Struggling With A Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

Many of my family and friends who have spent time with me in the last two months know I’ve been suffering from bone and muscle pain but resisted going to a doctor. At times the pain has been so severe in my shoulders and arms it prevented my normal physical activities. At first I thought I had “over done it” with my fitness routine (even though the pain arrived on a morning after two days of rest).

Over the holidays I noticed my muscles growing even weaker. The overall sensation frightened me. After such a prolonged period of time and the new challenges on the horizon this year, I finally made a medical appointment. After mentioning some despairing possibilities, my doctor ordered a series of blood tests. He discovered a severe vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D helps the body control calcium and phosphate levels. If the blood levels of these minerals become too low, the body may produce hormones that cause calcium and phosphate to be released from the bones causing weak bones. Researchers estimate 50% of the world’s population may be at risk.

How could this happen to me?

I used to run 5 days a week outside in the sunshine but in the last year I decreased my running because of my deepening yoga practice. This meant I was out of the sun and in the studio on most days. Fifteen minutes a day in the sun is all you need to acquire enough vitamin D in your body.

A quick check of the soy milk, orange juice, and other products in my kitchen indicated I was only getting about half the vitamin D required. Although I worried about my family’s calcium intake because of my son’s dairy allergy, I hadn’t concentrated on vitamin D. Not all calcium products contain vitamin D. With the lack of daily sunlight and my meticulous use of suntan lotion, I had made myself very sick.

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include:

Bone pain in the arms, legs, pelvis, or spine
Muscle pain and loss of muscle strength
Muscle cramps
Depression
Frequent infections

I’m sharing my story because taking a supplement is an easy fix and the complications from not treating the deficiency can be quite dire including high blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis, and early mortality. In fact, many medical professionals are beginning to think that childhood obesity is being caused in part by a vitamin D deficiency.

Do yourself a favor and check your vitamin D intake. Are you getting enough? Make sure you are — especially in the winter when we aren’t outside as much and tend to stay warm under layers of clothing.

My doctor prescribed a supplement for the next 24 weeks. Hopefully I’ll be feeling better soon but I also intend on soaking up the sun as much as possible this winter.

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8 Responses to Struggling With A Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

  1. Kate says:

    Sorry to hear you are experiencing this. I was diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency in the back in the spring of 2011. Was surprised since I work outside part of the day. The supplements have helped some, but my first follow up blood work did not show the quick improvement I was hoping for. The fatigue and muscle aches have been very frustrating!

  2. Struggling With A Severe Vitamin D Deficiency:
    Many of my family and friends who have spent time with me in the… http://t.co/LjFqg4b4

  3. Mary says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you finally went to a doctor. Keep us posted as to how the supplements help.

  4. The pain has been the worst part. I’m going to start running again for a half hour a couple of times a week plus make a few dietary changes adding more halibut and shiitake mushrooms to our diet of salmon and tuna.

  5. Jay says:

    My story is a little weird…I stopped going out in the sun years ago due to extreme sunburns as a kid. Not even sunblock protected me enough! Anyway over the course of about 20yrs I’ve never had control over my weight and I always felt like crap on and off. Eventually I became increasingly ill in 2010 and visited the ER repeatedly cuz my symptoms were so bizarre. I had trouble walking and talking. I’d be so confused and have tremors too. I had to quit my job cuz I was so weak and the worst part was the doctors didn’t know what was wrong!!! The hospitals gave up on me too. They told me to go to another hospital!!!

    Then when I saw my doc who is 70yrs old she told me she forgot to mention that I was very low in Vitamin D. AND SHE NEVER TOLD ME WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT!!! Of course at the time I didn’t think it was important anyway. So these problems just progressed further. Couple years later in July 2012 I was diagnosed with Sepsis/UTI and was cured from it. But this wasn’t the end…as hard as I tried to get better I only got worse. I couldn’t lose any weight either!!! I had to repeatedly see doctors at the urgent care center cuz I ended up having asthma too. So I had to see an allergist which was no help either. He said my lungs were fine and it’s just acid reflux. But nothing I took helped that either. Eventually I developed allergies to food including dairy and wheat. This was all just getting out of hand and I was so desperate to find out what the hell was wrong with me. I couldn’t even drive cuz the way I felt was miserable.

    Anyway, 2013, I found out that I was having a huge reaction to BROMINATED VEGETABLE OIL. This is found in a lot of sodas and it’s very toxic. As soon as I quit the soda my allergies went away. Now I can eat whatever I want again. BUT obviously I still have some health problems going on and I can no longer see a doc to help me.
    I just feel extremely weak and confused everyday. Sometimes I have problems with moving my legs and coordinating myself properly. This has been my hell but it’s not as bad. Finally, today I took some B5 and 20,000 IU of Vitammin D. Now I feel so much better and can actual think strait ha. My energy level has gone up and I have to wonder…was it all just Vitamin D deficiency all along???
    I wanted to take B5 to help support my adrenals cuz I’ve been so fatigued. It really does a great job for it. The Vitamin D completley clears my head up and I feel almost normal again.
    Guess I’ll have to continue doing this and see what happens. That’s my story so far… hopefully I can get better.

  6. My goodness Jay, that is a long struggle to figure out what is wrong. I was shocked to learn how many diseases can develop from the Vitamin D deficiency and how much of the world suffers. Because, it’s an easy fix.

    I recently read about the brominated vegetable oil in Mountain Dew and that it is toxic. We all need to stay away from sodas and all processed foods. Go organic if you can afford it. The corporations are all controlled by boards of directors that have only one purpose, making the shareholders money. They don’t care about the ingredients in foods as long as the bottom line stays strong. We all need to pay attention to the pressure these companies put on the FDA to approve dangerous substances. But really, just stay away from any food with a long list of ingredients. Cook from scratch and get 15 minutes of sun each day.

    Hope you continue to feel better.

  7. Suman says:

    Hi Cindy,

    Are your symptoms gone completely,

    Can you share your experiences please.

    Thanks

  8. admin says:

    Yes, for the most part I think they are. I do check calcium and Vitamin D amounts in foods and have fortified soy milk and orange juice daily. You have to make sure you get enough.

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