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VITAMIN D – ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH?

Vitamin-DI can remember when my 2nd child was only months old that I was just so tired.  It was a tiredness that pulled at me all day.  I had trouble thinking and I had to fight the irritableness that was bubbling below the surface.  The mornings were worse, despite being woken by my beautiful family each morning, I felt horrendous.  I usually had a headache upon waking and I just needed more sleep.  The problem was when I did sleep more I would still wake up with a headache.  It felt like I had over indulged in too much wine the night before when in fact I hadn’t touched a drop.  I knew there needed to be an answer so I began searching.

The hard thing is that when you are tired you are just not efficient.  I felt that washing, dishes and house work were just getting on top of me.  When would I have time to do research?

I love the medical clinic I visit, so I made an appointment with one of their doctors. He pointed out that I was a wife, mother of two and working.  My children of 4 years and 8 months were still very demanding of my time and he suggested that I have a holiday. He also did order a blood test for my sugars and thyroid.

I sighed.  The idea of tackling my mountain of washing was more appealing than just the thought of packing for a holiday because I knew that I would be taking my fatigue with me.  I continued struggling through my life trying not to scream at the kids when they woke me in the morning. When I went to work I pulled it together for a few hours and I fired on all cylinders.  But I couldn’t sustain it when I got home.

Then I read a little article about vitamin D.  I went back to my doctor.  All my other tests were ok.  I jumped up and down for a Vitamin D test.  The results came through and it was below 20. So I went to a health food shop to get some advice.  A naturopath there recommended a high supplementation for 5 days to kick start me.  I threw away caution about Vitamin D toxicity and began supplementation.

The morning of the 4th day I awoke and I felt incredible.  Not only did I feel rested, but my morning fatigue headache had also disappeared.  I wanted to run down the stairs and swing my children around, laugh, and forget about all of my previous worries.

After the 5th day I dropped my supplementation down to the recommended dose.  Over the course of the last 6 years I have regularly supplemented with vitamin D.

I now know some interesting facts:

  • Mild vitamin D deficiency has been noted in 43 per cent of the female population and moderately severe vitamin D deficiency in 11 per cent of the female population during winter in the Victorian city of Geelong.
  • Recent research indicated that a significant number of Australian have a least marginal Vitamin D deficiency, with two studies showing rates of 43 per cent in young women and 23 per cent in the general adult population.
  • Vitamin D is the single secret ingredient that could apply to the prevention and treatment in many cases of heart disease, common cancers, stroke, dementia, depression, insomnia, muscle weakness, joint pain, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and hypertension.

As I begin to feel the tiredness creeping back I know to wonder about my vitamin D.  I wonder how many of my friends and patients are Vitamin D deficient.  It is just a simple blood test and when it is corrected you can live with vitality beyond measure.

By Dr Raelene Hiddle