Advice: Maybe You Should Get Your Vitamin D Checked

Low vitamin D can lead to health issues, even if you don't think you have any symptoms.

I’m lucky enough to have had internet friends for over 20 years, friends who will give advice—whether solicited or not. Collectively, this group seemed appalled that at 48, and living in a cloudy Midwest state, I had never had a test for my vitamin D. I requested a test from my doctor and as it turns out, my levels were very low. The normal range is something closer to 21-30 somethings, and mine was 9.

cartoon image of a female-presenting doctor with no face

I don’t think it’s much of a mystery why my levels were low, since low vitamin D can be associated with celiac, which I have.

I hadn’t felt sick. I didn’t come down with rickets, a childhood disease from a childhood lack of exposure to sunlight and D vitamins. But, some of the symptoms did resonate.

  • Fatigue. Sure, yeah, I’m tired. But who isn’t?
  • Bone pain. Well, yes, I do occasionally get some hip pain and wonder why, since I’m not a large-breed dog with hip dysplasia.
  • Muscle weakness, muscle aches, or cramps. I don’t think so?
  • Mood changes, like depression. I don’t think I’m depressed, but on the other hand, have you seen the world lately?

It’s a simple blood test to check vitamin D levels, and my doctor prescribed me a once-a-week pill for the next 12 weeks, at which point I’ll get my levels checked again. Of course, it also helps that the sun is out for a little bit longer these days.

I don’t know your situation, but I do know that more people have vitamin D deficiencies than realize it. Hopefully, this post will encourage some of you to have your levels checked.

Sharon Falduto is a Central Iowa native who came to University of Iowa in 1991 and essentially never left the area. She is involved in local community theater, notably as one of the co-founders of Iowa City's Dreamwell Theatre. She has also directed children's plays with the Young Footliters group. Sharon works in with English Language Learners in a support position at Kirkwood Community College.. She lives in Coralville with her husband, Matt, and three daughters Rachel, Samantha, and Piper.

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