June 26, 2010

Insuffient Vitamin D Surprise

It's that time of year as my birthday approaches and my doctor insists on all those annual tests and physicals. So, I headed off to the lab to let them do their thing even before my morning coffee. I think that's the worst part as I don't mind the blood test---it's the lack of my coffee or tea that I grumble about.

I passed all my tests, even my cholesterol was good! Yipee! ---but, ah-oh!---my Vitamin D level is way low! Whoa---was I side tracked by that revelation. My doctor immediately subscribed additional doses of vitamin D and suggested I spend 20 minutes a day in the direct sunlight which is the best overall source of Vitamin D besides foods. No suncreen, no shade hats or long sleeves and jeans either. Just me and the rays!

I've been researching Vitamin D deficiency and found some surprising results. Evidently we have gone a bit overboard with our lack of sun and limiting certain food. . Too much time spent indoors for one thing. In my case a lot of time sitting and sewing, or standing at the long arm. Not much sunshine involved with that! Too much sun protection for another, and not enough foods that contain vitamin D in an effort to curb our cholesterol levels. Even enhanced vitamin D foods don't work as well as plain ole' Sunshine.

I do spend quite a bit of time out doors gardening, or so I thought, but I do this in the cool of the day usually. Evenings and early mornings. Plus we have a lot of shade trees and coastal fog that creeps in that time of the day. So, what I thought was spending quality time outdoors in the fresh air was just that--fresh air, but not the good type of "sunshine & fresh air" that is really what is needed to assimilate and increase vitamin D.

For the past week I've purposely spent 20 mins each day sitting out in the direct sun and increased my level of vitamin D foods. And I've been eating these twice a week! Egg yolks are a great source of vitamin D.

---and eating and drinking more of this.

---and on top of my daily vitamins I've added more vitamin D.

I'm urging my family and friends that have not had a test for vitamin D to do so soon. Your overall health could be at risk if you are dangerously low on this important vitamin. I'm very thankful my doctor made this test part of my check up.


onlymehere said...

This made me smile bz in the winter I like to sit in the glider in our bay window and soak up the sun. The kids used to ask what I was doing and I'd say, "making vitamin D!" As a medical transcriptionist I've learned much about this through the years. I know that for me low vitamin D levels cause outbreaks of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) during the winter and the fatigue is so debilitating. Amazing how sitting in the sun can increase your energy from making vitamin D! So happy you found a system that's working for you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Angie for this encouragement to get more Vitamin D. I am a gout sufferer, and just this Wednesday a friend was telling me to increase my Vit D to help with my problems. So now you are saying this, and I must listen!!! I don't like the sun but I will go outside for 20 minutes in the heat of the day. I'm sure it will help me in all kinds of ways. Thanks!!!

helen-mary said...

I finally had my bone doctor admit that my vitamin D level was ok. That's a switch! I've been low for years but, see... you CAN fix it.