Summer is now in full swing. Kids are playing in the fountains at Coolidge Park. Lake Winnepesaukah is busy with all kinds of family fun. Many families go on their summer vacations and family reunions are always a wonderful time to get reacquainted. Whatever your summer fun it usually involves being outside in the sun.
I have a summer vacation story to share that changed my health forever that was actually stumbled upon by accident. So, let me get you in the mind set I was in before vacation. Work, Work, Work…kids, kids, kids…yard work, yard work, yard work….kids, kids, kids… no sleep…work, work work…stress, stress, stress…”Dad you wanna go play ball?”…Son, can I just rest for a minute? Ok, so you see, it’s time for a vacation.
My family and I travel to Hilton Head every year. It’s our favorite place to vacation. We had a great vacation and we were all very happy tan beach bums by the end of our trip. The last day I was at the beach I noticed how much better I felt. I usually very sore and achy and now I am not. I felt energized, healthy and my mood was fantastic. I asked myself, “Was this just vacation de-stressing me from life’s hurdles or is there something else I am missing?” The change in the way I felt was so dramatic that I had to get to the bottom of this. The only two answers I could come up with were I was either stressed or my body is depleted in vitamin D.
Looking at my life stresses they were few. Just typical stresses most people have. Then I remembered in graduate school I learned sun light actually helps control mood and well being. Seasonal mood disorders are seen a lot in the Northern hemisphere. I am quite aware of this because that’s where I am from. I know…I know I am a Yankee, but I got down here as fast as I could.
When sunlight hits skin it produces Vitamin D. Vitamin D has so many healthy functions for your body, some consider it the vitamin of all vitamins. My next step in this journey was to get my Vitamin D levels checked through blood work. I made an appointment with my doctor, discussed with him my concerns, and he agreed for us to investigate further with blood work. My labs came back a week later and to my surprise, my Vitamin D levels were an 11. Normal levels are 30-to 100 ng/ml, Optimum 50-100ng/ml. How could this be? I eat very well and take some outstanding vitamins and even supplement Vitamin D. It just wasn’t enough. I was put on vitamin D supplementation to increase my numbers.
In just a month my health greatly improved. My mood was great and my body didn’t hurt. I also didn’t get the flu or even a cold in the winter months. Being a doctor, it made me curious to learn more about vitamin D’s role in human health so I can share it with my patients.
To be continued…..
Christopher M. Lewis, D.C.