium for healthy bones. The greatest source is sun exposure. It is also found in fatty fish like salmon. The panel agrees Vitamin D is important, but just how much is needed is unclear.

"Unfortunately, what we don't know is exactly what levels really would classify someone as being deficient in Vitamin D."

But the task force does recommend discussing screening with your doctor if you show symptoms of being Vitamin D deficient.

30-year-old Aakinah Ali takes Vitamin D for her rheumatoid arthritis because it helps relieve joint and muscle pain. "When my doctor notices I am really low in vitamin D, she will prescribe an extra dose."

Her rheumatologist says the task force is allowing doctors to make their own judgement calls.

"What it sounds like to me is that the decision is therefore mine, individually making a decision on a case-by-case basis," says Dr. Azar.

She says at least 95% of her patients need more Vitamin D.

The task force adds older adults at risk for falls are one specific group who should continue to get Vitamin D supplements because Vitamin D, along with exercise has been shown to help prevent falls.

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