What is your Vitamin D Level?
I lived in Montana, on the Missouri River, for 20 years before moving to Alaska. We had sunny bright winter days even though it was cold. I would walk outside in the sun bundled up like a mummy! Our summers often hit 90 degrees and were fabulous to grow gardens. We spent hours in the summer on our raft floating rivers, playing outside or hiking. I thought my Vitamin D level was just fine.
When we moved to Alaska I had vague complaints of muscle aches and pains. Who doesn’t as you get older? My doctor at the time was just implementing a study on her patients to see how many Alaskans were deficient in Vitamin D. I poo poo’d having my levels tested after all, I had just moved here and had been in the sun alot! But I went ahead and had the test done.
What should your Vitamin D level be?
I got my results back and I was absolutely SHOCKED when she told me how low it was..10 ng/mL! And I needed mega supplements! What should your vitamin D level be? It is felt now that the normal range for Vitamin D is 30.0 to 74.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Each lab and each physician or naturopathic physician has their idea of what is low…but it is pretty much agreed upon that anything below 30 is not good. The high end target range varies with each practitioner but seems to be around 40-50 ng/mL
So I spent the next 8 years taking mega supplements at intervals trying to get my Vitamin D levels higher. Vitamin D2 didn’t seem to make much of an impact in raising my vitamin D blood levels. Vitamin D3 is the preferred way to supplement vitamin D and even with taking large doses of D3, at the 10 year mark of living in Alaska my Vitamin D levels had only come up to 22 ng/mL. That is still considered very sub therapeutic.
I have continued to have fatigue and lots of muscle pain issues. In January of 2012 I decided to see a naturopath physician since traditional western medicine had not seemed to help me much at all. After my naturopath physician testing was done I was found to have severe gluten intolerance to the point of almost adrenal fatigue. What does gluten have to do with Vitamin D? I am not sure except that being off of gluten for 4 weeks and having my blood retested showed an increase from 22 ng/mL to 44 ng/mL! A HUGE change! And gluten does produce malabsorption problems in some people. So for now, I am feeling so much better and both my medical physician and my naturopathic physician agree I need to stay off gluten!
What symptoms do you have if you have a low Vitamin D level?
Wed MD states that bone pain and muscle weakness can mean you have a vitamin D deficiency. But for many people there are hardly any symptoms! What we do know is that low blood levels of vitamin D have been associated with the following:
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- Severe asthma in children
The above conditions are just a few conditions that can be associated for sure with low Vitamin D! So what should you do to make sure your Vitamin D level is in a healthy range? Ask your health care provider to order a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.
I’ll be sharing information on low Vitamin D being linked to psychosis in teens, next.