The Vitamin D Dilemma

by Lisa on Thursday: Aug 01, 2013
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Around 4 years ago, I got some bloodwork done at the doctor’s office for the first time in a few years and found out that I was seriously deficient in Vitamin D. They told me my levels were so low that I had to go on a Vitamin D prescription of 50,000 IUs (that’s a TON) and that I should sit outside without sunscreen for 10 minutes a day.

All my life I’ve avoided the sun whenever I could. I just don’t like the way it makes me feel to sit outside in the sunlight, not to mention intense sunlight makes my eyes hurt and enough of it will give me a headache. I’m an indoors person, there’s no question about it. At the time, I figured that was all there was to it.

Then, a year later, my brother found out he was also vitamin D deficient. Then, my friend K. After another year, I met D, and a few months into our time dating, his doctor also told him that he needed to take supplements because of low levels. And if that wasn’t enough, around a year ago, his SISTER also got the same news.

What the heck was going on? Some of these people (especially my friend K) were sun lovers and did lots of outdoor activities.

Well, all of these people have something in common: we all grew up in Massachusetts and have lived here pretty much all of our lives. It is a well known fact that in New England, winter weather lasts at least 6 months, and there is little chance of doing anything fun outdoors most of that time.

According to this article:

Vitamin D can be produced in the skin from ultraviolet light. In the northern latitudes (such as New England), the intensity of the UV rays is only strong enough to create vitamin D for us in the summer months. For much of the year (about October through April), then, we need to get vitamin D from other sources. Even in the summer, using sunscreen, covering up with clothing, and spending time indoors can reduce the chance of us getting adequate vitamin D.

Since, that day 4 years ago, I’ve taken vitamin D gummy vitamins every day. They’re tasty and easy to just chew and go every morning. I still don’t spend much time out in the sun because there is a delicate balance here: too much time in the sun can lead to skin cancer and other issues while too little leads to a vitamin D deficiency. My skin is pale as can be, so I’m at an even greater risk of skin cancers and will burn easily in the summer.

I think the thing that alarmed me the most about these revelations over the past few years is that there is almost no one I know who’s my own age that also grew up in Mass that doesn’t have this issue. I wonder how widespread it really is!

The bottom line is: I’d highly recommend anyone living in the northeast get their vitamin D levels checked out. It’s worth it!

For more information on Vitamin D and why we need it, check out this link: Vitamin D


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9 Responses to “The Vitamin D Dilemma”

  1. Jules says:

    I recently started taking Vitamin D. My cousin found out she was deficient and we have a lot of the same symptoms. I am taking calcium and D together. We are from CA adn this shouldn’t be a issue at all but it is!

  2. Wow, that is very interesting. I guess we don’t have that problem down here in Texas. Do you have any outdoor hobbies, maybe like gardening, even if its just like a few veggies or even flowers. I love to do that with my girls.

    Stopping by from getting to know you hop!
    CJR @ TMB

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I don’t have very many outdoor hobbies, but someday when I get my own house, I will definitely start a garden. I love the idea of growing my own herbs and vegetables.

  3. Jill says:

    Same story here with the vit D levels being low. I haven’t bought the d yet. Eventually I’ll get to the store and get some.

    • Lisa says:

      I definitely recommend the gummy kind (I take VitaFusion). I hate swallowing pills so the fact that these are gummy, not to mention that they taste like candy, keep me taking them every day.

  4. I never knew Vitamin D was so important until I had my daughter. Then I started hearing about it all the time. I’ve also started taking it myself as I hear it helps to keep you from getting sick, especially in the Winter when we have to deal with such col d weather and spend much less time in the sun;

    Lisa

    P.S. Thanks for linking to the GtKY blog hop! 🙂

  5. I’ve recently been hearing a lot about low Vit. D levels. I’m a total indoors person, too, so I should probably be tested. Thanks for sharing this information!

    Christina

  6. Anne Kimball says:

    So used to hearing docs say to stay out of the sun. What a switch!

    Thanks for linking ths up with the TALU!

  7. I don’t think it’s limited to the northeast. I live in southern california and was also extremely vitamin d deficient and had to go on a prescribed pill. I now just take an over the counter vitamin but ever since I started taking vitamin d I haven’t gotten sick once in the past two years. and I don’t even get the flu shot! whereas my coworkers who make fun of me because I dont get the flu shot, have all gotten sick. just sayin…

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