Vitamin D

Vitamin D

I didn’t realize the importance of vitamin D until I moved from blazingly sunny Texas to an overly over-casted Germany. After a few months’ time, I made an appointment with my primary doctor to discuss symptoms I was experiencing. To sum it up, I was feeling exhausted, depressed, achy, sweaty, and noticed the going-to-sleep-feeling more often in my hands and feet. I woke up daily with my hair soaked in sweat. It was strange to me that the sweating seemed localized to my head. My doctor ordered a series of blood tests, and told me to schedule a follow-up visit in a week. When I returned for my follow-up, my doctor explained to me that I was deficient in vitamin D, which was causing my symptoms. Additionally, she explained to me that vitamin D can cause our bones to become thin and brittle, and vitamin D plays an essential role in regards to immune function, insulin resistance, calcium absorption, and inflammation. She prescribed me a strong dose of D3 to take once a week for 12 weeks and told me to continue with over-the counter-supplementation.


Even when we do not consume enough vitamin D, exposure to sunlight can make up the difference, so when you live in a climate that limits sunlight exposures, you must supplement and/or eat foods, which contain the vitamin. Lucky for us, a lot of the manufactured foods we eat, such as cereal, milk, orange juice, and yogurt are fortified with vitamin D, so read your labels.

Certain factors can contribute to vitamin D deficiency:

  • Obesity: Many people with BMI’s that are 30 or greater have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Since vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cells, the higher the amount of fat we have, the more vitamin D can be extracted from our blood, which could lead to deficiencies.
  • Diet restrictions: Good sources of vitamin D are beef livers, egg yolks, fish, fish oils, and fortified milk. Diets that restrict these animal-based sources could lead to a vitamin D deficiency.
  • Digestive medical conditions: If vitamin D is not being absorbed properly during digestion, this could lead to a deficiency. People with diseases that disrupt digestion are more susceptible to this. These conditions include, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease.
  • Kidneys: If your kidneys are not converting vitamin D to its active form, this can lead to a deficiency. This is more common the older you get.
  • Darker skin: Basically, the more pigment you have, the less sunlight absorbed. Since our bodies make vitamin D as our skin absorbs sunlight, a darker complexion could inhibit vitamin D production via this source.
  • Limited exposure to sunlight: Depending on where you live, you may have limited exposure to sunlight. Our bodies use sunlight to make vitamin D, and when you have limited sunlight exposure, it can lead to deficiencies.
  • Wearing sunscreen: This one should be self-explanatory. If you wear sunscreen, then you are blocking sunlight exposure, which could lead to a deficiency in vitamin D.


If you have one or more of these risk factors, pay close attention to your body, and watch for symptoms. If you have any or a combination of the following symptoms, you may have a vitamin D deficiency:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain Fog
  • Bone Pain
  • Frequent Fractures
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Feeling Down


See your doctor if you have concerns, and be specific about what you have been experiencing. A vitamin D deficiency is detectable and treatable. Keep in mind, that when our bodies have deficiencies, it takes time for us to build back up to optimal levels. I am extremely grateful that I saw my doctor when I did.



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