January 20, 2001
Question from Santa Rosa, California, USA:
Has any group of people with type 1 diabetes been tested for the 25-OH-D vitamin D deficiency?
This test is usually used to measure dietary deficiencies for vitamin D. It is frequently decreased in patients with cystic fibrosis-associated diabetes. However, it can also be decreased in patients who have sprue and type 1 diabetes. Sprue is a malabsorption syndrome frequently associated with type 1 diabetes. One of the characteristics of the abnormality is the malabsorption of fat. Since vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it is one of the more common things to be found with sprue.
Additional comments from Dr. Donough O’Brien:
I could find no such report, but there is other evidence that low serum 25-OH-D levels may trigger type 1A or autoimmune diabetes, and that they are associated with diminished insulin secretion (Diabetologia 38:1234,1995).
Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:
Only if there is a clinical reason to test vitamin D or its metabolites. Is there osteopenia, or recurrent fractures? Go back and ask for more information from your endocrine team.