Question

Vitamin D

How does vitamin D deficiency affect calcium absorption?

A Answers (2)

  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium to form and maintain strong bones. If you don't consume enough vitamin D, your bones may become thin, weak and brittle. In children, a deficiency causes weak bones, or rickets. In adults, a shortage of vitamin D may cause osteoporosis (brittle bones) and osteomalacia (soft bones), accompanied by bone pain and muscle weakness.

    Maintaining a healthy blood level of vitamin D is thought to reduce the risk of falls and fractures in people prone to them.

     
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  • For patients with vitamin D deficiency, it is difficult for the body to obtain calcium from the diet. This often leads to a rise in the PTH level, since the parathyroid glands must increase the PTH production in order to increase calcium levels by stealing it from the bones. Therefore, people with a normal blood calcium levels and a high PTH level may have secondary hyperparathyroidism, which means that the high PTH level is a normal response of healthy parathyroids glands to another problem (like vitamin D deficiency or kidney failure).
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