You need vitamin D every day if you want to maintain optimal health. It’s a powerhouse that your body relies on for several functions, ranging from a strong immune system to sturdy bones. However, because of the nature of vitamin D, it can be tricky to make sure you’re getting enough of it. In fact, about 1 in 4 people in the United States are considered vitamin D deficient. That’s where supplementation in the form of a vitamin D injection comes in handy.
Technically, vitamin D isn’t a vitamin at all. It’s a type of fat-soluble hormone produced by the body. This is achieved by converting the rays of the sun into vitamin D when they’re absorbed into the skin. However, there are several factors that may prevent you from getting enough vitamin D from sunlight. These include the use of UV-blocking sunscreen, too much time spent indoors, or pollution and cloud cover that keeps UV rays from fully reaching the earth’s atmosphere.
If you don’t get enough sunlight to produce vitamin D, you can try modifying your diet. Vitamin D occurs naturally in some foods, such as liver, cheese and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. It’s also often found in foods fortified with vitamin D, such as some dairy products, juices and cereals. People who don’t get the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D—600 to 800 international units (IU) for adults—through sun exposure or diet may try supplementation.
Vitamin D supplements come in two forms:
Vitamin D3 is often preferred as a supplement because it tends to do a better job at raising the blood levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D can be taken in pill form or can be included in an intravenous (IV treatment). However, one of the quickest ways to obtain it is through a Vitamin D shot.
We deliver vitamin D3 through intramuscular injection. Just like the name implies, the shot goes into the muscles. This means vitamin D3 gets into the bloodstream right away for maximum absorption.
At Rocky Mountain, we start by cleaning the injection site, which typically is the deltoid muscle in your arm. Then, we quickly inject vitamin D and then apply light pressure to the site before we cover it with gauze or a bandage. Some people may feel slight discomfort after the shot, but it should go away soon, and you can still go about your normal activities.
These injections can enhance your well-being because vitamin D is so important to the body. Among the potential benefits:
Vitamin D helps prevent brittle, weak bones—and lowers the risk of osteoporosis that can occur as a result—because it helps the body absorb bone-building calcium. Too little vitamin D can cause bone pain, as well as muscle weakness, in a condition called osteomalacia.
Vitamin D may provide crucial support in maintaining healthy blood vessels (which may lower high blood pressure) and lowering cholesterol (to cut the risk of atherosclerosis, plaque buildup on blood vessel walls).
Vitamin D may be helpful with immune support in warding off the germs that can cause colds, flu or other illnesses. It may also be effective in alleviating symptoms of inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases.
If you are struggling with mood disorders such as depression, vitamin D may help; some research indicates a link between low blood levels of vitamin D and depression symptoms.
Some researchers have found that the brain has many vitamin D receptors, and it’s crucial not just for developing babies’ brains in-utero but also for maintaining cognitive function throughout life.
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to obesity and diabetes. Eliminating a vitamin D deficiency may help manage diabetes symptoms and enhance weight loss efforts.
There are many vitamin D shot benefits, and some people are better positioned to take advantage of them, particularly those who are deficient in vitamin D. The following may contribute to a vitamin D deficiency:
Injections deliver a straight shot of vitamin D3 to the bloodstream. This makes these shots highly effective for anyone who wants to focus on increasing their vitamin D levels. IVs also deliver vitamin D to the bloodstream for rapid, potent absorption. Typically, vitamin D is one of many nutrients included in an IV bag, along with a sterile saline solution.
Both of these options are an improvement upon typical oral supplements. Pills, tablets or liquids must first be digested, which lessens the amount absorbed into the bloodstream.
It may be wise to explore injections if you have any risk factors for a vitamin D deficiency. You may also want to get an injection if you experience signs of D3 deficiency, such as:
Always talk to your doctor before getting a vitamin D shot. Be sure to let your injection provider know if you are on any medication that may interfere with vitamin D. At Rocky Mountain IV Medics, we are knowledgeable and happy to help you decide if an injection is right for you.