11 December, 2014

Health Care: Vitamin D


I've always had an interest in how the body works, hence why I went to nursing school. So when my doctor made a big deal about my Vitamin D level I decided to research it some more. I've actually had my Vitamin D level checked for years and it's always been low, like super low, you want it to be at least 50, mine was 15. I didn't care for the longest time and would pop a few Vitamin D3 pills in my mouth when I thought about it. Let me also say I used to always be tired. Like I gotta take a nap every.single.day kinda person. Even Theo would say "Ally do you realize you're always saying you're tired?" Of course I would just get offensive and say, "Um, no I don't. I'm fine." Well I wasn't. I recently had my levels checked and this time I was 30. Hey, it's better than 15! So I decided to become a bit more proactive and picked up a bottle of liquid Vitamin D3 2000 IU and started taking those daily. You guys, I seriously have never felt better. I actually told Theo "I can't believe I'm never tired anymore!" I have zero desire to take naps and I just have so much more energy. It all makes total sense.

Some deets on Vitamin D:

~Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is only present in a few foods. Fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver, cheese and fortified foods like milk and cereal. 

~Symptoms of low Vitamin D: fatigue, joint pain, muscle cramps, weight gain, headaches, restless sleep, high blood pressure, poor concentration.

~Levels less than 30 are associated with rickets in children and infants.

~Vitamin D3 is the natural form of D your body makes from being exposed sunlight. Obviously this is the best way to get D3 but there's some stipulations, no sunscreen, your back is the best area to expose because it's a lot of surface area, and you need to sit out there for 15 minutes for light skin, even up to an hour for dark skin. It also depends on the time of day and where you live (closer to the equator needs less time etc). With people wearing high spf now and working indoors, we aren't getting the D3 from the sun like we used to.

~85% of people are deficient in Vitamin D. That number could be higher since not everyone has had their levels checked.

~Deficiency in D is linked to cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, autism, MS, and inflammatory bowel disease. There's even a study out that says people with high levels of D in their body have a 50% lower fatality rate for breast cancer.

~Women who are pregnant should take 4000 IU a day to prevent risks and preterm labor. Most prenatal vitamins only have around 400 IU.

~There is such thing as too much Vitamin D in your body. Since it is a fat soluble vitamin it's stored in our body and can build up. But with how low most of our levels are, the chance of that happening is pretty slim to none. 



Ok so how much should you take?

My NP told me to take 2000 IU a day since my level was low. Back when my level was 15 I was told to take 50,000 IU a week. Which equals to about 7000 IU a day. The recommended amount to take used to be 400 IU a day which is the amount in normal multivitamins. Now the recommended amount is 1000 IU a day. It obviously depends on your level but I can almost guarantee, unless you're out working in the fields every day not wearing any sunscreen chugging milk, your level is low. 


There's so many types of Vitamin D supplements out there. Make sure you buy D3 not D2 which is the synthetic form of D and can actually cause harm to your body. The best way to get D is from cod liver oil but there may not be enough D in it so an additional supplement is usually needed. I prefer to take the liquid form of Vitamin D3 because it's one less pill to take and it's so easy to just put one drop in my mouth daily.





I've been very lucky to have doctors and NP's check my Vitamin D level every few years because I would have never thought about it on my own. If you've never had yours checked before it's definitely a good thing to ask your doctor about. I just know how much better I feel and I always hear others complain about being tired all the time and never having any energy. There's a whole book on Vitamin D called The Vitamin D Solution if you really want to educate yourself. 

9 comments :

  1. This is very interesting. I actually think that I am anemic. I was each time with all 3 of my pregnancies. I never had the levels tested when I wasn't pregnant. I always fall asleep early. I honestly can not stay up to watch a movie and I have kind of always been like that even pre kids. I would tend to fall asleep early. I just started taking iron daily and it is helping. I should look into this also. xo

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  2. Wow I had no idea about all of the details about vitamin D. I should definitely look into this! I go through periods of fatigue but unable to sleep. I just through I was an insomniac but it could be vitamin D!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  3. I'm all about using natural ways to feel better! Especially to get more energy. I'm going to give this a try because it's not like I'm getting ANY Vitamin D from the sun right now!

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  4. we're super vitamin d deficient here in the north and I never used to be that way when I lived in Florida!! thank you for the suggestion on what to take - I trust you because you're a nurse and clearly know what you're talking about :)

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  5. I'm low too. I take vitamin d when I remember, but I can be a lot better about it. I need to set a reminder on my phone or something.

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  6. My vit D level was really low at my last check as well. I swear us health care peeps sometimes make the worst patients (well me really more lol). Thanks so much for the reminder I need to pick up those drops. I am all about the liquid form of things instead of gel capsules.....that freaks me out. Such a great post girl!

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  7. how interesting! I don't think I have ever gotten my vitamin d levels checked. i do know that when i started taking b12 i suddenly wasn't tired anymore, and like you i was always always always tired. i couldn't believe what a difference it made. perhaps i should get my vitamin d levels checked!

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  8. I'm allllwayyyys tired, and always want a nap! I know this is so important for absorbing calcium too and with osteoporosis running in my family I need to get on the Vita D train!

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  9. YES!!! I love this post! Vit D is so, so important!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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