“It’s your greatest wounds that will lead you to the path to mastery and get you closer to the CORE of who YOU are.”
I heard this quote quite recently and it seemed very appropriate here looking back on how I’ve turned my health around with the basic understanding of one of the most underrated yet highly significant ingredients of a healthy lifestyle – Vitamin D.
There are actually very few things that we can do with minimum effort that can improve our health massively – one of them is regular exercise (Pareto’s 80-20 rule). But, let’s go a little extreme on the Pareto’s rule here and think of only ONE thing that we can do to improve our overall health here. For me, that ONE thing would be – Vitamin D.
With as little as popping a tablet (nutritional supplement) daily, we could go on and ensure strong muscles and bones, normal functioning of immune system, prevention of cancer, prevention of heart diseases, good health of teeth, good energy levels, prevention of diabetes and so on. The actual list is huge, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Read on to understand how I got to know about this and how I actually doubled my Vitamin D levels in a few months.
Back in mid-2015, I took a month off from my corporate job, wherein one of the major reasons was to solve an issue in my leg – Achilles Tendonitis. Along with this issue, I also had low energy and body aches intermittently throughout the day. This was really irritating, as I work a lot and I am generally always outside my house when not working. So, low energy was a big issue for me which needed a resolution!
During this time, I was reading multiple books, blogs and anything health related and soon enough I stumbled upon some articles on Vitamin D and how it’s connected to bone health and multiple other things and decided to explore it further later.
One day, I was browsing some books that my friend had and stumbled upon a book on Vitamin D (links in appendix). It immediately caught my attention and I took it and finished reading the main chapters in a couple of days. The amount of information in this book is mind blowing and merely looking at the list of chapters will help you understand the significance of Vitamin D.
First of all, it’s a hormone and not even a Vitamin, as is widely believed. The author also points that there is a clear epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency. This is due to many reasons, mainly lack of information among doctors regarding the latest research and developments on the hormone. Only looking at the index indicates the significance of Vitamin D due to its interconnection with so many relevant functions of the body.
Now, I know for a fact, that most people will never read the book owing to a variety of reasons, which is why I’m writing this article in the first place – to help you diagnose and treat yourself like I did.
The next steps after understanding the importance of this hormone are – Diagnosis and Treatment. The first thing I did after understanding the basics was self diagnosis – blood test to check my Vitamin D levels. Now, there are a couple of tests involved here – the correct one is 25 (OH) vitamin D (25-hydroxy vitamin D).
The scientific reasons for why this test is correct is mentioned in the book for those who are interested in knowing the extra bit. The optimal range of 25(OH) Vitamin D is in the range of 50-100 ng/mL (125-250 nmol/L) and this level must be maintained.
My Vitamin D overall level was 21ng/ml back in July 2015 and in a span of 4 months, it almost doubled to 42ng/ml.
This is consistent growth over a decent span of time. There were no body aches, pains and energy issues anymore, they all seemed like distant memories in the past. The treatment of Vitamin D involves three approaches – Diet, Sunlight and Supplements. Now, the problem with diet and sunlight is that even if done properly and daily, the results will be very slow as they will never be enough and too much of either of those will have side effects.
The most practical and fastest way to increase your levels is nutritional Vitamin D supplements. The supplements must be continued for a good amount of time until you reach optimal range and continued even after that for maintenance as it’s fat soluble.
In closing, my takeaway from this whole episode is that I should get my Vitamin D levels checked every 5-6 months and aim to achieve the optimal level of the same. The small habit of having a supplement daily after any one meal of the day and getting a test done two times a year is an extremely small effort to make for being healthy for the rest of your life!
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