My doctor did a blood test to determine my Vitamin D level. He's been testing every patient whenever he does a blood panel for about 8 months now, and has found that about 85% of his patients are deficient in this vitamin.
Turns out, I'm no exception. Optimal levels are 50-80 ng/ml. Mine is 13 ng/ml, the lowest he's ever seen.
So what are the effects of Vitamin D deficiency? Read on (from http://www.oprah.com/oprahradio/Vitamin-D-Deficiency/1)...
- Fatigue: "It can be a quite severe fatigue," Dr. Dowd says. In fact, those diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome may also suffer from lack of vitamin D, he says.
- Body aches: "Bone pain, muscle pain, joint pain [are all signs]," he says. "[The pain] typically moves around—one day it's your back that bothers you, a week later it's your shoulders and the next day it is your feet and hands."
- Difficulty controlling weight: Vitamin D plays a role in regulating weight, and Dr. Dowd says a deficiency may make it difficult to keep your weight in check.
Ummmm. DING DING DING DING DING!! Hello?
Raise your hand if that sounds like you! (My hand is up.)
What can you do about it? Start by getting tested. If you're deficient - and you probably are - your doctor will likely prescribe supplements, in MUCH higher doses than you can get over the counter, unless you're willing to take 10 or so pills at a time. I'm taking 50,000 i.u. 1x a week for 3 months, then 1x per month for 3 months, then we'll see.
You can also try the more natural routes - Vitamin D rich foods, and sunshine.
Want more info? Here ya go:
I'm off to swallow a pill.