Don’t Let Vitamin D Deficiency Affect Your Well-Being
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“Health is like money–we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it”
This is a continuation of last week’s blog on the importance of Vitamin D, and what you should be doing if you are diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency. A few signs might include fatigue, muscle weakness, and more frequent incidence of colds and other illnesses, all of which I have experienced as of late.
It has been a full two months since my BoomerGuy and I were diagnosed with a deficiency in our Vitamin D levels. Since then we have been carefully maintaining our vitamin D-rich diet and, with the advice from our physician, taking a supplement to further boost our levels.
Are you asking do we have a new spring in our step. Yep, we do. It’s too early to tell if our diet and supplements are working because we haven’t yet been tested again. But on the surface, we’re both feeling better, we have more energy and I have much less discomfort associated with my RA. Could it be due to an improved level of Vitamin D, we’ll see.
In any case, you owe it to your body to do everything you can to monitor and reduce your overall health risks. According to the Mayo Clinic, the human body requires specific levels of both vitamins and minerals in order to function correctly. I conferred with my primary care physician and together we set a course for what supplements I should be taking to offset any shortfall of nutrients in my diet, specifically Vitamin D3.
“Self-care is how to take your power back”
The first thing you need to do is ensure you have proper intake of Vitamin D for maintaining good health. Fortunately, there are a number of foods that are rich in this essential vitamin.
FATTY FISH. Fish groups such as salmon, trout, sardines, herring, canned tuna and mackerel are excellent sources of Vitamin D. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and including these fatty fish in your diet a few times a week can help meet your Vitamin D requirements.
EGG YOLKS. What a delicious treat. While the egg whites contain protein, most of the nutrients, including Vitamin D are found in the yolk. Be sure to incorporate whole eggs into your weekly diet.
FORTIFIED FOODS. Many food products are fortified with Vitamin D to help individuals meet their daily requirements. Common examples include fortified milk, orange juice, cereals and yogurt. These foods can be an excellent option for those who have limited sun exposure or follow a vegan lifestyle.
MUSHROOMS. Mushrooms are unique as they are the only plant-based source of Vitamin D. Just like humans, mushrooms have the ability to poduce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Including mushrooms, such as shiitake or maitake in your diet can be a great way to boost your Vitamin D levels.
COD LIVER OIL. Really? Cod liver oil is a potent source of Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. It is derived from the liver of codfish and is available in supplement form. While cod liver oil is an acquired taste (no kidding), it is an effective way to ensure adequate Vitamin D intake, especially for those who have limited access to other dietary sources.
SUPPLEMENTS. While our bodies can produce Vitamin D through sun exposure and through meaningful dietary foods mentioned above, supplements may be necessary to ensure we maintain optimal Vitamin D levels. Be sure to look for supplements containing Vitamin D3. Before adding a supplement regimen to your diet, please check with your physician for their advice on dosage and a reputable brand.
The key, and I will repeat this over and over, consult with your physician or dietician to create a framework for best foods and vitamin and mineral supplements. Take the right steps to ensure proper treatment for your optimal health.
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live”
STEP 1. Schedule an appointment with your family physician. Mayo Clinic recommends that your primary care doctor request lab tests that can provide all your vital nutritional levels. Pay careful attention to any results that fall below the normal levels.
STEP 2. Discuss the specific deficiency with your medical provider. According to the Mayo Clinic, certain deficiencies are a result of poor diet and nutrition, thereby requiring an adjustment in your diet and adding dietary supplements. In other cases, the deficiency may be due to disease or a blood disorder, hence the importance of consulting with your doctor on a specific treatment regimen or referral to a specialist.
STEP 3. Make sure you ask all the questions necessary to move forward with your physician’s recommended treatment protocol, whether it be seeking a specialist or a dietician who can help guide you through your diagnosis and healing process.
As we age, I think it’s important that we are “self-care” aware. Because we had never been tested before, little did my BoomerGuy and I know we were Vitamin D deficient, I mean well-below the normal range. No wonder I was tired.
My recommendation, take Step 1 above, and ask to be tested for your Vitamin D level. I wish we had known to do this years before. I’m sincerely hoping you found this blog enlightening and helpful in your quest for better health.
I am your Number One BoomerGal, Connie. Stay RELEVANT and strive for YOUR ULTIMATE LIFESTYLE.
DISCLAIMER: The people affiliated with BoomerGal are not medical professionals in any capacity. The opinions elicited here are just that, opinions shared from our personal experience with Vitamin D deficiency. In all cases, should you wish to further your interest in Vitamin D and Vitamin D deficiency, please consult with your primary care physician or other healthcare professional upon whom you rely.