Saturday, June 6, 2009

Are You Deficient In Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of our major defenses against many chronic diseases.
75% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D.
Current guidelines call for 400-600 I.U. daily, although many researchers believe we should be getting 1,000 I.U. daily.

Sandra Christensen, the author of A Daughter of Eve blog, knows first hand about being deficient in Vitamin D. I have asked her to write a guest post and to share her story.

Our Trip With The Happy Sunshine Vitamin D
I went to a routine doctors appointment with my Endocrinologist for my thyroid when the doctor told me my Vitamin D levels were about half of what they should be. So she told me to take over the counter Vitamin D 1,000 units and take another test in a month or so. I'm waiting to hear back this Thursday. You see I've moved from the Sunny Western state of Nevada to up state New York. We live very close to the border of Canada. The sun here doesn't really start to shine until May/June and goes into hiding about September. I've decided this is where my lack of Vitamin D has come into play. The only symptoms I was having was being tired but thought that my thyroid levels were off again and that is what prompted the blood test.
So I went home and thought that if I were lacking the Vitamin D is anyone else in the family. So I had both children tested. My son's test came back and according to the old doctor he was below levels. The doctor put him on 50,000 units (which I think was an extreme amount) to take once a week for eight weeks and then do another blood test. I'm still waiting for the doctor to call about my daughters levels of Vitamin D. My husband has yet to see a doctor about his levels. =)
I want to tell you that we are no where near the levels of Vitamin D being so low as to cause Rickets. We have a diet rich in dairy, such as cheese, 2% milk, yogurt, ice cream and yes real butter. My son is in the 9th grade and over average on his height. He has played football every fall as center and a lineman for the past four years. No broken bones! To look at him you would never guess he needed more Vitamin D or anyone of us for that matter.
In the process of finding out about our Vitamin D deficiency we were switching our children's doctors. Our son's new doctor told us they've raised the bar as to how much Vitamin D we need. So raising the bar might make more of us low on Vitamin D when we were at a normal levels before. The only symptom again that we had in our family was being tired. Not the normal tired but a can't get enough sleep tired. Which was also difficult to catch with the children being in their teens. As teens love to sleep right!? If I could give any advice from my experience it would be moving from a sunny part of the world to a not so sunny place is great but you have to compensate for the lack of sunshine with supplements. Our food just doesn't give us what they say our bodies need now, and when you can find the sunshine, bathe in it, love it, for 15 minutes a day. It's the best way for our bodies to make it's own Vitamin D.

Thanks to A Fitness Minute for giving me the opportunity to share my story. I love A Fitness Minute! Pat also was very helpful in letting me know how much sun a day we needed.

Update: Saw the doctor today and she's putting me on a prescription Vitamin D to take every other week.

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