Holiday working hours:

Dear patients, on the occasion of September 22 - Day of Bulgarian independence, the working hours of our laboratories are as follows:
*Sofia city, both our sites will be closed on 22.09, on 23.09.23, only the central laboratory at 1 Jerusalem Blvd. will be open;
*Varna city, all laboratories will be closed except for:
- 3 ILINDEN STREET - normal working hours, no change
- "TSAR OSVOBODITEL" Blvd. 81 - on 22.09.23 from 08:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and on 23.09.23 will be closed

Spring and vitamins

Vitamin D

We all know that with the onset of spring, the so-called spring fatigue begins to appear, which in many cases is due to a weakened immune system as a result of a reduced intake of vitamins.

In this column, we will try to familiarize you, our readers and patients, with the main aspects and influences of vitamins.

Vitamins are an extremely important part of our body and their reduced amounts, and in some cases too high ones, can seriously affect us and our health.

Did you know that?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight meet the skin and trigger its synthesis. This is where its unscientific name comes from – “Sun Vitamin”.

Vitamin D is defined as a strategic component in the absorption process of calcium, on which the building and maintenance of bones and teeth depend. It is responsible for regulating the minerals calcium and phosphorus in the human body, helping the proper functioning of all tissues in the body. On the other hand, an imbalance in the body’s calcium-phosphorus balance leads to various disorders on the part of the kidneys, bone system, gastrointestinal tract, neuromuscular transmission, soft tissues, etc.

Vitamin D strengthens the body’s defense mechanisms and immunity. For this reason, if its levels in the body are within natural limits, the occurrence of autoimmune thyroid diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which leads to reduced thyroid function, or Graves’ disease, which leads to hyperthyroidism, is prevented or limited.

How do we get the right amount of vitamin D?

Since in its natural form vitamin D can be found in relatively few foods (fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon, eggs, liver, fish oil, cheese) and in low doses, it is often added to other products such as milk and dairy products, juices, cereals, etc. It is often taken as a food supplement.

And yet, the most effective way to get the much-needed vitamin D is quite simple – through exposure to the sun. On average, about 80-90% of Vitamin D in the body is obtained through exposure to sunlight. The amount of naturally synthesized vitamin directly depends on the season, time of day, clouds, the amount of melanin in the skin and others. For this reason, at the end of the winter season, vitamin D levels in the human body are at their lowest, which in turn leads to fatigue and a weakened immune system.

Consequences of a low level of vitamin D – hypovitaminosis

Hypovitaminosis, also known as vitamin deficiency, occurs when there is a deficiency of vitamin(s) in the body. Hypovitaminosis exposes people very often to health hazards, and unfortunately some of them show their effects after time.

Vitamin D deficiency can occur for several reasons, including:

  • Limited exposure to sunlight
  • A diet limiting most natural sources of Vitamin D from animal sources
  • Problems with the kidneys, as they are directly related to the synthesis of the vitamin by the body
  • Problems with the excretory system and obesity;

In general, a reduced level of Vitamin D leads to stiffness and pain in the bones and muscles. Therefore, if you experience discomfort that lasts more than a few weeks, it is advisable to get tested for vitamin D deficiency.

In more profound conditions, hypovitaminosis can affect certain parts of the body and lead to serious consequences such as rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis.

The lack of vitamin D in children and especially in babies is dangerous because it affects the development of the bone system, as a consequence of vitamin D deficiency is rickets.

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a reduced amount of bone tissue and structural deformations of bone tissue, which significantly increases the risk of bone fractures. Although rickets and osteomalacia are the best examples of the effects of vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis is an example of the long-term effects of low levels of calcium and vitamin D. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D keeps bones strong and helps prevent osteoporosis .

For these reasons, it is especially important to monitor the level of vitamin D in children and the elderly, as well as in people suffering from obesity.

The most suitable period for examination is after the winter has passed, and the most accurate way to check the level of vitamin D in your body is through a blood test. Levels of 20 to 50 nanograms per milliliter of blood are considered normal for a healthy organism. Levels below 12 nanograms per milliliter indicate vitamin D deficiency.

The study is recommended for all risk groups, as well as for people outside them, considering the fact that according to health statistics, over 76% of Bulgarians are vitamin D deficient.

SMDL City Lab offers blood vitamin D testing at a price of BGN 26, with the results available the same day.

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