Life updates

I realised something was wrong when being horizontal became my favourite resting position – Vitamin D deficiency

 

I’m young, 24 to be exact. I’m relatively fit, finding 5-6 times a week of intense cardio/HIIT/weight classes and long hilly runs to be ‘normal’, and to feel right for me. My routine for the past few years has been: wake up around 6-7am, be educated/work, exercise, make dinner, go for an evening walk/other activity and still have enough energy to find it hard to fall asleep at night. Well, that was true a few months ago… then these symptoms started creeping up on me;

  • Feeling dizzy
  • Having a constant ‘spacey-head’ feeling
  • Lack of concentration (loads of ermmmmmms…., blankly staring at people and saying ‘sorry can you repeat that?’)
  • Lack of motivation to exercise (I would otherwise become quite anxious if I’d go 2 days without exercise)
  • General lethargy and ‘CBA’ attitude
  • Falling asleep as soon as I got in from work (and the extra hours still didn’t feel enough)
  • Not wanting to socialise
  • Weight gain (even on a controlled calorie diet)
  • Low moods and low self-confidence (the start of depression…)

I knew a trip to the doctors was in order. I had some blood tests done for thyroid function, diabetes and anaemia. When they came back all clear, the doctor recommended a low dose of anti-depressants, assuming depression could be the cause to some of my symptoms. This helped a little after the first month of taking the medication but soon enough, I started going back to being all ‘meh’. So another blood test was done, this time for vitamin D and celiac disease. When the doctor recommended looking for vitamin D deficiency, we both assumed vitamin D probably wasn’t going to be the cause of my symptoms, but it was still worth a shot. Yes, I do live in not-so-sunny England and yes, it had been winter, but surely I get enough vitamin D? Turns out I actually am quite deficient in vitamin D.

I’ve always known I get a small dose of the ‘winter blues’ that comes with less sun exposure during winter. But this year I haven’t been able to shake it off. In fact, it’s gotten worse. Looking at my lifestyle, it’s so obvious why this has happened to me.

I’m a vegetarian yet mainly eat a vegan diet (hence the veggie food blog). Vitamin D comes from foods like fish, cereals (which I avoid as they give me digestive problems), beef, cheese and eggs. It is also made in our skin with the help of the sun. During winter, I go to and from work in the dark. In the lab, even though there are plenty of windows, I always wear my lab coat which covers my skin. In the office, I am somewhat in the corner of the room and we have blinds that are down almost all the time. And as time went on, I wanted to go out less and less again, limiting my sun exposure. So no wonder I’m lacking in vitamin D!

What I do now as a young adult will affect my health for the rest of my life. Therefore, I’ve started taking cod liver oil tablets (so I’m no longer a true veggie) and of course, started a loading dose of vitamin D to get me back up to speed. And the sun is starting to put his hat on more often as summer approaches, so bare arm walks for me! I will also put more eggs and cheese into my diet. One cod liver oil tablet a day isn’t going to strip the seas of its fish and I will eat local/free-range eggs.

If you have any of the above symptoms, take a quick visit to your GP. Vitamin D deficiency in the long run can lead to some nastier problems and has been linked to dementia and heart disease.

Your physical and mental health is something you need to nurture, assess and maintain. This is essential for you to have a happy, healthy and long life.

vutd

This elephant is a gachapon find from my visit to Tokyo in 2015.

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8 thoughts on “I realised something was wrong when being horizontal became my favourite resting position – Vitamin D deficiency

  1. So glad you have a fix! I defo get SAD (amongst other things) and cod liver oil has defo helped my sleep pattern and therefore mood! Plus me being unbelievably fair, I probably don’t get much vitamin D at all as I go between covering up as much as possible or basically bathing in factor 30.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh, so that’s what winter blues is actually called, SAD (y). I’ve been taking the vitamin D tablets for 4 days now but I wont see a difference for at least 2 weeks. I really cant sit upright for very long when I’m at home (been lying on the bed since 4pm today). I even went 3 days without exercise this week :0 :0 :0
      That’s crazy for me haha! I need to buy that extra fancy omega-3 tablets you get 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooooh we really need to get up your vitamin d if you haven’t gymmed! Lifestyles function on your custom alone!

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  2. The impact of diet (for better or worse) on wellbeing is often underestimated. Of course sunlight, exercise, rest, fresh air and plenty of water are also essential. You did well to alter your diet to include nutrients that were lacking. The trend is to eliminate this, that and the other from one’s diet for this or that reason or for no particular reason at all other than that is the popular trend. All too often those decisions are not based on bodily needs. I’m glad you are feeling better and taking charge of your wellbeing. Love the elephant and your exceptionally great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, diet is definitely underestimated. And I agree with everyhting you’ve said. I’m not feeling back to normal just yet but hopefully in the next week or so (y). Aha, I thought this elephant reflected my mood perfectly!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Same with me! I’m in my 30’s and went to the doctor a few months ago thinking there was one of 7 things that could be wrong with me. Then I got the call and the doctor said…..”your vitamin D levels are extremely low”. Huh? That is a thing?? I am still in the progress of getting my levels back up and I cannot WAIT to feel better.

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    1. After 2 weeks on the vitamin D tablets, I’ve started to feel more normal wahoo. I still feel a little tired later on in the day, but it’s much better than wanting to fall asleep at 5/6pm aha!
      I’ve also been making use of the sunnier weather and going on long walks (y)
      Hope you get better soon too 😀

      Like

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