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Vitamin D deficiency, anyone else?

Old 01-20-2012, 10:06 AM
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Vitamin D deficiency, anyone else?

A blood test revealed recently that I have a Vit D deficiency and I am taking a prescription strength for 8 weeks and will then go to a otc supplement. I have learned the best way to get Vit D in your diet is by eating animal meat, eggs, fish oil and dairy. Well, I've been a vegetarian for 22 years and those are the foods I haven't consumed except for yogurt and cheese on ocassion and in the last few years, fish, especially salmon.

I had no idea how serious a Vit D deficiency can be. I believe mine is probably due to the absence of Vit D-rich foods as well as limited sun exposure. I went to my doctor in search of answers as to why I was having increasing memory and cognitive issues and more depression than usual. I kept passing it off as menopause and thought those issues would resolve on their own. I am so glad my doctor ordered the blood test and I now have awareness of the seriousness of a Vit D deficiency.

I am now someone who takes vitamins and will make every attempt to monitor my diet so I get the nutrients I need. I've always exercised, but I ate whatever I wanted and haven't always eaten enough fruits and veggies. I want to cover the bases now. I also take omega-3 fish oil supplements and am regularly taking my calcium.

I don't learn about some things until they impact my life in a way that necessitates the education. I hope I can amend my body and want to do whatever is in my power to ensure I am healthy. I think I took good health for granted in many ways and my new approach is to be grateful for the good health I do have and to take responsibility for improving it.

I'd love to hear from any of you who have experienced this and how it improved the quality of your life after your levels were up. Did you make drastic changes in your life? How long did it take before you felt better? Any words of advise would be much appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:02 AM
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Its a good thing you caught it littlelady, long term Vitamin D deficiency can have irreversible effects on the mind and body.

I don't have it, but cause it is so dark here in Sweden, for soooo long I take extra vit D, and my fish oils. Kids up until age 5 are recommended Vit D drops actually, and they are given out free, so its pretty important!

Another odd thing is, that a lot of Australian's actually suffer from Vit D deficiency, and may not even be aware of it, but because our sun there is so hot and strong in the summer, many Aussies avoid it as much as possible, and its not safe to have your kids out in it at certain times of day, esp small kids, and with all the really strong sunscreens (50+ SPF) they block the dangerous UV rays, but also block some of the absorption of that vitamin, I was incredibly surprised when my mum found out she had it, living there in the Sunniest county in the world just about!

Hope you get back on track soon!

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Old 01-20-2012, 11:40 AM
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Vitamin D deficiency is fairly common. My blood levels were low too and I've been supplementing for over a year now. I live in Arizona and similar to what meg star was saying about Australia, it is so sunny and hot here that a lot of people avoid the sun as much as possible so a lot of people here have D deficiency. I fill so many more rxs for vit D here than in Ohio! I've noticed an increase in energy and just an overall better feeling since I started it. I know there are other things but it's been awhile and I haven't thought about it!
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:39 PM
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My SIL has this and she was prescribed the vitamin as well. She said it took about 3 months to get her levels up to normal range and within that time she noticeably felt better each week. The depression lifted and she was feeling much better. I do the Vitamin D drops on my tongue now as a daily supplement after hearing she had the deficiency, because I had some of the symptoms without being diagnosed though. I did it as a preventative.

Hope you are feeling better soon. Glad they were able to find that.
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:52 PM
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Thank you ladies for the responses. My doctor told me that Vitamin D deficiencies are increasing, even in sunny areas and for the reasons mentioned. People stay out of the sun or wear sunblock. I'm happy to have learned of this now and hopefully will feel better. Its only been 2 weeks so we'll see. I'm taking 50,000 units weekly for 8 weeks and after that I'm not sure. The changes I was noticing in my memory and speech were making me think it was Alzheimer's. I sure hope to see an improvement. I notice I'm better in writing because I have more time to think than in conversation.

megstar, I'm not sure how you live so far north and manage to stay sane with so little light. I'm fairly challenged with SAD here in Washington State and sit with my light box every morning. Too bad it doesn't emit Vitamin D! Its really hard to tolerate so much gray and so much darkness, but the snow has brightened things up the last few days.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:12 PM
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yes i have a low vit D level. my doc acted like it wasn't a big deal!! (seriously, shouldn't go to that lady anymore) i'm taking supplements now
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by littlelady55 View Post
megstar, I'm not sure how you live so far north and manage to stay sane with so little light. I'm fairly challenged with SAD here in Washington State and sit with my light box every morning. Too bad it doesn't emit Vitamin D! Its really hard to tolerate so much gray and so much darkness, but the snow has brightened things up the last few days.
Well I have been here 12 years now, and I have to say, this darkness really only stared to effect me emotionally in the past 2 or 3...before that I was fine, but now i find myself lethargic, unmotivated and bordering on depression this time of year. Some ladies also suggested getting into a tanning bed every so often, so I might give that a go...and yes light "therapy" is pretty common for swedes in the winter!

