This is a case of the teacher teaching what she most needs to learn! Today I went to the doctor to discuss the results of recent tests, and found I’m once again low on Vitamin D. I was low several years ago, and my doctor put me on a prescription supplement to get my levels up where they need to be. But once I hit the target range, I slacked off on taking the supplements again.
According to the Vitamin D Council, the level we should aim for is 50 ng/ml and mine is only at 22 ng/ml. I’m not alone; an estimated 40% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. Deficiency can creep up on us, especially this time of year, and can contribute to a whole host of health woes, including bone and muscle pain, fatigue, heart disease, depression, dementia, multiple sclerosis and osteoarthritis.
As I read that list, I was thinking check, check, check. I have bone and muscle pain. I have arthritis. I’m often fatigued. No wonder I’ve been feeling like crap lately! And I also found out today that my recent bone scan showed I’m right on the cusp between osteopenia and osteoporosis. Taking Vitamin D can’t reverse my bone loss, but it can help slow the progression by boosting calcium absorption.
Not only does supplementing prevent the effects of a deficiency, maintaining healthy levels of Vitamin D has protective benefits as well. It enhances overall immunity and is a superstar at guarding against Type II Diabetes, cancer, MS, and infertility.
My doctor suggested a daily dose of 2000 IU, but the Vitamin D Council suggests a higher amount — 3700 to 4000 IU a day to get my levels to the 50 ng/ml range. You can ask your doctor for a test, or order one through the Vitamin D Council.
Most of us don’t get enough, and women over 50 are particularly at risk. Get tested!