Hello Friends and Happy Hump Day Wednesday!
Remember last month when I started my birthday at the Glasgow Medical Center taking tests, well the results are in and although not all of them were abnormal, one was a bit disconcerting. I am Vitamin D deficient.
Me…the dunking of Oreos into a big glass of milk…me….the Kahlua mixed with milk drinking…me….the daily eating of cottage cheese in salads…me…the tomato and cheese sandwich eater…me…the yogurt spooning, sun worshiping me is Vitamin D deficient – REALLY, how does that happen?
Vitamin D deficiency is more common in women, people of color, obese people, senior citizens and breast-fed infants. For 52 years I have been in good health, other than the normal bumps and bruises and a few minor cuts as a child I have been the picture of health. Only two hospitalizations, the first was 21 years ago when I had to have a Cesarean Section giving birth to #1 son, and the second was four years ago for Urethral Diverticula,
So how does one go from that to this…simple
Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are millions of people with ailments, diseases and disabilities far worse than being Vitamin D deficient, so I’m not crying, “woe is me”. I’m just passing along a little information that I’ve learned since my diagnosis, because more than half of the US population could also be Vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D is really a hormone rather than an actual vitamin and it is needed for calcium absorption required for bone growth and density. 90% of our Vitamin D comes from directly from the sun, but darker complexions do not absorb as much due to the melanin in our skin.
Body fat interferes with how Vitamin D is formed as well as age, after 50 we are less able to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D stimulates muscle growth which is important especially for older women who are more susceptible to bone softening osteoporosis. Low Vitamin D levels have also been associated with the increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and cancer.
Symptoms may be subtle but they include:
- Joint pain
- leg cramps
- muscle pain or weakness/cramping
- sleep interruption or insomnia
- poor concentration or memory
- bladder or bowel issues (urgency/frequency or constipation/diarrhea)
The best way to determine if you have a Vitamin D deficiency or to determine the best dosage you need for your body, your blood levels must be tested. Levels may be lower in the winter and higher in the summer, but this chart shows the categories of those levels.
There are several online sites including www.webmd.com where you can get additional information but for me, the bottom line is that I need to increase my Vitamin D intake, including taking a supplement of at least 2000 mg; eat more foods fortified with Vitamin D such as milk, butter, yogurt, orange juice, and oily fish and of course hang out in the sun more and you know me…I love hanging poolside…so a trip to The Bahamas may be just what the doctor orders!
Have a fantabulous day – Smooches!