Vitamin D Deficiency… A Personal Story

posted in: Articles, Vitamin Health 0

We didn’t have a clue that Lin, my husband, had vitamin D deficiency.

At first, it seemed like bad luck. Lin was always hurting somewhere. An aching joint here, a muscle pain there, back pain, and wrist pain. He was often tired. He just didnt seem to have his usual energy reserves. We thought the symptoms were from old injuries or stress.

It was after he had a bout of intestinal upset that we really got worried. He felt dizzy, funny, not right. We thought his dizziness might be food related. Lin felt he needed more protein. I wondered about low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). We increased the protein. But, it had no effect, the dizziness continued.

Lin tried to describe how he felt, Its hard to describe in words. I felt somewhat disoriented. My head felt funny, light. It was a weird feeling.” One, day while making breakfast, his legs suddenly felt numb and he nearly collapsed.

Well that was it. We made an appointment with our local naturopath. After a careful history and physical, he ordered blood work measuring a number of blood components including blood sugar and Vitamin D level. He said he sees a surprising number of patients that are vitamin D deficient. Its especially surprising because we live in a high desert area with about 300 days of sunshine (the major source of vitamin D) a year.

Later he called saying, Your vitamin D level is dangerously low. One of the lowest Ive seen. You need to get on a supplement right away.  Everything else was in the normal range. Lins vitamin D level was 11 ng/ml, with normal being 30-150. He prescribed high potency, bioavailable Vitamin D3 5000 IU two times a day. He said Lin should notice a difference within a week. He was to return to recheck his vitamin D level in a month.

Lins better now. He says, Again, its hard to explain. I feel stronger inside and I dont get tired so easily anymore. Now that I look back, I recognize how things havent been right for some time.

We are now grateful for his symptoms. They alerted us something was wrong. Often vitamin D deficiency isn’t recognized until too late and a chronic disease has set in. We share this story in the hopes that it will help you. Vitamin D deficiency is wide spread.
You are likely vitamin D deficient too!

Vitamin D Facts

* Vitamin D deficiency is a significant contributor to many life-threatening diseases.Epidemiologists, people who study the prevalence of disease, recognized the importance of vitamin D when they noted that death rates from several potentially life-threatening conditions increased with increasing latitude from the equator. Otherwise, the further you live from the equator (and sun exposure) the higher the prevalence of these diseases.

Osteoporosis
Bone disease (osteomalacia/rickets)
Increased risk for falls
Cancers (colon, breast, skin, and possibly others)
Multiple Sclerosis
Infection
Hypertension
Diabetes
Heart disease
Autism
Others, the list keeps growing

* Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common its epidemic. A 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, “Demographic Differences and Trends of Vitamin D Insufficiency in the US population, 1988-2004 concludes.  Current recommendations for vitamin D supplementation are inadequate to address the growing epidemic of vitamin D insufficiency.

* You cant get enough vitamin D from food.Vitamin D (calciferol) comprises a group of fat-soluble seco-steroids found only in a few foods, such as fish-liver oils, fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks, liver, and some fortified foods. Vitamin D is a hormone with 2 major forms:
* Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) produced by UV irradiation of ergosterol (occurring in mold, yeast, and higher order plants) and
* Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) photosynthesized in the skin by the action of solar ultraviolet (UV) B radiation.You get most of your vitamin D from your skins exposure to the sun.

* Youre probably not getting enough vitamin D from the sun either.Doctors used to think you could get enough vitamin D from 15 minutes of sun exposure a day. Researchers now find even people receiving abundant sun exposure may have low vitamin D levels.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism of 93 Hawaiians found that 51 percent had low vitamin D levels.

* You likely need a vitamin D supplement. The current vitamin D guidelines (daily intake of 200 IU for people age 50 and younger, 400 IU for people 50 to 70 years old, and 600 IU for those older than 70) are under revision based on new research.

More and more doctors recommend daily supplementation of vitamin D3. A 2008 Alternative Medicine Review article of an analysis of 18 research studies by Cannell and Hollis says that blood testing for vitamin D is the only adequate and safe way to make the diagnosis and assure treatment is adequate and safe.

Treatment for otherwise healthy people deficient in vitamin D is from 2,000 to 7,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.
Vitamin D-deficient patients with serious illnesses need higher doses to maintain their blood levels between 55 to 75 ng/ml.