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Dark Days and D

This post was written by Angela
on December 14, 2011 | Comments (5)

As we head into the darkets days of the year over here in Minnesota (with brighter ones to come after next week, yeah!), lunchtime chit chat steared its way to vitamin D (oh, doesn’t it always?). It went something like this:

“My doctor tested my vitamin levels and I’m deficient.”
“Hey, I’ve tested deficient before, too!”
“Hey, me too!”

If this isn’t your kind of everyday lunchtime banter, follow our lead!  Chances are you’re a part of our D deficient family. Welcome! With 5 in the discussion and 3 confirming deficiency, we were in fact pretty representational of the statistics, which state that 40-60% of people (OR MORE!) are deficient (findings vary). So what’s the deal?

If you haven’t noticed by now, I tend to follow coinciding and serendipitous events. When I got back to work this article, Vitamin D, I Heart Thee, by Andrea Balt popped up, which is why I decided to present the topic to you. She goes into more detail on the nitty gritty of the whats, whys, and hows of vitamin D (including videos, hooray!), so make sure to check it out, get the full scoop, and find more resources. Here’s another useful nugget at this link where Dr. John Douillard also digs deeper into what this is all about. Who couldn’t use more knowledge? 

In a nutshell, there are plenty of worthwhile reasons to make sure you’re keeping levels were they need to be: mood, immune system functioning, warding off diseases, and more. You can supplement, increase some through your diet, or spend more time in the sun, but the only way you’ll really know if you’re where you need to be is to get tested. From my experience, I’ve found vitamin levels aren’t checked as standard protocol, so it’s worthwhile to request the tests at your yearly physical.

Do you find this information helpful? How has vitamin deficiency played a role in your health?  Share here so we can all learn from one another’s experiences! And if you happen to live in a radiantly sun-shiny location, beam some of that wonder juice out to the rest of us!

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Stephanie Junca
on December 14th, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

I live in the South and have never been Vitamin D deficient but I have been found Anemic quite a few times. Though this runs in my family as my mother and aunts have stated having the same issue in the past when they were younger. I can usually tell when I’m going through one of my bouts of Anemia as I become weak and fatigued quite easily. My quick fix has always been raisins and guavas. And of course green vegetables.
But when it comes to Vitamin D, I have heard from friends and family who live in the Northern states and in Canada that they sometimes use sun lamps to keep themselves going. Just a daily sitting with their lamp helps them feel better.

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#2 
Written By Jen
on December 14th, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

I have not had my levels tested, but I have noticed that I feel like a totally different person when I take Vitamin D supplements!

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#3 
Written By Jen D.
on December 14th, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

I was tested a year ago by my Dr. because I don’t eat meat and she wanted to be sure all my levels were on the up & up… and as it turns out, they weren’t, I too am vitamin D deficient. This wasn’t a shock as I suffer from SAD during the harsh N.E. Ohio winters, but I’m happy to say that after suppliments I seem to be able to deal much better =)

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#4 
Written By Toni
on December 14th, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

I live in the sunshine state of Florida and tested low in D and am now taking supplements. If your using sunscreen your not getting the Vitamin D from the sun. Also without enough Vit D your not properly absorbing calcium which is a very big deal for us ladies. So get yourself checked no matter where you live.

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#5 
Written By Shawn Tassone, MD
on December 19th, 2011 @ 11:38 pm

Angela,

I live in Tucson and as a gynecologist I check these levels frequently and find that most pregnant women and menopausal women are deficient. One of the frequent misnomers from the beef and dairy councils is that you need to eat meat or drink milk to get vitamin D and nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is that even if you spend 10-15 minutes a day in the sun you will make more vitamin D than you could ever take by mouth and the nice thing is you cannot overdose this way. Vitamin D is fat soluble which means it is stored in fat so you could potentially take too much if not done under the direction of a health care provider. One of the things that I have seen is the inherent fear of the sun in our culture and how it has been demonized. Our ancestors didn’t live off of milk and they certainly didn’t have sunscreen (they were not worried about wrinkles).

Suffice it to say, you dont have to eat meat or drink milk. If you are not into pills then take your shirt and pants off (underwear on of course) and sit in the window for 10-15 minutes a day and you will be a vitamin D factory even in Minnesota.

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