Hikmat Devon Vitamin D Consultation

The consequences of being deficient in vitamin D have been well-known to Hikmat for ten years. Several service users have been prescribed vitamin D injection over the years and the effect has been startling. So pivotal has it been to the improving health of these women, and given the number of Hikmat member and service users who are covered when outside, Hikmat Healthwatch recently hosted a consultation on the issue.

Twenty-six women from across the county contributed, from eight nationalities, which resulted in a diverse collection of cultural prevention strategies and restorative practices (which were noted and shared between groups).

Participants identified ten main reasons why people might be at risk of vitamin D deficiency, including being covered when out, having brown skin (which reduces absorbtion), and current fashion trends in some countries for pale skin. There were also more generic groups identified as being at risk: older people (who are indoors a lot, and also absorb less efficiently), disabled and housebound people, children playing predominantly indoors, and restaurant and other shift workers who sleep during the day.

There are a number of good websites which carry details of the consequences for health of not enough vitamin D (NHS for example). The groups discussed the common ones: deterioration of bones, teeth and muscle; depression, anxiety and low mood; and evidence that seems to show an impact even on rates of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

The sessions closed with consideration of what actions can be taken by individuals, or requested of GPs and other health professionals. These included writing up and disseminating the cultural good practice revealed by the participants, requesting testing from GPs, prescriptions following injections, and fund-raising for a communal sun-light lamp.

As a follow-up to the consultation copies of the report will be made available through Healthwatch Devon and GPs will beinvited to engage in further discussions about the development of best practice within their surgeries.

Case Studies

A few years back, I started to feel pain in my thighs and knees, a constant ache. It was winter at the time, and I assumed it was due to the cold. However, the pain was constant, regardless of how hot or cold I was feeling, and it got to the point where my knee would start to collapse in on me from time to time while I was walking. I arranged to visit the doctor, who examined my leg and couldn’t see anything to determine what the problem was. I was then advised to take a blood test, which I did, with the result being that I was deficient in Vitamin D. I was prescribed vitamin D supplements, and after taking them for only a few days, the pain from my legs disappeared completely. Now, if I feel any aches from time to time or tiredness, I take vitamin tablets for a few days until I feel okay again.

Bangladeshi girl, 18

I did join the vitamin D workshop few months ago, and it was very eye opening and full of information. As I am in uk over 8 years and I been brought up in Asia where we never heard about anything such as vitamin D deficiency as every day plenty of vitamin D!

Since i came in uk after few years i started feeling very tired and pain in my feet’s been many time to GP and ask him to help me but no one ever think if I would have vitamin D deficiency which might causing it these all problems. They never done anything and I was still suffering.

Then I joined Hikmat Vitamin session and I realize I have all the same symptom which they were describing. So what I did I booked an appointment with GP and ask them to test my vitamin D, so they did. When result came back I was very low in vitamin D. So now they prescribed me vitamin D tablets for life. Now I do take tablet every morning and I feel much better. If I didn`t asked for it then might never they will find it until I could be worse and not cure. I am very thanks full to Hikmat!

Pakistani woman, mid 30’s