It was a conversation that brought the importance of Vitamin D to my attention, its affect it has on my overall health in addition to the more widely known implications on bone health and development. The larger shock for me was the susceptibility I and my family had to Vitamin D deficiency. Our typically modern lifestyle of being indoors much of the day at school, work or even afterschool activities has its impact, then to find out that when we went outdoors, and like most on hot days we were using sun lotions, we were blocking the much-needed sunrays to produce Vitamin D. In addition to that the darker the skin tone the more a natural block to the sun too, in my case, being of Afro-Caribbean decent, all contributed to me being Vitamin D deficient.
I was fortunate enough to be able to take action and I discovered I had less than 50% of the normal minimum level of Vitamin D, and my children had a significant deficiency levels with symptoms such as brittle hair, dry skin, tiredness and affecting our overall mental well-being. We all had a well-balanced diet eating lots of chicken, fish, fruit and vegetables, but given the climate in northern Europe, especially people of my background, need to supplement their diet to get enough Vitamin D.
When one of my kids suffered with fatigue, a low immune system, regular headaches that lead to vomiting, we put it down to the teen lifestyle, only to find the Vitamin D level was so alarmingly low it was affecting the thyroid, and in turn the growth hormone. A dramatic boost of Vitamin D (around 50-100mcg per day) over 3-6 months with a careful plan of essential minerals that could be found naturally in food items under the supervision of a hormone specialist was the best remedy.
The low mood swings in the winter months of another child, with symptoms such as unusually dry/flaky skin are other tell-tale signs. My injuries took longer time to heal than normal, and even symptoms of arthritis were deemed as a result of vitamin D deficiency. We were reminded of the benefits of Vitamin D: It helps the absorption of calcium hence healthy growth of bones and teeth; helps growth of healthy muscles and hair; as the ‘oil in the engine’ it helps mental well-being, helps reduce fatigue and helps for a stronger immune system, and much more…