Something was wrong with my mother. It seemed as if she could not remember the simplest things. Was she tired? Fatigued? She often mentioned tight muscles in one of her knees. I could not figure it out; neither could my sister. She randomly complained of muscle pain and weakness, muscle cramps and headaches. In my smarty pants way, I encouraged her to “go get your thinker thought on.” To translate, “go get your brain checked.” Further translation, go to the doctor and see what they come up with. After a panic call about something major in her blood work, the results proved that she was severely vitamin D deficient. I knew something was not right!
Still what does that mean and how do we fix it? It means it is something else we humans have messed up and gotten off course from nature. Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, will produce in our bodies IF we are in sunlight for a healthy amount of time. The problem is WE ARE NOT. There are jobs that have us hustling like cattle to buildings in which we are like zoo animals caged up. Most people, IF they do break or take lunch, will not go outside. Then on the weekends we are shopping, at the movies, etcetera etc. So when are we really outside? Let’s admit it, some people never even feel the natural element because their car is in a garage in which they reach from their kitchen. Then they drive to a garage for work, which in many cases has an elevator to get to the respective floor to sit in those horrible little cubes. We all have limited sun exposure to the point that vitamin D deficiency is a growing medical concern.
An additional hurdle that those with darker skin must take into consideration is that nature’s sunblock melanin does a great job of absorbing the sun’s rays and in turn reduces the skin’s production of vitamin D3 (the version of D the body makes on its own) and require more sun time for proper D3 dosages to be created. Other variables to consider are older age, if over weight, angle of the sun to location, affliction with digestive issues and conflicts with medicine (another reason to reduce prescriptions as low as possible) but the point is to GET OUT IN THE SUN FOLK!
Typically during annual physicals, doctors also test blood for vitamin D deficiency. Last year, I was told that I was a little low. I did not notice the symptoms my mother experienced or any of the other possible symptoms of joint pain, chronic pain, weight gain, high blood pressure, restless sleep, poor concentration, bladder problems, constipation or diarrhea because I was too blinded by the stresses of my job. Fortunately, I was only slightly under the minimum level and had no major worries.
As I’m suggesting to my mother and as I started last year, I suggest to you the taking of liquid calcium with vitamin D. It is a simple daily pouring of one or two tablespoons (for adults) and swallowing. The reason being is I recognize that I do not get enough sunshine or intake enough food that is enriched with the other
source of the sunshine vitamin, D2. Include in your diet salmon, swordfish, tuna, beef liver, eggs and/or shitake mushrooms to gain this valuable nutrient. There is also orange juice that is enhanced with vitamin D and calcium. Unfortunately, vitamin D2 is not in a large population of the foods we have and emphasizes the importance of including the above D2 foods, getting outside in the sun, and taking liquid calcium and vitamin D.
I am in favor of liquid vitamins because it is more likely that the entire dose will be broken down properly in the digestive system where as with pills and capsules, it has been found that due to other ingredients to maintain shape, pills and capsules may not fully break down resulting in the need to ingest more in order to get the recommended dosage. In my mother’s case, she like many others who are largely deficient are prescribed high dosages of D2 in attempt to restore proper balance.
Do we all have to get to that point?! No, it is much more fun and easier to just bask in the sun for 10-30 minutes throughout the day. Come on. Join me outside.