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Vitamin Deficiency - Your Stories?

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by Alex T, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. Alex T
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    by Alex T » Dec 2, 2017
    Some of you will remember I have had issues with hair loss in the past. It has recovered, but I started loosing again a couple of months ago, as in, not handfuls of long curls, but teeny new re-growth hairs between a few mm & 2cm in length, washing down the drain like fuzz. I have also been extremely tired & weary, physically & mentally, snappy with my beautiful girls & achy, which I presumed was due to being on the go constantly.

    I saw my Dr & she ordered a MASSIVE batch of blood work, as both of my sisters have underactive thyroid & I am also prone to anaemia due to my Von Willebrands & subsequent monthly blood loss (not to mention the massive random nose bleeds like the one I had yesterday!)

    Every thing was perfect. Everything that has a range for the results were smack bang in the middle, low cholesterol, perfect renal results. But in the middle of the lab report in red highlight, was my Vitamin D result. It is basically so low, I'm no longer storing it. This is weird to me given how much I am outside & that I run for around an hour on 3 mornings a week to boot, but it seems as we age we can sometimes loose the ability to process & store certain vitamins? Who knew?!!

    When she brought up an initial list of 8 side effects of the loss of Vit D, top of the list were tiredness & physical lethargy, anxiety, hair loss, muscle aches & general pains.

    Who knew that such a teeny thing, that I always assumed only lead to rickets in childhood if it lacked, could cause so many things in an adult body??! And that at any time, your body can say nope, fed up or storing & processing that one now....

    So i am on a 2 month heavy medical dose, at which point I will move to a milder, daily vitamin pill. She assures me my hormones are all normal, I am not peri-menopausal, which I assumed I must be considering I'm 44 in six months, and that my hair loss has no indicators other than the Vit D. Seems like this has been caught just in time, as it can lead to calcium issues & bone problems if prolonged.

    Fingers crossed in a few months I am a new woman!!

    Please share your stories of vitamin deficiencies if you have any, for others to read & gain information from.
     
    


    


  2. 737lizakg
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    by 737lizakg » Dec 2, 2017
    I too have had a d deficiency since my early 20s, which coincided with a whole host of weird allergies that developed. I'm now allergic to fruits and intolerant to nuts.

    I'm always outside, consume calcium rich products, and cannot for the life of me store any vitamin D. The docs triple checked my levels because it didn't add up. I too was put on an intensive d drop course for 6 months, which brought me up to low normal levels. My dose was lowered. 18 months later it was back down to pre d drop levels. So, now after over a decade of yoyoing d levels, I take my drops but very irregularly. I get a workup every 3 years or so, and the doc scratches her head and wonders aloud how a girl who spends all day outside can have such low levels, prescribes more drops, sends me on my way.

    My nails are still strong, it seems my hair is constantly falling out but I'm not bald yet :shock:. What I do notice is I somehow sleep far better when I'm on the mega dose of d. I fall asleep immediately.

    I'm glad your doctors caught it, because I think especially for women, it's so important. Please make sure you check your levels again after lowering the d dose as my results showed that I should really stay on a high dose level forever.

    My grandmother passed away 2 weeks ago at 101 years old. And it was a fractured hip due to low bone density that caused it. She may have outlived us all of she had stronger bones!
     
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  3. missy
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    by missy » Dec 2, 2017
    Alex Im glad they finally found what was causing your symptoms and I am surprised they didn't catch that sooner. Testing for Vitamin D is much more commonplace now because healthcare professionals realize there is a huge problem re Vitamin D deficiency-it isn't a rare occurrence so you are not alone. Just glad they diagnosed you and hopefully you will be feeling much better once your levels come up. Fingers crossed for you!

    I want to recommend in case you weren't already told that D3 is more highly available/absorbable and that is the best form to take. In the USA prescriptions Vitamin D is D2 and that isn't the best form to take and it is much better to take the non Rx Vitamin D3 that is easy to get.



    From medscape:


     
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  4. Alex T
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    by Alex T » Dec 2, 2017
    Thanks for your stories @missy & @737lizakg . I shall make sure I get a follow up test, but also keep in mind that my fatigue & hair loss in the future can be a warning. I'm looking forward to falling asleep quickly, I must say. I haven't been able to drop off in quicker than an hour or two for years!

