Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Sunny Public Service Announcement

Are you getting enough of this?

How about this?

Okay, how about these things? Getting enough of these?

I would say, probably not. You are likely, at this point, wondering what the heck I'm talking about.
Good old Vitamin D.

But what's the big deal?
It doesn't keep away sickness like Vitamin C.
It doesn't help with cholesterol levels like Vitamin E.
It doesn't help your eyesight like Vitamin A.
It doesn't help with alertness and brain function like the Vitamin B family.
Heck, it certainly doesn't help grow healthy babies like Folate (a member of the B family).

The big deal is, most of us don't get enough of it.
But what does it do? Why do you need it?
Here's what the Mayo Clinic has to say.
"The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Recently, research also suggests vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases."

I know, you've heard it all before.

My question is: Are you achy? Are you tired? How about a little depressed? Do your bones hurt?

"Of course, it's winter silly. Everybody hurts in the winter. It's cold, haven't you been outside?"

One of the two main symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is bone and muscle pain.

For two years, I suffered bone and muscle pain that would just not let up. I went to four different doctors, had many blood tests, and was exposed to probably far too much radiation with x-rays and CT scans.
Diagnosis: Heck, we don't know. Take some Advil.

My sweet hubby convinced me that at 43, I should not have so much pain and groan every time have to get up or down out of a seated position. What would age 60 hold for me?

One last doctor. A rheumatologist.
Eight vials of blood later, I had my answer.
In addition to having a thyroid that was barely working, I was vitamin D deficient in a really big way.

In all the bloodwork I had done, over the 2 year period, they never checked for a vitamin deficiency. The rheumatologist said it's just not something doctors look to when pain is involved. We are a vitamin popping, vitamin-enriched-in-our-foods sort of people here in the US.

She also pointed out that the primary way most of us receive enough vitamin D, is sunlight exposure. BUT....we now cover ourselves in sunscreen to ward off skin cancer.

She said that bone and muscle pain is especially prevalent in the winter. We cover ourselves, head to toe. The only exposed skin is on our face and hands. Women, especially, have sunscreen in our makeup or moisturizer. That just leaves the poor old hands to have to soak up all our vitamin D. You folks up north probably wear gloves most days.
Your sun exposure, even on a sunny day, is practically none.

So, my message to you is this:
If you're feeling pain, depression, and just plain achy, it might be something as simple as a vitamin D deficiency. I just pop 1,000 mg. a day and I feel worlds better. I had forgotten what it was like to feel good.

I'm not your doctor, obviously. I just hope this helps somebody get through the winter with a little less pain and discomfort. Snow and cold temperatures already make that hard enough.


  1. I’m glad you posted this. I am going to get a bottle tomorrow and see if it helps me. I always have muscle and back pain and it’s worse right now. Maybe it is the vitamin d. You never hear much about it. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Ok, this is very weird. The last time I visited the doctor (annual), she recommended that I start taking Vitamin D supplements - just because. This was a couple of months ago.

    I had been feeling depressed, no energy, no motivation, etc...

    I just started taking it religiously over the last two weeks - and yes! I feel better. Depression and fatigue are much, much less and I feel a world of difference.

    You ROCK, CeeCee! :)

  3. I began taking vitamin D because a conversation I had with a doctor who told me that emerging research is starting to think that vitamin D can help ward off sickness, and better than vitamin C! I've noticed a HUGE difference in me personally - I'm much more mellow and even-tempered. I feel a lot better in general too. I take 1000 IUs a day and am totally converted! I love the stuff. Thanks for the PSA.

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  5. I had the same problem, plus winter blues. I asked my doctor to check my level. I was totally lacking. Once I started taking prescribed vit. D, I was like a new person.

  6. I guess I'm going to try some vitamin D supplements!

    Thanks for the heads-up.