My mother is the latest in her family to be diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D, to recap what we learned in health class, is the “Sunshine Vitamin.” Our bodies need D to help absorb Calcium and to strengthen our immune systems.
But sufficient D isn’t readily available from the foods we eat. And worldwide, a D deficiency is recognized as a pandemic.
So why are we becoming D-deficient?
- We lather on sunscreen to block out the sun
- Some of us are darker-skinned
- Some eat vegetarian diets
- Some live way north of the equator
- Some are homebound
- Some cultures cover up in robes and such
- Some are obese
- Some are elderly
- Some have certain medical conditions
Symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency can be fairly vague, leading one to assume everything is fine. Tiredness, general aches and pains, or nothing amiss at all can accompany a D deficiency.
But diagnosing it is simple via a blood test.
And the solution is just as simple — expose your bare skin to adequate sunlight every day, or take D supplements.
Vitamin D has been shown effective in reducing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), that feeling of the blues brought on by the shortened days of winter, when we’re stuck inside for days at a time thanks to the weather.
It’s also been shown beneficial for conditions ranging from acne to certain cancers, dental cavities to heart disease, diabetes to Parkinson’s Disease.
Before her diagnosis, Mom wasn’t in a good place. She was tired all the time, constantly running from one doctor to another because “something wasn’t right,” and generally preoccupied with death and illness.
A wise doctor put her on high doses of Vitamin D for six weeks, followed by more moderate maintenance doses on a permanent basis. And now she feels great!
One good thing about Vitamin D is that it’s pretty hard to get too much. You’d have to take 40,000 IU per day for several months to do that.
(Typical multivitamins contain 400 IU of Vitamin D. The Vitamin D Council recommends you take 5,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day, especially on days when you don’t get sun exposure).
Vitamin D supplements generally are well-tolerated and don’t need to be taken with food. They come in tablets, soft-gels, gummies, liquid drops, and other formulations, and are available at drug stores or general merchandise (Wal-Mart) stores for a fairly reasonable price.
I’m not a doctor, and I know not all ills in life can be attributed to a Vitamin D deficiency, but it seems to me that if upping your dose of the “Sunshine Vitamin” can make you feel better (and possibly prevent certain diseases), wouldn’t it be prudent to try?
3) Medicine Net
5) Web MD