I’ve been on a Vitamin D mission for the past four or five years and I like to share what I’ve learned about this vitamin with anyone who will listen because few of us realize just how much harm it can do not to have enough of the pesky little critter in our system every single day.
My journey began with osteoporosis, the crippling, bending, shrinking, painful kind that is rampant in Rickey’s family. Everyone in his mom’s generation has it, and for years I knew there was a key to it, but I had no idea what it was.
Taking calcium didn’t seem to prevent it at all. Of course, I knew that calcium needed Vitamin D to be properly absorbed…and the calcium supplement had it added to it…so that seemed to be covered. Besides, they all spend a lot of time outdoors so they absorb a lot of the vitamin straight from the sun, right?
When the buzz about the vitamin hit the air waves a few years ago, we decided they needed to test. Sure enough, both Ric and his mom were deficient in vitamin D, and that was the missing link I had been trying to find for years! For some reason, something in that family’s genetic makeup keeps them from absorbing vitamin D.
Then, I decided that even though I really had no worries about myself, I wanted to test as well. The doctor took one look at my dark skin, mentioned the fact that I get plenty of sun, was already taking a calcium suppliment, and that I have no genetics for osteo; however, I was adament…just a feeling, I suppose.
The result? My D level was even lower than Rickey’s, and I suppose the moral to my story is that you simply HAVE to be proactive when it comes to your health without waiting for a doctor to take your hand and tell you what to do. Thankfully, now I know and take a script* to insure that I keep my levels in check, and I also do a better job of putting the right foods into my system, hard though it is. BUT, I also understand that I will never eat enough fatty fish, etc. to depend upon my diet alone for my vitamin D.
Now, having said all of that, do not be misled into thinking osteo is our only concern here. There are all kinds of other reasons for keeping your D levels in check, some of which are listed below. If you struggle with any of the following, it might be worth your while to ask your doctor to do a simple blood test so you can know where you stand. Just be sure that you do not get a general TSH. You need your levels broken into T3 and T4 for accurate readings.
1. Flu (Many doctors are giving high doses of D to fight flu.)
3. Diabetes (Type II)
4. Muscle Weakness
6. Gum Disease
There is also research out of Georgetown University that indicates that there is a link between lack of vitamin D and breast cancer so to me it just makes sense to make sure that I am giving my body every chance I can to ward off those things that none of us wants to face.
And as a final note, most doctors in the know suggest a daily dose of sun (no sunscreen*) in the amount of twenty minutes per day. Of course, you’re going to need to expose enough skin to do some good so throw on a pair of shorts, bare your arms, and enjoy! Of course, I do shade my face. The Marlboro man was gorgeous, but I don’t want to look like him!
Some Of My Sources
*Only you and your doctor know if you cannot handle twenty minutes of direct sunlight. If you have questions please check with him/her. I also supplement with a Vitamin D3 that is in my fish oil supplement.