The Link Between Vitamin D and Kidney Disease

Your kidneys serve an integral role in your body’s waste filtering system. Your body’s kidneys filter your blood and dispose of impurities that are sent to your bladder. Unfortunately, kidney failure can become an insidious condition.

With kidney disease, you wouldn’t feel any negative symptoms related to your health, until late-stage into the disease. One way of monitoring your kidney’s health is by checking the levels of vitamin D in your blood.

This article will explain the connection between vitamin D deficiency and the possible link to kidney disease.


What’s the Link?

What’s the link between vitamin D and kidney disease? Your kidneys are an essential component of helping your body utilize vitamin D. Vitamin D derives primarily from two services: the Sun and food supplements.

Through the Sun’s natural, ultraviolet B radiation, people can absorb vitamin D through their skin. People can also take store-bought or prescribed food supplements to increase their blood’s vitamin D levels. Your kidneys convert vitamin D from these sources into a substance that can actively be used by your body.

For this reason, people with chronic kidney disease generally have low vitamin D levels. With this type of disease, your kidneys are  less capable of converting vitamin D, resulting in vitamin D deficiency.

With damaged or inoperable kidneys, your body won’t be able to regulate the calcium and phosphorus levels in your blood. As a result, the parathyroid hormone (PTH) will attempt to overcompensate to do the job of vitamin D.

The PTH is distributed by parathyroid glands. During kidney failure, these glands will incorrectly sense that your blood is lacking the appropriate amount of calcium and distribute more PTH.

This can result in weak bones that can easily fracture. Many people mistake this condition as a  symptom of old age.

Which People are More Likely to Have Vitamin D Deficiency?

Like many other diseases, particular demographics of people are much more likely to contract a disease than others. In the case of vitamin D deficiency, all people with kidney issues are at risk.

Particularly, elderly African Americans and people that are obese have a significantly higher chance of having deficiencies in their vitamin D levels.

You can have your vitamin D levels checked by a simple blood test by your physician. Since there are different types of vitamin D, it’s important to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.

The Problem with Getting Vitamin D from the Sun

The Sun is the most natural source of vitamin D. With moderate sunbathing, both people and animals can receive a healthy dosage. Though, this isn’t always a realistic alternative.

The amount of sun-rays your body can absorb depends on the time of day, where you live, whether you’re using sunscreen, the season, and if it’s cloudy.

As you can see, this creates a problem for people who may live in areas where sunlight isn’t prominent. People living at higher latitudes often don’t receive the same UV rays from the Sun as people living at lower latitudes.

Therefore, you can’t rely on always relaxing in the Sun to receive a natural dosage of vitamin D. Instead, there are foods you can consume to balance your body’s levels of vitamin D.

Which Foods are Rich in Vitamin D?

There aren’t many foods that are great sources of vitamin D. However, foods rich in vitamin D are fatty fish, which include: halibut, tuna, cod, sardines, and salmon.

Additionally, vitamin D is packed in milk and breakfast cereals. In the 1930s, a bone disease called rickets was commonplace in children. Since then, a federal mandate was established that all milk products were to be fortified with vitamin D.

Dairy substitutes, however, don’t follow under this mandate. Therefore, soy milk, nondairy creamer, rice milk, and other alternatives may or may not have vitamin D.

If you want to achieve a regulatory diet full of foods rich with vitamin D, then you should consult with your doctor to browse your best options about your current health condition and medications.

What are the Benefits of Vitamin D?

It has been established that vitamin D is absorbed by your body and filtered through your kidneys. However, you may be wondering, “how is vitamin D useful?”

Here are the benefits of vitamin D:

  • Vitamin D is responsible for building and maintaining healthy bones.
  • It also helps to regulate the levels of phosphorous and calcium in the blood.
  • Vitamin D keeps bones healthy and prevents it from becoming malformed.
  • It can prevent osteomalacia (softening of the bones) and other conditions in adults.

Like any substance, vitamin D can become toxic in excessive dosages. The recommended daily intake for adults with normal kidney function is  600 IU (International Units).

Information on Data Supplements

It’s not abnormal for chronic kidney disease South Texas patients to have vitamin D deficiencies. If your doctor notices that your vitamin D levels are low, he or she can order and prescribe you a supplement. Overall, your doctor can provide you with all of the information you need to determine if taking supplements is a sufficient choice for you. You should always consult with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter vitamin D supplements.

Taking a supplement without the knowledge of your doctor could put you at risk if you’re dealing with chronic kidney disease. 

How Are Your Vitamin D Levels?

Having chronic kidney diseases means that you have to work hard to stay healthy and educate yourself about your condition. Whether you have been newly diagnosed with chronic kidney disease or not, you should regularly monitor your vitamin D levels.

At South Texas Renal Care Group, we specialize in providing comprehensive kidney care. By monitoring your kidneys, we can help you live a fulfilled life while coping with your condition.

If you need cutting-edge kidney treatment, dietary advice, or would like to ask a question, please don’t hesitate to call us at (210) 212-8622.

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