At midlife there’s often an energy crisis. Your body slows down and emotions begin to drag. Is it old age, the beginning of the end? Is it a spiritual problem? Or is it just time for a tune-up?
If your body had a dashboard, your “add D” light would probably be on. Your skin has the amazing ability to produce Vitamin D from the sun. Yet between an office job, car, clothes and short summer seasons, you probably don’t get enough sun exposure – especially if you immediately slather on sunscreen.
My Vitamin D Cure
I discovered D the hard way. In 2007, I quit my nursing job due to a painful flare-up of osteoarthritis. I couldn’t sleep even on a prescribed anti-inflammatory. I was told my problem was incurable and would only get worse. I kept meeting people my age with fresh hip replacements. I didn’t want one! I asked Jesus to show me how to heal. Vitamin D was one of the things he brought to my attention.
Once I began to supplement with D, not only did the arthritis clear up completely, I noticed an improvement in energy. I’d had chronic fatigue since a serious illness in 1998. Painful muscle fatigue lessened, and exercising even got easier, as vitamin D improves muscle performance, breathing, and insulin sensitivity (Dowd and Stafford, p. 100)
In addition to Vitamin D, I bought insoles to correct foot, knee and hip alignment, did a minute of core strengthening and muscle stretching each evening, went off gluten for a while and continued taking joint supplements (MSM, chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine). I’ve been pain-free for over two years!
Are You Low on D?
Here’s a short list of health issues related to low vitamin D:
- Bone fractures, muscle pain, fatigue and weakness
- 17 different kinds of cancer including breast, lung and prostate. For every 10 ng/ml increase in blood levels of vitamin D, the relative risk of cancer drops 35%. ( Khalsa, p. 75)
- Autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, hypothyroidism, MS
- Mental health issues such as dementia and depression
- Skin problems such as psoriasis
- Hypoglycemia and diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure
How to Get More D in Your Life
While sunburn is still a bad idea, in order to make D the natural way:
- Expose your skin (e.g. shorts and a tank top)
- Go outside when the UV index is the highest – between 10 am and 2 pm on a clear summer day. (There’s no UV index between October and April in the northern states and Canada.)
- No sunscreen until you’ve had some sun, as it blocks UV rays and prevents D production
- The darker your skin, the more time you need in the sun to make adequate D
Whale Blubber Anyone?
Fortunately for Northerners and the fair skinned, D is readily available in tablet form – my family’s preference is D Gummy Bears. Vitamin D is also available at relatively low levels in fortified milk products, salmon, tuna, sardines and higher levels in whale blubber which, according to Wikipedia, tastes like Arrowroot cookies.
Vitamin D supplementation is one of the easiest ways to improve your health and energy. Just follow these simple guidelines:
- D supplements are fat soluble! Take them with good fats (milk, nut butter, your omega 3 supplements…)
- Ask your family doctor to check your D levels – you may require higher doses initially to increase to a normal range. The older and/or more overweight you are, the more D you need.
- Dr. Michael Holick indicates for every 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day, taken for several months, blood levels will rise by 10 ng/ml.
Remember, Vitamin D is only one element of good health – there’s no single miracle supplement. God has designed your body to heal itself. Provide the missing ingredients and let your cells do the work!
Stay tuned for more energy boosting posts!