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The Sunshine Vitamin

We all know that Vitamin D is a critically important component in building strong bones and strong teeth. It turns out that Vitamin D has a vast number of additional functions.

For example, recent research shows that low Vitamin D levels is related to increased risk for diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease.1 Insufficient Vitamin D during pregnancy can lead to gestational diabetes as well as pre-eclampsia2 (pregnancy-induced hypertension), which may be life-threatening. Links between low Vitamin D levels and development of cancer have been studied for many years.3

Vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with mild depression, Alzheimer's disease, and stroke, as well as with peripheral neuropathy, lupus, and fibromyalgia. It seems that Vitamin D has a huge impact on almost every aspect of our physical health. It makes sense for everyone to ensure they are getting enough Vitamin D on a daily basis.

How to get enough Vitamin D? The best source of this powerful vitamin is sunlight. The sun's rays stimulate skin cells to produce the activated form of Vitamin D, cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3). Activated Vitamin D helps regulate levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood stream, helps maintain normal bone mineralization, and helps regulate nerve function, the immune response, and genes responsible for cell growth, differentation, and cell death. These genetic regulatory functions are associated with Vitamin D's role in cancer prevention.

Back in the day, people were outdoors much more than they are in the 21st century. There were no text messages, no multiplayer games, no social networking sites (people actually "networked" by meeting each other in physical space), and definitely no computers that occupied less than entire room's worth of square feet.

Our modern lifestyle causes us to stay indoors, far away from the healthful rays of the sun. Oh wait - the sun's rays aren't that healthful anymore because of pollution and radical degradation of the ozone layer by excessive accumulations of free radicals in the atmosphere. The resulting increased exposure to ultraviolet-B radiation from the sun can cause skin cancer in those who are susceptible and do not protect themselves with sunscreens.

To balance the daily requirement for Vitamin D with the opposing need to avoid undue exposure, most studies recommend getting 15 to 30 minutes of unprotected sunlight several times per week (two to four such expeditions each week are sufficient). Importantly, studies demonstrate that three out of four Americans have Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency affects more than one billion people worldwide.

Vitamin D supplementation may also be recommended, particularly for those who live in sun-deprived climates and for most people in winter. Two thousand IU of Vitamin D3 is typical daily dose.

1Swales HH, Wang TJ: Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease risk: emerging evidence. Curr Opin Cardiol July 7, 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
2Lapillonne A: Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may impair maternal and fetal outcomes. Med Hypotheses 74(1):71-75, 2010
3Edlich R, et al: Scientific documentation of the relationship of vitamin D deficiency and the development of cancer. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol 28(2):133-141, 2009

Multicare Health Clinic

3930 STADIUM DR
SIOUX CITY, IA 51106
Phone Number: (712) 276-4325

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Office Hours

Monday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-2:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

  • "I now can go a full week without pain and headaches."
    Luke W.
  • "Being able to present my back pain to three different professions in one place and knowing that they are working together to make me better is very comforting."
    Charlie P.
  • "I'm now a believer now! I didn't think chiropractic could help my foot problems. But after meeting with Dr. Pistello and Dr. Dave for a few weeks, I'm feeling so much better!"
    Gino G.
  • "I'm so glad my sister referred me to Multicare! My elbow hasn't felt this good in a long time. Thanks to the great physical therapy team there."
    Ellen E.
  • "My shoulder and neck feel so much better. I now have the knowledge, motivation, desire and tools to keep up the exercises."
    Barb B.
  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Ivy I.
  • "I leave here feeling confident that I have the resources to manage my pain and live normally, and that's priceless."
    Alycen V.
  • "My company encouraged all of us employees to get screened at Multicare. I didn't know what to expect. It was easy and I learned so much. The orthotics they prescribed really help me to feel more stable and confident at work."
    Jim J.
  • "At night my right hand would go painfully numb at least 2-3 times where I could not sleep. Now, I don't have that pain and can get a full night sleep."
    Janet D.
  • "Not only is my pain level down to zero, but what I'm really thrilled with, is that I have normal feeling in my hands."
    Jill L.
  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Henry H.
  • "After an accident at work I didn't think I'd ever get relief from my aching shoulder. But, the doctors at Multicare gave me adjustments and physical therapy and now I feel normal again."
    Cliff C.
  • "After my knee surgery I was asked where I wanted to do my physical therapy, I chose Multicare Health Clinic and I'm so glad I did! Dr. Steve and the therapy assistants (Sara and Megan) are fabulous! They know what they're doing and they all really seemed to care about my recovery. I'm feeling fantastic! I'll definitely go back again whenever I need therapy or adjustments."
    Sheri J.
  • "I'm a runner. When I wasn't able to run due to leg problems, I was devastated. But a consultation at Multicare Health Clinic identified the problem and after some adjustments, stimulation treatments and therapy, I'm running again!"
    Lisa L.
  • "Dr. Sneller helped. I haven't been feeling dizzy anymore."
    Belinda B
  • "There couldn't be a better physical therapy team in Siouxland! Not only did my knee feel so much better after six weeks, but I feel like I made new friends."
    Karla K.
  • "After my consultatin with the doctors at Multicare Health Clinic, I understand how to address my balance issues."
    Anna A.