    It IS weird that some people just don't like to process some things at times. I know my MIL, who is 72 & over the last two years completed the 6 Majors, marathoning all around the world, has trouble storing iron since she upped her regime. The more she runs, the more treatment she needs. Her times start to drop off, at which point she'll get checked & they'll find out she's not storing properly again. She has a check in Feb as it happens, as she is running both Boston & Beijing late spring.

    I have to say, I was expecting a results appointment that just said "everything is fine, you're just weird/old/knackered/balding, so off you pop!" I was extremely happy that there was actually SOMETHING flagged, and not only because of my lovely precious curls, but because it also answered lots of other minor health symptoms that I always brush aside.

    Generally, my Dr can be a bit aloof & sometimes you have to stand your ground, but this time she's been fab.
     
    


    


  5. Alex T
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    by Alex T » Dec 2, 2017
    @737lizakg sorry to hear about your grandmother. But what a fabulous age!

    @missy great article - thanks for posting.
     
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  6. Jimmianne
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    by Jimmianne » Dec 2, 2017
    Alex, i recently wrote on PS about having a complete turnaround after a minor diet change. Years of suffering, then ...voila! All is well.
    I anticipate great changes for you!
    Glad you are on the road to recovery.
     
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  7. lyra
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    by lyra » Dec 2, 2017
    My rheumatologist put me on prescription level Vitamin D. It is common in his practice. I don't know if those of us with auto immune diseases are more prone to be Vitamin D deficient, but that could be an issue I suppose. I was anemic at one point, requiring the shots every 2 weeks. That was awful. Then from there I went magnesium deficient. Then Vitamin D. Each previous deficiency eventually righted itself. It's not diet for me. My hair has thinned due to medications I'm on, and it sucks.
     
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  8. ksinger
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    by ksinger » Dec 2, 2017
    A friend convinced me to, and now I take my vit D with some magnesium and K-2. Rather than try to explain, here is a site that gives a readable "why". I don't think it can hurt and it might stave off some other problems.

    https://www.precisionnutrition.com/stop-vitamin-d

    I think vitamin D testing should be as common as a CBC. So many people are deficient. Of course they also need to agree on what, exactly, the optimum range is. It's all over the place from what I can tell. In any case, vitamin D deficiency is one of the puzzle pieces - an easily modifiable one - in the multiple sclerosis puzzle. There is no single cause because that's way too easy. But fill the cauldron with the proper genetics and several other yes answers to various risk factors, and you're likely to get MS. Taking one of the known or strongly-suspected and easy-to-fix puzzle pieces off the board, can only be a good thing, right?
     
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  9. t-c
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    by t-c » Dec 2, 2017
    You don't really want to store Vit D (in fat cells) as that renders it inaccessible. Ideally you want to get Vit D in your daily diet.

    I was massively deficient in Vit D (<1% of normal levels per a blood test) after I moved to a northern city with very short daylight in the winter. It manifested itself as Seasonal Affective Disorder. I took prescription supplements initially, but eventually just went with over-the-counter vitamin supplements and incorporating more Vit D in my diet (salmon, eggs, green veg, etc...).
     
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  10. ksinger
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    by ksinger » Dec 2, 2017
    Since they pretty much can't tell why you're deficient - absorption problem or genetics or whatever, and typically can't tell how long you've been in that status because they do not test for D as a matter of course, but only when something is wrong, the leisurely attempt to eat lots of vitamin D - which may or may not work - to get your D back up, is not usually an option. In my case, it is suspected that MS patients with higher levels of vitamin D, do better with less progression. Most neuros will strongly suggest that you supplement until your levels are up. Now, per my linked article above, I'm not sure they are prescribing the right type of D, or considering any balance issues with magnesium and calcium. But supplementing (and it took a bunch, it's true) got me up to acceptable levels. I'm pretty sure diet would not have cut it. Now, sitting in the sun might have worked, but I'm a redhead who burns in about 15 minutes, so that wasn't really my thing. I guess I spent too much time trying to not end up looking like a leather handbag, that I ended up with something worse. ;-)
     
    


    


  11. lyra
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    by lyra » Dec 2, 2017
    I know it can be complex. I can't sit in the sun because one of my medications makes me extremely sun sensitive. My diet is fine really. So I take the prescriptions. I also now have to take folic acid because methotrexate depletes folic acid in the body. It must be working. For the first time in decades, my nails are growing, lol. Still flimsy as ever and it's actually annoying to have to deal with filing them.
     
