Do you experience muscle soreness or cramps? Unexplained hip and bone pain? Midday fatigue? I brushed these symptoms off and contributed them to my growing list of perimenopausal symptoms. General physician ordered routine blood tests which came back normal. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the results because these symptoms somehow felt different which warranted an appointment with my endocrinologist (hormone doc). She ordered a vitamin D blood test which revealed a very low vitamin D level. For 12 weeks, I’m to take vitamin D and calcium daily. After a month, I do have more energy and need a midday nap less often. I also have decreased muscle soreness.
All ABOUT THE “D” VITAMIN
Vitamin D helps our bodies maintain adequate levels of calcium and phosphorus which in turn helps us to build strong bones and teeth. Low levels of vitamin D causes the body to pull calcium and phosphorus from where we need it most; our bones. Osteomalacia (muscle weakness) and rickets (skeletal deformities) are two diseases caused by vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with increased cardiovascular risks (hypertension, heart attack, stroke), as well as other health problems.
Dietary sources of vitamin D:
- Fatty fish high in omega-3s (salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, and mackerel).
- Cod liver oil
- Whole/fortified milk
- Sunlight (at least ten minutes of sun exposure). Note: People with darker skin (melanin) are more likely to produce less vitamin D from the sun.
For those experiencing menopause/perimenopause, ask your doc to check your vitamin D levels during your routine checkup this year.