THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: : As part of its Rise and Shine campaign, the Indian Medical Association organised a training session, attended by about 50 doctors in the city, on the growth of Vitamin D deficiency in the country.
The session discussed various health threats due to Vitamin D deficiency. It can have a long-term impact on an individual’s health making them vulnerable to diseases like heart attacks, diabetes, and cancer. The campaign is a national movement initiated by IMA with educational grant from the pharmaceutical company USV. It aims at sensitising doctors across the country on the need to raise awareness about Vitamin D deficiency.
“ Around 80-90 percent of the people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. The reason is the sun-shy behaviour of Indians, a predominantly vegetarian diet, long stressful working hours in closed spaces and a genetic pre-disposition. It is important that doctors recognise common signs of this deficiency and provide appropriate lifestyle counselling and supplementation. The government should study and evaluate the success seen in countries like the US and Canada in dealing with the Vitamin D deficiency,” said consultant endocrinologist Dr Mathew John.
Dr A Marthanda Pillai, national president and Dr K K Aggarwal, honorary secretary general of IMA said in a joint statement, “ This has been identified as a risk factor for various cardiovascular ailments like ischemic heart diseases, congestive heart failure, heart attacks and strokes. People with low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] have a higher incidence of high blood pressure and diabetes, conditions that are associated with cardiovascular diseases. Apart from maintaining a regular healthy regime comprising of regular exercise, consumption of healthy food and quitting smoking, such patients should consume dairy products daily and spend at least 30 minutes in the sun.”
“Vitamin D, which can be synthesised in the body with adequate exposure to sunlight is essential to maintain calcium homeostasis in the body for good bone health and overall disease prevention. Doctors should check for Vit D deficiency if patients complain of unexplained tiredness, pains or vague aches.
It is important to note that an overdose can induce Vitamin D toxicity that can be fatal for patients,” said Dr Ambrish Mittal, chairman, Metabolic Disorders and Endocrinology, Medanta and Dr Muhammed Shaffi F, hon secretary, IMA Trivandrum branch .