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  12. LightBright
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    by LightBright » Dec 2, 2017
    I wanted to mention that Vitamin D deficiency is common and in certain populations in the US— northern latitudes and darker skin play a role in our ability to manufacture enough D from sun exposure. It is common in children, babies, etc.

    I believe this simple test should be given as part of a regular workup especially to those hoping to conceive, and to newborn babies and children. Some autism researchers believe that Vitamin D deficiency plays a role in autism. Higher D levels equate to fewer problems during pregnancy including diabetes and pre-e.

    It’s very simple and cheap to get enough D. You take a D3 supplement to the point at which your body’s 25(OH)D level is over 50 and below about 80ng/ml. People who have malfunctioning gallbladders may have to take more D3 per day than normal.

    I’ve monitored my D levels and kept my levels within those guidelines for about 15 years, after I discovered I was deficient, and had no problems with overdosing. When I had cancer treatment, my oncologist reiterated these guidelines. I take 5,000 IU per day to maintain my levels. One tiny D3 pill per day.

    I don’t know why regular physicians don’t commonly test for D deficiency, but they don’t. You should ask.
     
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  13. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Dec 2, 2017
    DH was out of work on a disability leave for 6 months due to what turned out to be a B12 deficiency.

    He had gotten to where he could barely walk, couldn't sit in a chair, couldn't stand without help, could barely feed himself, and more. I was taking him for deep tissue massage, traction, and steroid injections just to maintain that level of function. The specialists were looking at things like MS, Parkinson's, severe spinal damage, and other things that would "make MS look good" according to one of the guys ordering MRIs.

    The best thing to ever happen was all of them to be unavailable over Christmas. I came on PS one night exhausted and not sure how to keep going as he was facing more than a week of no treatment (that as was barely kept him going). One of the ladies here was talking about her B12 treatment and her symptoms. It all clicked as something we hadn't looked at yet. I ran to the store and bought OTC sublingual tabs to try (couldn't hurt and didn't interact with the pain meds and stuff they had him on). What a difference! He was doing so much better so quickly. Went in to see the Dr a week later and he could actually walk in unassisted! Everyone was shocked.

    5 MRIs
    Several sets of x-rays
    Half a dozen sets of blood work

    All that for a simple vitamin deficiency that no one bothered to check because "we don't have that in the US" so why bother to look.
     
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  14. t-c
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    by t-c » Dec 2, 2017
    B12 deficiency is associated with macrocytic anemia which would be seen in standard CBC lab tests. If macrocytic anemia is observed, the next work-up is usually for B12 deficiency, among others. But perhaps your husband didn't present this way?
     
  15. Alex T
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    by Alex T » Dec 2, 2017
    @TooPatient oh my goodness! What a complete nightmare that must have been! I'm so glad things are resolved for your DH & life is somewhat returning to normal. Hugs to you!
     
    


    


  16. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Dec 2, 2017
    I'm not sure why they didn't check. I know the general practitioner was thinking either spinal injury/wear or neurological disorder. The spinal specialist ruled out spinal injury or wear and figured neurological or autoimmune. The neurologist ruled out MS but was looking at other obscure stuff since the other specialists couldn't find anything. We discovered the B12 thing before his appointment with the rheumatologist.

    I forget now what all blood work they did, but everything was right down the middle of normal. He had something like 6 or 8 blood draws where each one took a whole handful of tubes of blood. The results sheets were entire pages of different tests so a huge number of things checked. Each Dr got prior tests so didn't duplicate. It was insane!
     
  17. t-c
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    by t-c » Dec 3, 2017
    I’m glad you figured it out and your DH has recovered, but if you’re curious and have a copy of blood test results on hand, check the CBC (complete blood count) results, specifically if MCV (mean corpuscular volume) is elevated.

