Vitamin D

So, I’ve been hearing reports that more and more people are being diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency.  I know I suffered from this over the winter but wondered what the symptoms were and how to properly treat it.  Now, I’m not a pill-taking person.  Can’t stand taking pills, actually.  So, there must be another way to get vitamin D without a “vitamin” pill.

So, how do you know, first of all, if you have a vitamin D deficiency?  Well, according to reseachers…if you live north of New York for at least half the year, chances are you are not getting enough vit D.  Apparently, if you live as far north as I do, even getting sun every day from October to April is not enough to stop a vit D deficiency.  Scary  thought.

But what are some actual symptoms we can see right now…there are some long-term problems that can occur from a deficiency of vit D but I won’t go into those.  Depression is one of the major symptoms.  There are more suicides during the winter months than in the summer for this reason.   Lack of vit D can also cause bone pain since vit D helps in calcium absorption into your bones.  Prolonged illnesses may also be a result of this.  Vit D helps regulate our immune system.  A lack of it can ultimately cause psoriasis, gum disease, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.  Some researchers even believe that high blood pressure and certain cancers could be a result of a vit D deficiency.  Other reported symptoms are muscle fatigue and body aches, insomnia, weight loss, and anxiety.  (This most likely accounts for my inability to sleep over the winter months which then turned into anxiety…2 days of sunshine has made me feel like a different person!)

Now, can I get vit D from other sources to make up for it?  Well, you can get it from certain foods, but you’d have to eat a ton of them.  Cod liver oil is the food (liquid) with the highest amounts of vit D in it.  The top “foods” are cod liver oil, herring (raw), shitake mushrooms, raw catfish, button mushrooms, canned pink salmon, canned sardines, pickled herring, canned mackeral, and cavier.  How nasty is that kind of a diet??   Two of the food groups I dislike most, mushrooms and fish.  Now, interestingly enough, Quaker instant oatmeal is supposed to be fortifed with extra vit D specifically to help with a deficiency.  Again, not a food I particularly like.  Milk and eggs do have vit D in them but you’d have to drink about 10 glasses of milk a day and eat about as many eggs to get the amount of vit D you need from them.

The conclusion…find a supplement that will work for you.  Get as much sun as possible during the summer (avoiding sun burns).  Putting on sunscreen and covering up your skin during the summer can also cause a vit D deficiency.  (That’s for all those scientist who say cover up so you don’t get skin cancer…lol.)   God created the sun, so I would say it’s the best way to get vitamin D…the most natural – besides the foods mentioned earlier.  Since I don’t like pills I’ll probably try to get as much sun as I can over the summer to make up for a lack.  I’ve also heard that you can get a special lamp that gives off UV rays (vit D).  They use them in the far north.  Something worth looking into for next winter.  It is possible to take too much vit D but you’d have to take about two bottles of a supplement at once in order to do it.  A “sunburn” without the sun means you’re taking too much.

For now, the Lord bless thee and keep thee and make His face to shine upon thee.

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