Could you be suffering from Vitamin D Deficiency Fatigue?
My experiments with Vitamin D
I have so many personal experiments to share with you but this one had to top my list just due to the impact it’s made on my life. I’m going to give you a bit of background about Vitamin D and then share my personal experiments with Vitamin D with you. If you think you could be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency fatigue then you really have to read this.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D encourages the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous. There are five types of Vitamin D, D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5. The two that matter most to us are D2 and D3.
Sources of Vitamin D
We can either get Vitamin D from sunshine, food or supplements. Vitamin D can only be produced by the body if it gets enough exposure to sunshine.
Vitamin D Foods
There is very little Vitamin D in foods. You can get Vitamin D from some foods such as:
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- oily fish, such as salmon and sardines
- fortified fat spreads
- fortified breakfast cereals
- powdered milk
It is hard to get enough vitamin D from food as these foods would need to be consumed daily and combined with other healthy foods that work in conjunction with each other such as foods containing magnesium. However you probably still won’t get enough Vitamin D without either sun exposure or supplementation
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency
The only true way of finding out if you are deficient in Vitamin D is to do a test, but some of the following conditions and symptoms may indicate that you are vitamin D deficient.
- Prone to colds and flu
- Muscle weakness
- Suffer from psoriasis
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic Gum Disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Schizophrenia and Depression
- Rickets and osteomalacia
However most people won’t get any of these conditions. A lot of people who have a mild vitamin D deficiency will just have tiredness and general aches and pains.
Vitamin D Benefits
The benefits of getting enough vitamin D include:
- Maintaining your calcium balance
- Helps your cells to differentiate between themselves
- Boosts your immunity
- Has a role in insulin secretion
- Regulates your blood pressure
- Prevents diseases and other health problems
- Prevents general tiredness
- Prevents aches and pains
Vitamin D Side Effects
Vitamin D has been shown to be safe to take by supplement unless you take too much which can cause problems such as weakness, fatigue, sleepiness, headache, loss of appetite, dry mouth, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting, and others. Some groups of people or those taking certain medications should be more careful. You can read this for more information.
Vitamin D levels
Studies show that for good health, serum vitamin D levels should be a minimum of 50 ng/mL (125 nmol/L), with optimal levels falling between 50-80 ng/mL (125-200 nmol/L). These values apply to both children and adults. I have asked my doctor to check all my vitamins within 4 weeks, so I don’t currently know what my vitamin levels are but I will update this post as soon as I find out.
My experiments with Vitamin D
I am currently 6 months pregnant and for this whole time I’ve been feeling exhausted and struggling to get through every day with very low energy. I changed my diet 3 years ago when I was extremely ill and overcame chronic fatigue syndrome and many other health problems. I became a vegan as I was intolerant to dairy and rarely ate meat anyway. I went on a 6 month raw food detox and felt amazing after that, quickly followed by my first pregnancy. Although my first pregnancy wasn’t easy and I did feel dreadful at the end of each day for the first few months, I would wake up every morning feeling amazing and do at least 1 hour of an intensive workout, go running for an hour and go for long walks outside.
However this pregnancy has been totally different. I barely have the energy to walk 10 minutes to my local shop and when I get back I have to lie down for half an hour as it’s wiped me out so much. I have been feeling a bit down too and desperately craving sunshine, but just putting my low mood down to the measly 5 hours of daylight we’ve been getting, and the freezing cold and grey days that have not encouraged me to even step foot outside my door.
So I knew something was wrong and although I had started taking a prenatal multivitamin I started reading more about vitamin d deficiency fatigue and realised I had been taking far too little vitamin D.
I think I felt better during my last pregnancy as I had just had a fairly good summer (for the UK) and I was spending at least an hour every day outside, and had just been on holiday somewhere hot and sunny where I probably stored up a fair amount of vitamin D.
I had read that anyone living in a northern climate probably can never get enough vitamin D and should be supplementing. As I had recently moved even further north from England to the top of Scotland and the whole of the UK didn’t see any sun pretty much all of last year, it was pretty evident that I was deficient in Vitamin D.
Anyone who is pregnant, very young children or older people, or those who have existing health problems probably need more vitamin D than the average person (but check with your doctor first).
So I bought myself a high potency vitamin D supplement that received some great reviews on Amazon and started taking it. I have always been a bit sceptical of supplements as I very rarely notice much of a difference after taking them and there have been times in my life where I’ve been taking literally 20 different supplements a day, so I gave all that up thinking there is not much point in it and saving the added expense.
However this was one supplement that I actually did notice making a MASSIVE difference to my health. Within literallly 2 days of taking it, I felt almost back to normal again. I had so much energy, similar to before I became pregnant. I could now walk to the shops fine, come back and run around with my baby, started going back to my toddler groups where I’d run around after her and still have the energy to go shopping afterwards and then clean the house. This is very unusual for me (doing so much in one day, not cleaning the house!)
Although in the back of my mind I was wondering if it was perhaps something else giving me the energy and just a coincidence, maybe it was my good diet finally kicking in or just an unexplained pregnancy thing. Well I encouraged my husband to start taking it too as he has also been exhausted for a very long time, blaming overwork, stress, raising a toddler and not getting enough sleep for his tiredness. Well the same thing happened to him, within a couple of days he had so much more energy, was feeling so positive and on top of things and sleeping better too.
Very rarely do I see such a massive improvement when I’m doing my health experiments, so I knew I just had to share this with you.
Vitamin D Supplements
“If you have a deficiency, you can correct it with 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day for three months–but only under a doctor’s supervision. For maintenance, take 2,000 to 4,000 IU a day of vitamin D3. Some people may need higher doses over the long run to maintain optimal levels because of differences in vitamin D receptors, living in northern latitudes, indoor living, or skin color.” (Source 8)
I have been taking 5,000 IU a day so I guess it had a major impact on my health. I live in about as far north as you can and my skin is slightly dark. I am also pregnant which means I need even more than the average person but I do advise you to ask your doctor before taking any high dosage supplements.
The best type of Vitamin D to supplement is D3. This Vitamin D3 supplement is very easy for the body to absorb as it’s made from natural ingredients and is raw. It is vegetarian but not vegan. It is 2,000 IU so not anywhere near as much as I have been taking but you may not need that much to feel an improvement.
If you want a higher potency form of Vitamin D, this supplement contains 5,000 like the one I’ve been taking. It is also very reasonably priced as they last a long time. It’s not vegetarian however.
If you are a vegan, it doesn’t seem possible to get Vitamin D3 in vegan form, but you can get Vitamin D2 which seems to be equally as good for you. This is a great vegan supplement you might want to try. It is 800 IU.
Could you be suffering from Vitamin D Deficiency Fatigue?
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