    I understand trying to get a diagnosis: it took well over a year to get mine and I stumped the docs enough that they wrote a paper on it (yet I wasn’t even offered co-author ;)2).
     
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  18. StephanieLynn
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    by StephanieLynn » Dec 3, 2017
    I went to a neurologist a couple of years ago. Was having a hard time with my memory, would get lost easily, would be at a light and suddenly panic I was on the wrong side of the road even though I wasn't.

    Balance problems, I would trip and fall easily and actually fell on pavement carrying my one year old, thankfully he landed on the grassy strip next to the sidewalk but it was a five foot fall. That prompted me to get to a doctor.

    They did a full blood workup and determined by B12 was low, not so common in someone who eats meat and eggs so more than likely an absorption problem. Technically I should get shots but I am needle phobic so I get drops that go on my tongue.

    Here is the kicker though, I have a problem remembering to take it and of course low B12 causes problems with memory and cognition so it's kind of an endless circle.
     
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  19. yennyfire
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    by yennyfire » Dec 3, 2017
    That's interesting. I supposedly have lupus (I say supposedly because I had one flare up about 4 years ago that lasted 3 weeks--the blood tests revealed that it was lupus, but it resolved itself (thank goodness!) and I've not had a problem since) and I also have a Vit D deficiency and take a supplement. I've been EXHAUSTED lately, which I attributed to running around like a madwoman each and every day, but then I realized I haven't taken my vitamin D for a few weeks. I wonder if that has something to do with it?? I'm taking my pill as we speak and will try to continue to remember. Hopefully, this will help the exhaustion. By the way, I also religiously wear sunscreen year round (have already had skin cancer removed from my arm-ugh) and my dr. said that the sunscreen prevents the absorption of vit D from sunlight, so perhaps someone of you who are outside a lot, yet still have a deficiency are also wearing sunscreen???

    @Alex T I hope that the heavy dose of D resolves your hair loss issue and other symptoms....fingers crossed it's just that simple!!
     
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  20. Phoenix
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    by Phoenix » Dec 3, 2017
    Stephanie, could the balance problem be due to an ear issue? For the last few weeks, I've been having anear inflammation/ blockage following a previous flu/ viral infection. I fainted once a few weeks ago -first time ever - and have been suffering from dizziness since then, which is lessening in severity though. I also did a hearing test which showed I was suffering from very slight hearing loss.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  21. Phoenix
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    by Phoenix » Dec 3, 2017
    @Alex T , sorry to hear about your hair loss. I know you and I have posted about it on my beauty & health thread.

    I too am Vit D- deficient, which is unusual since I live in the tropics where it's sunny almost all year round and I go out jogging/ walking a lot (like half an hour to an hour three times a week). I only wear sunscreen on my face and not on my body, since the latter never burns. I suppose it is bc of my auto-immune disease Hashimotos.

    I am now taking Vit D supplement as well as eating more Vit-D enriched foods.

    On the hair loss issue, there are so many causes. I hope you can get to the root of the problem (no pun intended). Fingers crossed that it is your Vit-D deficiency, as that's easily fixed. I definitely feel your pain!! I just updated my thread on my hair loss incidentally.
     
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  22. StephanieLynn
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    by StephanieLynn » Dec 3, 2017
    Hey Phoenix,

    Sorry you are having to go through that, I hope the hearing loss isn't permanent.

    In my case it was all related, since I've been supplementing I haven't had the balance problems. It's just a matter of remembering to take it regularly!
     
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  23. Phoenix
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    by Phoenix » Dec 3, 2017
    Stephanie, thanks. My hearing should be back to normal once the ear inflammation is gone. I'll go and have another hearing test though just to make sure.

    Relieved to hear it's just a supplement issue for you.
     
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  24. Alex T
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    by Alex T » Dec 4, 2017
    @yennyfire It definitely could be your Vit D levels dropping off. One of my things has been utter exhaustion, so I was expecting low iron, the obvious culprit. I had no idea lack of D can make you so tired?! I am on day 4 of the medication now & I have to say, I slept well last night & feel so much more alert this morning than usual. I also am constantly running around from dawn to dusk!

