As the last patient of the day left Enchanta Jenkins’ office, the Temecula, CA, OB/GYN breathed a sigh of relief. Lately, it had been a struggle to push through each day.
“Why am I so tired all the time?” Enchanta wondered.
When, in mid- 2017, Enchanta first started feeling more sluggish, the working mom of three told herself she just needed more sleep. But after weeks of getting 7 solid hours of sleep a night, her tiredness lingered. She also started having back pain and achiness in her bones.
It made no sense. After all, she ate a healthy diet, exercised and took a multivitamin daily. Being a doctor, she was familiar with some causes of unexplained fatigue and suspected perhaps hers was caused by an underactive thyroid. But a blood test ruled that out. It did, however, show something else — something that completely surprised Enchanta. Her vitamin D levels were extremely low.
“I’ve been suffering for two years because of a simple vitamin deficiency,” she thought, in near disbelief.
A Sunny Solution
Once the initial shock wore off, Enchanta remembered that vitamin D is normally produced by the body using energy absorbed from the sun’s rays. Between working long days and her constant tiredness, she hadn’t been spending any time outdoors, and her multivitamin didn’t contain enough D to make up the difference. Enchanta also learned as many as 91 percent of women have suboptimal levels of vitamin D, and the risk is higher for women over 50. Plus, the likelihood of a D deficiency doubles for people with darker complexions, since dark skin has more melanin, which reduces the body’s ability to produce vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.
As Enchanta now knew firsthand, low levels of vitamin D can lessen the amount of energy produced in cells that help your muscles stay energized. It is also responsible for helping your body absorb calcium to keep bones healthy and strong, which explained her back pain and aches.
Determined to restore her health, Enchanta started taking short walks daily without wearing SPF. She also began taking 1,000 to 2,000 IU of over-the-counter vitamin D-3 (Buy on Amazon, $4.27 -TK REPLACE W/AFFILIATE LINK) every morning. To her amazement, within just a few days of starting the supplements, Enchanta began to feel better. Each week, her energy, back pain and mood improved. By year’s end, her vitamin D levels were back to normal and remain normal today.
“I’m still amazed by the difference that boosting vitamin D made in my life,” she says. “I’m able to enjoy my loved ones. I’m more productive at work. It feels great to be me again!”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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