Vitamin D Deficiency

Just five months into 2014, and I’m working on my third major malady of the year. In addition to a nasty fall on the ice back in February and gallbladder surgery in April, I found myself back at the doctor’s office earlier this week. (I figure since I met my deductible months ago, I might as well visit the doctor as often as I want until December 31, right?)

For several months, I’ve been suffering from muscle fatigue and weakness. At it’s worst, I couldn’t even walk the .6-mile loop at the park without stopping two or three times to rest. By the end of our ritual evening walk, my leg muscles would be Jell-O, and I’d have to grab Dan’s arm to keep myself from toppling over.

It was disconcerting to say the least. I’m young, and—with the exception of that faulty gallbladder—have been in pretty good health. It should be nothing for me to walk a couple of miles at a leisurely pace, let alone six-tenths of one.

So I went to the doctor, described my symptoms, and asked for lab work. She ordered a comprehensive metabolic panel. When the results came in, it was pretty clear what my problem was: lack of vitamin D. The normal range for Vitamin D is somewhere between 30 and 40 ng/ml, and I maxed out a whopping 18 ng/ml.

It makes sense. For two and a half years from 2011 – 2013, I worked a job with virtually no access to daylight. (I had a 30-minute lunch break, but usually ate inside so I’d have time to actually chew my food.) I was lucky enough to land my current job, complete with a window and the freedom to go outdoors when I needed, but it wasn’t long and I was suffering through the nastiest winter of my life. After one particularly brutal series of snow and ice storms, I slipped and bounced my head off the pavement. Obviously, I was reluctant to go outside or walk to work on unshoveled sidewalks for a few weeks after that. Then there were the gallstone episodes and the surgery. I didn’t feel like leaving the apartment for much of anything—particularly in those last painful weeks before the doctor cut me open.

And my diet. Ugh! We’ve been so overwhelmed with doctor’s visits and surgeries and trips back to Indianapolis since we moved to Champaign that we’ve been ordering dinner in. A lot. So my diet hasn’t exactly helped me compensate for the lack of D-generating sunshine.

From what I gather, by the time most people experience the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency, they’ve been operating at a deficit for quite a while.

So, the good news is that I’m taking supplements my doctor prescribed and spending 20 minutes a day soaking up some sun. And even though it could be weeks or months before I’m back to my normal self, I already feel better knowing what’s wrong and that there’s a simple solution for it.

Emily Suess

Emily Suess is a copywriter living in Urbana, Illinois. She blogs about cooking, writing, fibromyalgia, and life in Chambana.

5 thoughts on “Vitamin D Deficiency

  1. emily, I just read an article (can’t find it to link) that said we need specifically more morning light, a half hour, and that this is good for weight loss too. So I’ve been trying to walk in the morning for a half hour. Will have to check to see if it’s actually good for me! But it makes sense if a Vit D deficiency causes this kind of trouble. Fortunately, it’s June, and nice out. I don’t know that in Feb I’d get the same experience!

    1. Oh you should theorfere effort a chromatic mustard sauce. You could make a really simple salad with some lettuce, cheese, red onion (chicken and food are great together) and use the dressing. I made it the other dark and it was brilliant. You could likewise utilize it on subs or in wraps quite easily. For a different taste, you gotta try smoked chicken! That would also glucinium great on subs.

  2. One more thing- the study Ian referenced about women- I find their logic very ttiewsd to bias the results against Vit D. Initially they found benefit for all cause mortality. (there was no supplement, just looked at levels). But they also noticed that the low levels were associated with poor health, such as obesity and several others. Excluding those, they found no benefit from D, except borderline stastical significance for thinner waisted women (<35"- that's pretty big in my book- what about < 30?). So they go on to resign themselves to say that the IOM is correct- only bone health is important. But they could use more research $ on the subject. The problem with their logic is they do not suggest that low vitamin d may be causing the obesity, heart issues, etc. It's quite obious that the ones with low D had many health issues, but they say it was the health issue causing the death.. duh so what could be causing the health issue? It just happens? And the fact that the "thinner" waisted women with higher D just might be benefitting from the D. Why was their waist thinner??? Talk about thinking inside the box.

  3. the same thing; that I needed coilnenlusg to deal with some very difficult life experiences. The reports clearly said that I did not suffer from severe or enduring mental health difficulties and that there was no evidence of delusions or anything serious, just stress for which I needed cognitive therapy. Yet, in spite of the opinions of three professionals, the ignorant bigots in my workplace who bullied me insisted on trying to forcibly label me as something that I wasn’t simply because they’d found out that I had a parent who had a special need! There were even people making out that I was interested in aliens in order to try and make me out to be crazy. I became the object of serious, vicious and out-of-control malicious gossip. The truth of the matter is that I couldn’t give a stuff about aliens! I have never been interested in aliens, UFOs or anything of the sort! In fact, quite the opposite! Yet, these people were determined to make me out to be some sort of oddball who was interested in things that I would never think twice about! Whatsmore, this malicious smear campaign began to affect my opportunities in terms of relationships, both friendships and romantic, as people were being frightened off by the crazy rumours that were being spread by the bullies. This was really distressing for me as prior to this, I had been used to being reasonably popular and having no shortage of people showing an interest in me romantically. Yet, suddenly, because of the vicious rumours that were being spread, I found that my quality of life was altered dramatically. This experience was very upsetting and I know firsthand, as a result, just how far genetic discrimination can go and just how unfair and oppressive it can be. It is just as oppressive as the worst kind of racism, finding an excuse to falsely, treat someone as some sort of faulty, inferior being or second class citizen. It can degrade people and seriously limit their life opportunities in spite of their potential. All my life, I had been used to being treated well, as an achiever, a sociable person, well able to get on with others and suddenly, when people found out about my estranged father’s difficulties, I found myself in the strange situation of being forcibly portrayed as the very opposite of all that I am with genetic theory being used as an excuse by people who were less qualified than I am, had achieved less and had not had to survive and cope with the kind of obstacles that I have coped with in my life! From my own experience, I have learnt that without legislation and proper protection, there is a very real danger that genetic discrimination can develop into something just as sinister, damaging, demeaning and limiting as fascism/racism ( as the Nazis proved)! and I hope very much that people will be protected from this very dangerous and demeaning form of bigotry so that they will not have to suffer as I have.

  4. As we know that the importance of vitamin D is important for our body and for our health. We should take a healthy died to improve our health and stamina. Thanks for the blog post.

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