    @Phoenix I too run at least 3 to 4 times per week, for a minimum if 45 minutes. I don't wear sunscreen daily unless it's hot summer (the UK can be somewhat overcast) & so I am mystified as to why I have stopped processing the D I'm getting. I eat super healthy 90% of the time & have always eaten lots of leafy greens & beans, pulses etc. My Dr said there really was no cause for concern - it can be very common & particularly here in the U.K. & in women around my age. I started shampooing with the Nioxin system 4 around 2 weeks ago, as I have had successful recovery with this in the past, and last night when I washed my hair, the shedding was much smaller than it has been over the last few months. Significantly less. It really cheered me up! I think with Nioxin it is a long term commitment, and in the past I have stopped using it after a year when my hair has thickened up. So this time, despite preferring a gentle, organic hair system, I will continue with Nioxin. I am also dropping the harsh hair colour routine (I'm very dark with a lot of grey now) for the gentle Olia products, which tend in me to wear off the grey roots after about 3 weeks, but it's mostly oil based, gentle & less harsh. In 2013 when I had HUGE loss & very visible scalp, I switched to this for a year. It's a pita to have to address my roots every 3 weeks, but if that's what I have to do to help out, then I will do it. Shall pop over to read your updated thread now...
     
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  25. missy
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    by missy » Dec 4, 2017
    Alex as mentioned above it is important to take Vitamin D (D3 preferably) with a few other supplements. Especially Vitamin K2.

    Here's some info that you might find helpful.

    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/16/vitamin-k2.aspx

    https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/

    and
    http://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/j...s-new-science-vitamin-d-k2-magnesium-and-zinc

     
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  26. Phoenix
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    by Phoenix » Dec 4, 2017
    @Alex T, which Nioxin shampoo are you using? and what's the difference between shampoo and cleanser? Are you also using their scalp treatment too? I looked online and there are many available, not sure which is/ are the best, lol.
     
  27. Alex T
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    by Alex T » Dec 4, 2017
    I am using System 4, which is for noticeably thinning, chemically treated hair. The Cleanser is a shampoo, then there is a conditioner which has to be left on the scalp for a couple of minutes, and then a scalp treatment, which in system 4 is a mouse. I tend to squirt a little of that into my fingertips, rub my hands together until it goes back to a liquid, then slide my fingers into my scalp & massage it all over. In system 4, the scalp treatment has a sunscreen in it (argghhh!) to protect the scalp from burning. Obviously there's not much chance of that happening in the U.K. at the moment, and I could do without it because of the Vit D, but I shall switch onto a different system once I have (fingers crossed) seen recovery to density. I have used System 2 in the past when hair loss had recovered, and the scalp treatment for that one is a liquid that you pump into the roots & massage. It really might be worth you giving it a try? Please only buy from a reputable supplier though, as there are a lot of fakes out there I believe :(
     
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  28. Phoenix
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    by Phoenix » Dec 4, 2017
    @Alex T, thank you for that. I will certainly try. I'd like to replace the volume that I've lost. I'm going to buy it from a department store.
     
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  29. PierreBear
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    by PierreBear » Dec 4, 2017
    Hope you are feeling better Alex T! Thanks for starting this thread and keeping us all educated.

    I was surprised to find I was vitamin D deficient even though I'm in the sun often due to workouts/training. Sunblock blocks harmful UV rays but also blocks the nutrients that our bodies need. I take a daily vitamin supplement and my D levels are within range though always in the very low side. I'm not sure if I've seen dramatic effects of being low in vitamin D so I won't know until a blood result shows me, which is only on an annual basis right now.
     
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  30. Alex T
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    by Alex T » Dec 4, 2017
    @PierreBear I think it maybe quite a common deficiency?! Particularly in northern countries such as mine, which whilst can be very beautiful & sunny, can also have long periods of miserable, grey skies in Autumn & Winter. It's alarming to think that our lifestyles & skin protection can be making us ill. And Vit D is so incredibly complicated, in that it helps calcium absorption & also affects hormone levels. I have been staggered by the amount of medical information out there about it, and I hope this thread can be of help to others with any vitamin deficiency.

    I hope your blood tests show an improvement for you & I'm glad you haven't felt too run down as a result of low levels. You must keep us posted on any changes.
     

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