Urk, well at least we are on the way up now, days are getting lighter a little longer each day, and it's almost worth it to suffer in the winter cause in the summer the sun goes down about 11pm and is back up at 2-3am! I said almost though, this county is not hot enough for me being an Aussie originally!

BTW, My Swedish boss also suffers from Vit D deficiency, and she noticed it very late (she had bowel surgery about 25 years ago, and as she just found out in the last few years, she hasn't been absorbing vitamins as well as she'd believed due to the part of bowel that was removed) she def noticed an increasing mental effect of the vit deficiency, but now that she taking it, mentally, she feels like a fog has cleared, and her concentration levels are much back to what they normally should be (before she was having trouble focusing on anything much) unfortunately though, her muscles have suffered a great deal (a lot of weakness) that wont ever come back to what it was. so that why I'm glad you caught it early littlelady!

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Old 01-20-2012, 05:24 PM
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I have/had the same. I was on the same prescription dose as you, then switched to an OTC. It sounds like they have you on the fairly standard treatment. I think I'm taking 500IU daily now. I was dealing with tiredness and some moodiness. The supplementation definitely helped me, but the changes were so small that I did not notice until I realized things were drastically different.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:26 AM
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Thanks megstar and babyfromheaven for sharing helpful insights with me. No matter what we deal with in life, its great to have support and to know you aren't alone in your struggles. I am so glad to have discovered this deficiency earlier than later and pray the symptoms go away.

I'm noticing the longer days too and it's so hopeful. Just when I think I'm not going to survive another dark winter, there is the glimmer of hope that comes with longer days. I would seriously consider moving to a warmer, lighter climate, but it would mean moving away from my children and grand children, so that option is off the table. The tanning bed is something I hadn't heard before and will look into.

Take care my JBI friends!
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:49 AM
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My doctor considers 30+ as "normal" (and apparently many doctors still do), but Dr. ******* and the Vitamin D Council recommend much higher levels for OPTIMAL health.

I have been tested twice -- once in the spring and once in the winter, and both times my level was 38. While this may be considered "normal", it is actually pretty low, and I am now supplementing after doing some further research.

I am taking 2000 IUs twice per day of the Carlson liquid D3 drops. I also am supposed to be gettting 1000 IUs in my multivitamin, but it is questionable if the Vitamin D in a multivitamin (even a high-quality brand like I take) is actually going to be absorbed and used by the body. Some say that because of the processing, Vitamin D in a multi is kind of useless.

So I am technically taking 5000 IUs daily. I do notice a difference. I have been in a generally better mood, less tired and stressed out. I have been waking up before the alarm in the morning, instead of pushing snooze repeatedly. Really, there are many smaller things, too... probably too many to remember them all and list here. I encourage anyone who is interested or thinks they may have SAD to do further Vitamin D research.

Yes, Vitamin D deficiency can be serious. And vegetarians would be at a higher risk. I am glad you finally figured it out!

Also want to mention that D3 is what we always want to supplement -- NOT D2.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by just~for~me View Post
My doctor considers 30+ as "normal" (and apparently many doctors still do), but Dr. ******* and the Vitamin D Council recommend much higher levels for OPTIMAL health.

I have been tested twice -- once in the spring and once in the winter, and both times my level was 38. While this may be considered "normal", it is actually pretty low, and I am now supplementing after doing some further research.

I am taking 2000 IUs twice per day of the Carlson liquid D3 drops. I also am supposed to be gettting 1000 IUs in my multivitamin, but it is questionable if the Vitamin D in a multivitamin (even a high-quality brand like I take) is actually going to be absorbed and used by the body. Some say that because of the processing, Vitamin D in a multi is kind of useless.

