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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Why we all need a vitamin D boost

    Why we all need a vitamin D boost

    Posted on October 30th, 2022

    It is often said that to dress for the weather in Scotland requires preparing for four seasons all in one day. And whilst the climate is often unpredictable, one thing that is certain is that we in Scotland could all do with a little more sunshine! Not only can enjoying some time in the sun help to give our mental health a boost, but it is also essential in terms of our physical health too. Read on to discover why…

    Why vitamin D is so vital
    Vitamin D is essential for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It is also important for regulating inflammation and immune function.

    During the spring and summer, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from the sun. However, during the autumn and winter, the strength of the sun in Scotland is not sufficient to allow the body to make enough vitamin D. This can potentially lead to a variety of health problems.

    The health impact of a vitamin D deficiency
    Not getting enough vitamin D can have wide-ranging consequences including:

    • Fatigue
    • Muscle pain
    • Muscle weakness
    • Joint stiffness
    • Bone pain
    • Osteoporosis

    Put your mind at ease
    The best way to assess your vitamin D levels is with a simple test. At YourGP, we’ll begin by discussing your lifestyle and running through your medical history. We will then take a blood sample and send this off to the lab for testing.

    You can call for your results, or we can email these to you if you prefer. We will then arrange a follow up appointment to discuss any areas of concern. And if you need a vitamin D supplement, we will provide you with a prescription.

    Take action and increase your vitamin D levels
    If your vitamin D levels are too low, there are a variety of ways you can increase them to a healthy amount, including taking a daily supplement or changing your diet to include things such as:

    • Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna
    • Egg yolks
    • Cheese
    • Fortified cereals
    • Fortified spreads

    Boost your levels all year long
    The Scottish government recommends groups at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency should take a daily supplement all year round. These groups include:

    • All pregnant and breastfeeding women
    • Infants and children under 5 years old
    • People who have low or no exposure to the sun, for example those who cover their skin for cultural reasons, are housebound, confined indoors for long periods or live in an institution
    • People from minority ethnic groups with dark skin such as those of African, African-Caribbean and south Asian origin, who require more sun exposure to make as much vitamin D

    Follow the guidance carefully
    If you have been prescribed a vitamin D supplement, it is important that you follow the recommended dosage. Taking too much vitamin D can cause excess calcium to build up in the body, which can weaken bones and potentially damage the kidneys and the heart.

    It is also important to remember that whilst exposure to the sun for a short period of time will help to boost vitamin D levels, staying in the sun for prolonged periods without sunscreen increases the risk of skin cancer.

    Book your vitamin D test now
    If you suspect your vitamin D levels are low, book a test at YourGP. Simply email reception@your.gp or call us on 0131 225 5656. We are open six days a week, with short-notice appointments available. We also offer a fast turnaround of results and the highest standards of care.

    To be able to attend a clinic where I am very obviously accepted by everyone there is a great start. To follow it with an hour with Dr Myskow listening, guiding and supporting me and my loved ones as I began to live my life for real as a Transman has made me feel less afraid or isolated

    Liam B – Tyne and Wear – Lyndsey

    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 | hcis.clinicregulation@nhs.net