What is your Vitamin D Level?
I lived in Montana on the Missouri River, for 20 years, before moving to Alaska. We have sunny and bright winter days even though it is very cold there. I walked outside in the sun bundled up like a mummy! Our summers often hit 90 degrees.
It is fabulous to grow gardens there. I spent hours in the summer on our raft floating rivers, playing outside or hiking, Thinking my Vitamin D level was just fine.
Moving from Montana to Alaska:
When I moved to Alaska, I had vague complaints of muscle aches and pains. But, who doesn’t as you get older? My doctor at the time was implementing a study on her patients to see how many Alaskans are deficient in Vitamin D. I poo poo’d having my levels tested. After all, I had just moved here and was in the sun alot! But I went ahead and had the test done.
After getting my results back, I was absolutely SHOCKED! My doc told me my Vitamin D Level was, 10 ng/mL! She said I needed mega supplements!
What should your Vitamin D level be?
The normal range for Vitamin D is 30.0 to 74.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Each lab, physician or naturopathic physician has their own idea of what is low. But ,it is pretty much agreed upon that anything below 30 is not good. High end target range for Vitamin D levels vary with each practitioner, but seems to be around 40-50. However, Mine wanted my levels in the 70’s.
My journey continues:
So, I spent the next 8 years taking mega Vitamin D2 supplements. 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. Even so, with taking large doses of D3, my Vitamin D levels had only come up to 22 ng/mL. However that is still considered a very sub therapeutic level.
Change of Doctor:
I continued to have fatigue and lots of muscle pain issues. In January of 2012, I decided to see a naturopath physician, because traditional western medicine had not helped me much at all.
Gluten Enters the Medical Problems:
My naturopath did more testing, finding a severe gluten intolerance! In other words, I have gluten intolerance to the point of almost adrenal fatigue. After that, I was off of gluten for 4 weeks. Then retesting my blood showed an increase in my Vitamin D levels, from 22 ng/mL to 44 ng/mL! A HUGE change just from being 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
What should I do next:
So what should you do to make sure your Vitamin D level in a healthy range? Ask your health care provider to order a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. Then see what your levels are, and go from there.
I’ll be sharing information on low Vitamin D being linked to psychosis in teens, next.