” I just feel…fuzzy. Like, I’ve found myself driving on the wrong side of the road twice in the last month. I couldn’t remember what side I was supposed to be on. And I’m depressed. And I hurt all the time. My body just hurts, and sometime my hip gets so bad I can hardly walk. I am eating a low carb diet, and I’m not losing weight. I want to exercise, but I have gone from working up to a 5K to barely making it through 20 minutes of yoga.”
This was a conversation I had with my doctor almost a year ago. Blood testing showed very low levels of vitamin D. I began taking 50,000 units of D, by prescription, nearly every week. (Normally, my OBGYN encourages women to take 2000 units daily, although the official recommendations are as low as 600 units daily) By the end of summer, my levels were just up to the lowest edge of normal.
The pain was mostly gone. I didn’t hate myself. I was able to think clearly.
According to Women’s Health magazine, signs of low vitamin D include: muscle weakness, sadness, increased pain sensitivity, stress fractures, elevated blood pressure, daytime sleepiness, extreme crankiness, and decreased endurance. D is a vitamin that we can get from sunshine, some fish, and in lesser amounts from egg yolks and cheese. Medical studies have recently shown a correlation between low levels of D and rheumatoid arthritis. There have also been studies linking optimal vitamin D levels to greater immunity, lower risk of diabetes, treating depression, decreasing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, improving balance, and a better cancer outcomes.
You can get vitamin D3 from sunlight, You can get it from certain kinds of fish. You can get some from egg yolks and cheese. If you are obese, suffer from Chrohn’s or Celiacs disease, are older, or are taking antifungal medications, you are at risk for your body not absorbing D3 as efficiently.
So, if you are feeling the winter crud, try getting your D on.