Living with Chronic Vitamin D Deficiency

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When I became pregnant with my fourth child, my lab work revealed that I have a chronically low level of Vitamin D. Although I wasn't shocked, I was very alarmed. For almost two years, I've been battling to get my levels up to an acceptable level.

What is so important about Vitamin D, you ask?


It has been proven that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to depression, weight gain, certain types of cancers, chronic pain, heart disease, and more. When I don't keep up with getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D in my diet and taking my supplement, my chronic joint pain flares up badly. Vitamin D has also been known to help boost immune system function.




If you haven't already, get your Vitamin D levels checked. Visiting your medical provider and getting a simple blood test can reveal if you are deficient or not. From there, you can decide if you need a supplement or what diet changes to make.

How I am improving my own Vitamin D levels

 I am overdue to get my levels re-checked. The last time I got my levels checked, it barely went up over six months of just taking a supplement. From all of the symptoms I was experiencing, I decided I definitely couldn't keep living like this. In addition to taking 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D daily, I knew I had to improve my diet.

(Sidenote: My midwife has instructed me to take the daily amount I do, which is the maximum amount. If you take a supplement, you need to find out the safe amount for you and not just assume what I take would be okay for you as well.)

Diet
 
 Leafy greens (broccoli, kale), eggs, tuna, Cod Liver Oil, some dairy.
There's much more out there, but these are what I have in my diet on a regular basis.

Getting Enough Sunlight

There's been recent information that has come out saying that because Americans have been taught to avoid sunlight so much, it really leads to so many of us having low levels of Vitamin D. UVB is really important in aiding your body to produce Vitamin D. Of course, we shouldn't let ourselves repeatedly get sunburnt, but consider a non-commercial sunscreen that doesn't block all of the beneficial parts of the sun.

Supplements

There are many Vitamin D supplements available on the market. When looking for a supplement, remember that you cannot rely on this alone to raise your levels. A supplement is only that: supplemental. Keep in mind that finding a good supplement is key. A whole foods Vitamin D supplement would be one of the best to take. Also, you may consider taking a calcium supplement to help with absorbing your Vitamin D supplement.                  


Do you suffer from low levels of Vitamin D? What do you do to get vitamin D in your diet?

Comments

  1. I've never gotten my vitamin D levels tested but considering I live in WA, they are probably low. We make sure to get grassfed dairy products and use vitamin D drops...lots of sunlight when we get it!

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  2. We suffer from Vitamin D deficiency in the winter months here in NY for sure. We have to supplement quite a bit and still feel totally burned out by April. I'm working hard this summer to try and build up my reserves so winter won't be such a drag this year!

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  3. Thank you for this article. I have extremely low vitamin D (a 9, when it should be closer to 40 or above). I'm taking 50,000 iu weekly and I hope to see a change soon!

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    1. Mine was 13 going up from 11 I believe. Not much better! I hope you see improvement as well.

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  4. We are sure to get a lot of vitamin D but are still deficient! People with celiac and leaky gut are notoriously low in vitamin D and other essential nutrients. Definitely something to keep an eye on!

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    1. Definitely! I have done a major diet revamp this year, which I really think is helping.

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