I recently visited my doctor to make sure my health was in order, and when she inquired about testing my vitamin D levels, I offhandedly said, “Sure, why not?” Imagine my surprise when I scored an eight… out of 30-100 (the “healthy” range). Basically, I was severely deficient in vitamin D by every standard out there.
I’d been feeling fatigued, headachey, and not sleeping well but chalked it up to the long dark winter combined with a bit of work stress. Turns out these are some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency (others included here).
About vitamin D from WebMD:
Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It is also occurs naturally in a few foods — including some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks — and in fortified dairy and grain products.
My doctor told me that vitamin D deficiencies are pretty common for Alaskans due to our northern latitude. Fortunately, you can counteract our lack of sunshine with a supplement, readily available at your local drug store (or if you’re severely deficient like me, you can go for the prescription strength stuff). It might be my imagination, but I’m sleeping better and have a lot more energy. In fact, I can almost feel little sizzling bolts of alertness zipping up and down my body. Of course, now that our days are longer and spring is here I’m soaking up as much au naturel vitamin D as possible…bring on the sunshine!
I almost didn’t share this story, since this blog is about loving Anchorage and not about how limited sunshine during the winters can harm your health. But, let’s be real – sometimes there are challenges to living in Alaska. And if some of them can be solved as easily as taking a supplement and spending enough time outside, then I want all of you to know.
Watch out world… I’m feeling great!