So I am technically taking 5000 IUs daily. I do notice a difference. I have been in a generally better mood, less tired and stressed out. I have been waking up before the alarm in the morning, instead of pushing snooze repeatedly. Really, there are many smaller things, too... probably too many to remember them all and list here. I encourage anyone who is interested or thinks they may have SAD to do further Vitamin D research.

Yes, Vitamin D deficiency can be serious. And vegetarians would be at a higher risk. I am glad you finally figured it out!

Also want to mention that D3 is what we always want to supplement -- NOT D2.
The more I learn about this, the more I see the seriousness in it and the happier I am to have found out how it has impacted my life. You are right in the general things that seem to change. I am only 3 weeks into my 8 weeks of prescription, but I do notice some changes in how I feel. Like yesterday, I didn't break down and cry and I don't feel as if I am always on the verge of tears. I even felt enough motivation to pick up a project I started months ago and commit to finishing it. Its a little sewing project, but its a start. If things continue to improve, I am going to consider Vitamin D a small miracle.

You are right about the D-3 and I didn't know that until I picked up my prescription. Thanks for your reply and information. Take care and stay healthy.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:03 AM
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Vit D update

Its been 8 weeks on the prescription dose of Vitamin D for me and I have seen significant changes. I was surprised to notice changes at all, really. The first thing I noticed was a gradual increase in energy and feelings of well being. I realized I wasn't crying everyday and feeling so depressed. I started to feel like the old me again. My memory has improved and I feel like the intelligent woman I thought I was. I'm not ready for Jeopardy or anything like that, but my recall of information has improved and I'm not so foggy.

Last week I noticed that I am not losing hair the way I used to. It used to be that every time I brushed or washed my hair, I would lose a handful of it and now I lose a few only. This hair loss thing has been going on for years and I attributed it to menopause. I attributed so many of the symptoms I was having to menopause and aging. I continue to be a bit shocked that a deficiency in one vitamin has had such a detrimental impact on my health.

I will repeat the blood test in a couple of weeks to check my levels. Considering my level was at 16, I should see a tremendous increase. I learned that 50-125 is normal, 25-50 is low and anything under 20 is a serious deficiency which puts you at an extremely high risk for many diseases and serious damage to your organs. Some organ damage due to the deficiency cannot be undone. As far as I know, my organs are fine.

Now if I can just get this insomnia thing whipped and find some pants that fit, I will feel like a new woman. Oh, and lose the 10 pounds I have gained since my new boobs. I managed the emotional roller coaster trauma by over-eating. Its not been easy to get back on track, but I'm getting closer to being able to find my healthy self again. Its been a crazy 4 months. I'm so ready for Springtime, leaves on trees, blue skies and pretty tops and dresses that will look great on me now that I have these boobies.

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Old 02-21-2012, 02:49 PM
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My son has the genetic vitamin D deficiency that is not caused by lack of vitamin D in the diet but by his body's inability to process vitamin D. He has to take prescription Rocaltrol (calcitriol) for the rest of his life and sees his endocrinologist yearly to get blood work to adjust his medication as needed. He was diagnosed when he was 9 months old when he was hospitalized for something completely different (rotavirus). So, I can't advise on the more common vitamin D deficiency that you were recently diagnosed with, but nutritional (as opposed to genetic) vitamin D deficiency does seem to be popping up more in the U.S., and parents are urged to give their children a daily supplement of at least 400IU.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 4kids0boobs View Post
My son has the genetic vitamin D deficiency that is not caused by lack of vitamin D in the diet but by his body's inability to process vitamin D. He has to take prescription Rocaltrol (calcitriol) for the rest of his life and sees his endocrinologist yearly to get blood work to adjust his medication as needed. He was diagnosed when he was 9 months old when he was hospitalized for something completely different (rotavirus). So, I can't advise on the more common vitamin D deficiency that you were recently diagnosed with, but nutritional (as opposed to genetic) vitamin D deficiency does seem to be popping up more in the U.S., and parents are urged to give their children a daily supplement of at least 400IU.
I only recently learned of the genetic deficiency and the body's inability to process the Vit D. I will ask about it when I go in for my next blood test. Its something they diagnose with a blood test? I do know that the recommended doses for Vit D are still very low in the opinion of some doctors. Where I live, it is increasingly more of a problem since we don't get enough sunshine. Makes me wonder why I live here. Oh yeah, my kids and grand kids are here.
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