Feature in ‘GoodtoKnow’
Dr Ross Perry was invited to provide expert advice on the issue of vitamin D in pregnancy for website GoodtoKnow.co.uk in its feature:
“Experts explain why vitamin D is important for pregnant women”
The article explains that vitamin D is very important during pregnancy, as research has shown that maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D prior to conceiving means a 15% greater likelihood of successfully carrying the baby to term.
Vitamin D is important for good health and strong bones – and during pregnancy, this is important for baby as well as mum. It is also a factor in muscle, heart, lung and brain functioning and helps fight infection.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is quite common in the UK with an estimated 1 in 5 Brits affected, more in winter.
Dr Ross Perry says:
“The most common symptoms to look out for include general tiredness, aches and pains and not feeling right. In more severe cases, there can be pain or weakness.”
Vitamin D deficiency is diagnosed via a blood test, which can be arranged via the GP.
Treatments for Vitamin D Deficiency
Is Sunbathing the Solution?
One of the best-known sources of vitamin D is the sun, but sunbathing is not the only remedy for vitamin D deficiency. It can also be obtained in food or supplements.
Dr Perry warned:
“You may be tempted to sit in the sun more, but this is unlikely to resolve a serious vitamin D deficiency, plus exposes you to the risks of sun damage. A GP will normally prescribe high dose vitamin D supplements to redress the levels.”
In terms of maintaining vitamin D, sun exposure can be helpful. Ross explains:
“Sun exposure is the best way to maintain our vitamin D levels. It does not need to be sunburn or a tan but simple exposure of arms and legs 2-3 times a week for 15-20 minutes will suffice.
“Human skin can make large amounts of vitamin D when lots of skin is exposed and the sun is high in the sky. Your body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight.”
Vitamin D in Pregnancy
- Pregnant women should be especially careful not to overexpose the skin to the sun, due to the risk of sun damage and pigmentation problems.
- Foods containing vitamin D foods can help to top up vitamin D – choose oily fish (sardines, salmon, mackerel) and eggs. Many fortified foods also contain vitamin D such as certain spreads and breakfast cereals.
- If you are taking a pregnancy supplement, it probably contains vitamin D already – check the label.
If in doubt, ask your GP or midwife.
Private Mole Checks & Removal
If in doubt about any skin lesions or blemishes, it is important to get them checked as early as possible.
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