Thursday, August 1, 2013

Vitamin D, the next level

I woke up much earlier than I preferred because the sun was shining so strongly through my window this morning.  It enticed me to venture outside, sit on my side steps and take in its rays when most gentle.

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.


  • 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.

1 comment:

  1. Go ahead and steal back more of your free time.