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Well, THAT makes sense…

Last week I went to the doctor for a physical, and talked about the fact that I seem to be WAY too tired for how much sleep I’m getting. Even with my crappy interrupted sleep pattern, I should be getting enough to keep me from crashing the way I have been. For those who weren’t at the picnic on Sunday, the results of the blood work were enlightening. My thyroid is a tick low – and by that I mean barely. My vitamin D however, is well into “deficient.” On the scale of “we like to see it between 32 and 100” mine is at 14.

Fatigue anyone?

There are a few other things askew in the numbers – my blood pressure is high, my cholesterol is just a touch high, and of course I’m carrying too much weight (which drives many of the other issues.) However my doctor wants to see how I respond to getting my D up into better levels before she messes with anything else – she seems to feel that if that addresses the fatigue and I address my recently self-admittedly crappy diet (I have), then the other things may very well fall into line, if for no other reason than that more energy generally results in more activity, which can result in dropping some weight, etc. I go back in six weeks to check all the numbers again.

So of course, having dutifully begun taking my vitamin D supplements, I want to feel better NOW. I know it doesn’t work like that, but since when did I ever allow logic to interfere with my desires? I really should figure out how to actually get more sun, because the most effective source of vitamin D is to make it. I am however, the prototype of northern-European-fish-belly-white, and my skin goes fire-engine red in no time flat. I guess that as I start cleaning up the gardens for the winter I should make a point to spend at least some time working on the sunny side of the house. Next year I’ll start in the spring and sort of ease into it – like I used to when I was a kid.

Of course, some of the blood pressure issues COULD be from stress. My husband hasn’t been able to find work for a year and a half and the money is running out, we have a mortgage, we have a two year old who has discovered defiance, my co-workers are crazy, and I haven’t taken any vacation time since 2009. Whadda ya think? Could there be a stress component?

That said, I’m sort of relieved to discover that it may be something as dirt-simple as take a supplement, get some more sun. I’m tired of being tired. I’ve got no time for debilitating fatigue – I have projects to do and workshops to organize, and it really looks better at performance review time if you’re NOT falling asleep at your desk.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 7th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
Latest research on vitamin D suggests that those of us with glow-in-the-dark white skins, need only stay in the sun until we start to turn pink. (Without sunscreen BTW). After that, you're maxed on vit. D and staying out longer doesn't help. That means shorts and Tshirt sort of exposure too, not just face and hands, and probably for about 20 minutes if it's between 10:00 and 14:00, longer earlier or later in the day.

Also, make sure you're getting the right vitamin D. You need D3, Cholecalciferol, not D2. I've been taking mine as a liquid, it's not expensive and it doesn't have much taste.

The Vitamin D Council dudes seem to be the best source of information I've found so far.

Sep. 7th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Yes - it's D3. Apparently the D3 is what's sold over the counter, D2 is what is in the prescription strength. Which a friend of mine characterized as being "very good for you. If you're a plant."

I found gelcaps - very easy to take.

No one wants to see my legs in shorts. It could cause snow-blindness.
Sep. 7th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
Vitamin D is quite hard to get from diet, but it's super important for people with MS so I've been taking supplements (I take two or three each day actually) for years, now. Actually they have been looking into Vitamin D as a treatment, though at a huge dose...basically 40 supplement's worth of the stuff.

Though if the new research about the neck blockages really is true, then NONE of the current theories seem to be worth the cost of the paper they're printed on.

I didn't know Vitamin D shortage caused fatigue. Vitamin B shortage (a genetic inability to absorb B6 or B12...can't remember which...runs in the family. I don't have it, though.) definitely does. Maybe ANY vitamin shortage does it?
Sep. 8th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
Despite knowing that it's not really a food vitamin, I was startled to see how hard it is to get any through diet. Not being fond of cod liver oil, I got me a little bottle of gelcaps.

I can't find very much accessible information that I would consider reputable right off hand, but it sounds like it's one of those substances that interacts with everything. I'm seeing a lot of references to fatigue, so they're related at least anecdotaly. I've been reading that the medical community is seeing a lot more of this - ever since the American Cancer Society started preaching the evils of sunlight, people have been avoiding the sun. Add "winter" to that in the northern tier of the US (never mind Canada), and you've got a real recipe for deficiency.

She checked my B levels also - those are fine.

Guess I need to get outside more.
Sep. 8th, 2010 09:31 am (UTC)
Some foods have it, but only because they're fortified. Cereals, for example, are often fortified with extra vitamins.

Countries with the lowest amount of sun exposure have the highest incidence of multiple sclerosis. Possibly coincidence, but it's sure a weird one, especially since an unusually high proportion of people born in May have MS (me for one) which they seem to be supposing may be because the mothers were exposed to less sunlight and thus had less Vitamin D in their systems the whole time the baby was in there. But again, the neck thing seems so far to be just as true and they don't really jibe as far as I can tell so far, so I just don't know. But they haven't had time to study the long-term results of that yet anyway, it's so new.

I like FitDay (online site, free) for keeping track of my intake. It's lovely because it doesn't focus just on calories...it keeps track of EVERYTHING. If you enter a bowl of Bran Flakes it enters the calories for that, yes, but it also enters the fibre, the Vitamin A, D, all the vitamins, as well as all the minerals...iron and calcium and so on. I wrote about it, actually: http://golden-meliades.livejournal.com/278708.html
Sep. 8th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
I set up an account on FitDay - you're right, I like them very much. The hard part is remembering to get stuff in there. I can't really leave it up on the computer during the day at work, so I'm trying to work out a system involving a note pad and popping stuff into it at lunch break and then when I get home. It's a lot easier than what I used to do. I DO wish it tracked sugar, but it does so much else that I'm hardly complaining.
Sep. 8th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
Reducing stressors can help reduce fatigue. Your sleep is more restful when you're not all frazzled. Of course, that's easier said than done (I am still trying. This often involves shouting, which is not as cathartic as one might think).

Did they put you on thyroid meds? It took a while for them to really kick in with me, but they definitely made a noticable difference right away.
Sep. 8th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, I've been on thyroid meds for a few years now. My doctor doubled my dose - it went from unnoticable to miniscule. :-)
Sep. 8th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
I keep trying the shouting, but it doesn't seem to work. Perhaps I should try something other than shouting AT my husband...
Sep. 8th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
ODL not you too.... my dr had to give me megadose vitamin d earlier in the year when I popped up at 16. Combine that with my shiny new gluten problem and the previously whined-about thyroid-autoimmune crap, no wonder I was a wreck.

But it was magic--after about a week on the horsepills, I started feeling my energy rebound. Here's hoping it helps you as quickly as it did me.

Speaking of de-stressing...would you like to try to get together and trade kid-free time? V's to the point where she's gotten good with "little kids", so I could come over and baby-wrangle to let you and/or Bob concentrate on something. I know my Rob would appreciate having his two females disappear on a weeknight. (Brewing prep or videogames? 50/50 chance.)
Sep. 8th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, about the only thing that will allow for destressing right now is employment.

I'm going to be face down in the drawing board for a little while, so it's not really an offer I can take - I've got two assigments, one enormous, and it's going to eat every free moment until the end of October.
Sep. 8th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
By the way if I *haven't* told you about the autoimmune thyroid numbers, let me know. It was new research results a few years ago when my shiny new MD was minted...
Sep. 8th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
That sounded wrong -- not *MY* MD -- my new dr after the old one retired.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )