How would you know if you were getting enough Vitamin D? Would it make a noticeable difference if you were deficient? What if that bad mood or those aches and pains could be improved by increasing your intake of the Sunshine Vitamin?
There is a key component to good health that many people are intentionally avoiding. Whether it’s because we’re shackled to our desks for work or we’re worried about skin cancer, we’re just not getting enough sunshine.
Did you know that Vitamin D, functions not only as a vitamin, but as a hormone?
If you’re not getting enough, your body is going to let you know.
My Own Anecdotal Evidence
I discovered Vitamin D’s importance in my own life a few years ago.
It was early spring. My son and I had taken a short trip with some extended family.
It should have been a great vacation — something I felt like I had been sorely needing after a stressful winter had left me emotionally drained. A little R&R seemed like just what the doctor ordered.
Imagine my confusion, however, when my roller-coaster like emotions were not only not improved by the trip, but instead, were exacerbated.
I was confused, and frustrated, to come home not more well-rested, but rather stressed to the gills.
Time for answers
I scheduled an appointment with my physician to talk about the possibility of it being a hormonal issue. On the day of my appointment, we looked over the calendar, and then we looked at my moods.
We also looked at some other health symptoms I had been experiencing (muscle tension, neck aches, etc..), and didn’t see any cyclical pattern to my symptoms. Instead, they seemed to be ever-present, only varying in intensity at times.
Tina, the nurse practitioner who saw me that day, knew that I was not interested in a quick pharmaceutical fix to my mood swings, but rather wanted to pinpoint the cause. She considered the data and suggested I be tested for a Vitamin D deficiency.
That seemed to come from completely out of left field. I really didn’t know much at all about Vitamin D, much less that I could be deficient, or that said deficiency could cause problems.
She ordered a quick Vitamin D levels blood test and said she’d let me know the results.
Bad news and good news
About a week later, I got the call. Tina told me my Vitamin D levels were way low. Not too much of a surprise, I guess, since my work and lifestyle had me indoors at home most of the time. (This was before I started gardening.)
She recommended I take 2,000 IU of Vitamin D-3, three times per day. It was also recommended I go outdoors in short sleeves and shorts, weather permitting, for twenty minutes at least three times a week to get Vitamin D directly from the sun. I was to report back within two weeks to let her know how I was doing.
It didn’t even take a week for me to see drastic results, however. I had gone out that same day Tina prescribed my Vitamin D regimen and purchased these tablets at my local pharmacy. Fortunately, with the warm weather, I was also able to work in more time in the sun, although maybe not the 20 minute intervals that she had prescribed.
Within about five days I already had noticed a difference in my mood.
Vitamin D Before and After
Before I started taking Vitamin D, I had gotten to where I was annoyed having conversations with almost everybody. My distorted emotions at the time had left me with little patience for listening to anyone talk about anything. I was also completely zapped of any optimism.
On top of all of that, I was having physical symptoms that I now realize go hand-in-hand with emotional stress.
Several days after I started taking Vitamin D, I noticed my short-fuse seemed to be getting longer. All of a sudden, my friends and loved ones weren’t grating on my nerves anymore.
I couldn’t wait to see how it would affect me to continue taking the Sunshine Vitamin, and prayed that the effects wouldn’t wear off.
Sure enough, after about six weeks of taking Vitamin D daily, as well as increasing my sun exposure, I felt like a new person.
When I ran out of my first supply of Vitamin D, I was slow to go to the store to restock. I thought, “Well, I may be fine now and not need to keep taking it.”
Part of me wondered if it wasn’t something that just helped me get over a hump, but that perhaps I didn’t need in an ongoing fashion.
After a couple of weeks off of the supplement, my mood was darkening again. I still didn’t rush right out to buy more, thinking perhaps it would resolve itself.
A couple more weeks went by and my mood was progressively worse. I was worrying and anxious a lot, and just generally didn’t feel joyful.
I wasted no more time and went out to replenish my Vitamin D.
Within days, my mood was improving again. I was convinced — and amazed — to see that Vitamin D does have a profound impact on health and well-being.
The next time I ran out, I went to a different store to restock. I bought a different brand from usual, and I noticed that my mood, again, started to dip. After a few weeks, I determined it was the change in brand, so I went back to the brand I had initially used. Again, in days, everything was on the upswing.
Solar Power Your Life
I’m not recommending that anyone go out and start taking certain amounts of Vitamin D-3 (by the way, Vitamin D-3 is the kind our bodies need) supplements, nor am I saying that anyone should start baking themselves in the sun for hours each day. In fact, I’m not recommending anything specific to anyone. I’m not a licensed healthcare professional.
What I am recommending, however, is to learn what you can about Vitamin D and its effect on health and well-being.
What symptoms and health conditions can be caused by a Vitamin D deficiency?
Here are just a few:
- Cold & Flu
- Eczema & Psoriasis
- Heart Disease
- Muscle pain
- & many more!
Look into getting your Vitamin D levels checked by a healthcare provider or purchase a test that you can administer yourself at home. (Personally, I’d rather go to my doctor, but I don’t like the idea of drawing my own blood! 😱)
Soak up the sun, but be smart about it!
I’ve learned that during times of the year when I’m outdoors more getting natural sunlight, I don’t need to supplement, but in the colder months, I turn back to taking the tablets. It does make a difference. You might be surprised!