This week, I had my first full physical in several years.  Most adults, I think, don’t go in for physicals nearly as often as they should.  Jason and I are no exception.  We used to make a habit of going every two years, but it had been a while.  So, we found a primary care group recommended by a friend here, and we made appointments.

The good news?  According to the lab results, I’m doing pretty well.  Seriously, when you’re overweight (fine, make that obese), the concern for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, etc. is at the front of every medical professional’s mind.  Luckily, when it comes to things like blood pressure and cholesterol, I ended up with a pretty nice draw from the gene pool.  Aside from needing to lose weight to prevent those things from creeping up in the future and to ease my knee and back pain, like I said, I’m doing pretty well.

Helen, my new provider and someone with whom I really want to be friends (I like her that much), had one concern from my blood draw, however.  I’m seriously deficient in Vitamin D.  My number is 17.4, while normal is considered 33 – 100.

I’m afraid I looked at her a bit blankly when she said that.  I’d heard that people in the Pacific Northwest often need to take Vitamin D supplements, and Helen herself had told me that the vast majority of North Americans (up to 90%, maybe? I don’t remember) are deficient.  Still, blank.  I had no idea what “Vitamin D Deficiency” really means overall.

Then she said it: Bone health, breast health, and mood.

Bone health – gulp.  Family history of osteoporosis.  Definitely want to take care of that.

Breast health – double gulp.  Don’t even want to think about that one.

Mood – well then.  That might explain a lot.  It’s no secret on this blog or to anyone who knows me well that this is something I struggle with.

So, one 50,000(!) IU tablet weekly, for 12 weeks, and then we reevaluate, but I’ll be taking Vitamin D for a long time.  Likely forever, as I understand it.

Anyway, bone health, breast health, and mood.  Apparently, that’s not the end of it.  I decided to do a little searching and found the following sentences scattered across the internet:

Last month vitamin D deficiency was linked to inability to lose weight.

…researchers in Pittsburgh reported that pregnant women with low vitamin D had greater risk of preeclampsia…

If you’re currently suffering from chronic fatigue, you may be experiencing a Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency could cause…PMS…

Shall we break this down?

Inability to lose weight. I suppose this one’s self-explanatory.  I have, in the past few days, refocused my efforts in this area.  Does this link mean the addition of Vitamin D will make the process go a little more smoothly?  Oh, I do hope so.

Preeclampsia. When I read that one out loud, Jason asked, “How long have you HAD this deficiency?”  Could it be related?  What a thought-provoking idea…

Chronic fatigue. Fatigue??  I’ve suffered from what we’ve referred to in my family as “low energy” my entire life.  I’ve always tired easily, even running a fever as a child when all I needed was rest.  I couldn’t hold a weekend job while I was in school, because I would become so fatigued from splitting my focus between the two that I could barely function.  Tonight, I found a definition for fatigue that reads, “a lack of energy and motivation.”  It never occurred to me that it might be anything other than just a part of “who I am.”  How long HAVE I had this deficiency?

PMS. Well, yeah.  At this point, I’m not surprised.

What, no “open-mouth-insert-foot disease” correlation?

Damn.

I don’t suppose I’ll ever know for sure how long I’ve been D-ficient, or what it might have caused, or at least contributed to.  I do know, however, that after looking into it, there will be little chance of me forgetting to take my Vitamin D supplements from this point on.

Have you been for a full physical recently?  If it’s been more than a year or so, please do yourself and your family a favor and make an appointment ASAP.

Images courtesy of Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

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