In my age, I have been super cautious about wearing sun screen. I curse myself often for never having done the same when I was younger and tanning was the latest craze. Skin cancer scares me, as any other cancer would, but if I am unfortunate to be diagnosed with the former then I know I only have myself to blame. However, since I knew I was only going to sit out for a bit and to be quite honest, the smell of sunscreen makes me nauseous and because my kids had not woken up yet, I wanted to steal my free time as quickly as I could.
As I let the sun sink into my skin I pondered about my last full physical in January. My doctor had told me I had a Vitamin D deficiency and she recommended I take a very high dose weekly for about six months. Wow, really, a Vitamin D deficiency? How does something like that happen? Not to fret, I knew she could have told me worse, but my journey thereafter taught me a bit about this glorious necessary element we all need in our lives.
FACTS ABOUT VITAMIN D
- It is a fat soluble vitamin which means it's stored in your body (such as your liver and kidney) and takes much longer to escape than water soluble vitamins (e.g. Vitamins C and B9)
- It is the most useful substance inside your body and beneficial when consumed on a daily basis
- It is measured by International Units, also known as IU
- It ensures strong bone health, preventing bones from becoming brittle, thin and deformed
- It promotes strong, sturdy teeth which in turn creates good mouth hygiene
- It reduces a greater chance of inflammation
- It promotes calcium in the digestive tract
- It is found in relatively small doses in food sources such as 1 cup of milk (102 IU), fortified rice (81 IU), fortified orange juice (53 IU) and salmon (435 IU) to name a few
- Another well known source of Vitamin D is the sun with skin exposure of 10 to 15 minutes
- The daily recommended Vitamin D dose for people between the ages of 1 - 70 is 600 IU
When my doctor told me I had a Vitamin D deficiency, she prescribed a weekly dose of 50,000 IU, divided by seven days a week came out to about 7,142 International Units a day. Sounds like a lot, but I was apparently lacking in this department.
These days I soak up the sun when it's around, take a daily dose of 1,000 IU and consume more food sources that contain ample IU of Vitamin D. I am exercising more, maintaining a healthier diet and drinking an average of 70 ounces of water. I am feeling much better these days. I am thankful for my health. And all it took was learning my Vitamin D levels were dangerously low. There is good in all things. I am glad that it made me aware. Hopefully my post sheds some light for you as well.
I always like to part on an inspirational note. This was born as a result of my learning to listen to what my body needs. I have even taken it to the next level. By becoming a better listener overall.