Sunday, September 14, 2014

Let's talk about vitamin D

Wikipedia's Definition:
Vitamin D refers to a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calciumironmagnesiumphosphate
and zinc. In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 and vitamin D2. 

Sounds like a pretty important vitamin to me!

Let me back up a bit. My husband battled insomnia a few years ago to the point where he lost his job and almost lost his life. He went 14 nights without sleep, ended up in the ER only to be sent home with some heavy sleeping pills.

The pills did not help him. His body seemed to be shutting down. He became deathly ill. I remember sitting on our bed, crying and begging God to take away his agony and to allow him to sleep. We thought he was going to die.

He had been working for several years as a 911 dispatcher, then as a dispatcher for the Sheriff's department. He worked in a dark room at odd hours, slept when his family was awake, didn't exercise, eat healthy or get adequate sun exposure on a regular basis. This was a recipe for disaster.

After much prayer and research, we found out where he had gone wrong. Still deathly ill, he hobbled downstairs, told me he was going outside to work in the yard and proceeded to do so. I sat in the living room in a bit of shock but I left him alone. A few minutes later I checked on him and he was sitting in a chair out back, soaking up the sun. He did this every day, along with some yard work and soon he started to get better. We give God all the honor and glory for keeping him alive and blessing him with sleep! We also thank Him for showing us that he needed to change his lifestyle and showed us what he was lacking.

Soon he started exercising and eating healthier. Then he heard from his uncle about how taking vitamin d changed his life. His uncle suffered from migraines his whole life. Now, I'm not even sure he deals with them any more! Michael began taking vitamin d every day and the rest is history! He did lots of research before jumping into it (along with getting his levels checked) and now he is helping me to understand how it can change my life.

Now, I'm not saying it's a magical pill and it'll fix all your problems but let's look at some facts about vitamin d.

Those are just some of the benefits of having a healthy level of Vitamin D in your body. I suffer from migraines usually from being out in the heat too long, exertion or from time to time tension headaches. I'll spare you too many details but I also deal with extremely painful menstrual cramps and heavy cycles. When I read what vitamin D could do to help me in those areas, I went and got my levels checked.

According to doctors today, a "normal" range is 30-100. Obviously under 30 is insufficient and over 100 could lead to toxicity. My level is 38. 38!! That's low!
So I began taking 5000IU a day. I get 1000IU in my women's daily vitamin and I take two 2000IU tablets of Vitamin D3. I've been doing this for almost two weeks now and I can already feel a difference in how I feel during the day. I don't get that mid day nap attack feeling that I have been getting just about every day for the past year or more. I sleep better at night and my joints feel a lot less achey.

Here are some signs & symptoms for low vitamin D levels:
-General muscle pain & weakness
-Muscle cramps
-Joint pain
-Weight gain
-High blood pressure
-Restless sleep
-Poor concentration
-Bladder problems, diarrhea

*Vitamin D is actually considered a steroid hormone, not a vitamin. Researchers have pointed out that increasing levels of Vitamin D3 among the general population could prevent chronic diseases that claim nearly 1 million lives each year world wide.*

It is extremely important to have your vitamins D levels checked before starting a supplement program. Knowledge is definitely power!

One last note, it is almost impossible to get enough vitamin D from the sun just from day to day activities. Unless, of course, you live outside and bask in the sun like a lizard. ;-)

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