Last week I found out that I have a vitamin D deficiency. I’d been feeling crappy, just tired and achy and random pains all over, and finally went to a doctor. Blood tests came back and the result was a vitamin D level that is less than half the minimum healthy amount.
The primary source for vitamin D is the sun. In England, apparently most people take a vitamin D supplement (or at least my doctor recommends they do) because there just isn’t sufficient sunlight in this country, especially in winter, to maintain healthy levels without assistance.
It was a total relief to have an answer, and especially one with a relatively simple solution. Finally, months of random worries were explained: I’d had tooth pain, my fingernails were constantly breaking and peeling, my joints were achy, and I was exhausted – often to the point of tears – just all the time. All of that is related to a vitamin D deficency. I’m on a big booster dose now for a few weeks, then I go on a daily maintenance dose. Everyone else in the house does too – cause we’re all getting the same lack of sunshine.
And even though it may not be enough to solve the problem, I’m making a point of getting outside for at least a half hour or so a few days a week. I figure it can’t hurt and it’s good for me to get some fresh air no matter what.
It was odd to me, though, to think that for the nearly three years I’ve been living in England, I never knew this was a thing I had to think about. I wonder if there are other things I don’t know I should be doing cause I didn’t know to ask. It makes me even more ready to go home to a place where I know the drill.
And it definitely makes me excited to get back to place where the sun shines more regularly; I feel like this is a perfectly good justification for a few days spent lying on a beach soaking up all that vitamin D I can get.
Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air. — Ralph Waldo Emerson