Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Health Finally Gets a Boost!

Almost 3 months has passed since I found out I had a Vitamin D deficiency and I ditched birth control.  I'm happy to report that I've seen a marked improvement in my health! 

On the birth control front, this was seriously the best (health) decision I've ever made.  Even though I had a rough withdrawal, the benefits have been marked.  I feel as calm and clear as I have been in years.  I am in control of my emotions, stress rolls right off, and my feathers are pretty hard to ruffle.  I simply handle everything better.  

I feel like myself again. 

The calm, rational person that is the core of my personality finally has a chance to breath again and reestablish herself.  I can happily say goodbye to the panicky, stressed-to-the-maxed gal I was with hormones surging every day.

Going off the Pill confirmed that I was right about my health - something was wrong with me, I just didn't realize it was the hormones.  The problem wasn't in my head, it was in my blood stream.   

Sigh of relief <phew!>

I can honestly say that I will NEVER go back on birth control again.  There's just no way I would ever sacrifice my sanity again to stop ovulation.  Since Mike is deploying soon, accidentally getting pregnant is a non-issue and we'll be looking into permanent options when he returns.     

In regards to the Vitamin D deficiency, that was also a significant breakthrough.  You are supposed to have 30 nmol/L in your system at minimum but I was sitting at 15.  No wonder I was having major muscle, joint, and fatigue issues!  

I've been taking 5,000 IU of Vitamin D a day and increased the amount of dairy and eggs in my diet.  I've worked my way up to 25 nmol/L and have seen a huge difference in my pain levels.

I can now exercise without fear that I'm going to be sore for days on end.  I'm still testing where that breaking point is, but a recent bike ride and ellipical machine session left me appropriately stiff but not sore in the least.  Same with the walking and Pilates I'm doing.  

This is a major breakthrough for me.  It's so amazing to enjoy physical active once again!  Now I'm looking forward to getting into a regular routine.

To be fair, taking away one pill and adding another hasn't resolved all of my health issue.  I wasn't expecting a magic bullet.  On the plus side, my weight gain has been halted in its tracks.  For the time in months the scale hasn't moved up, but it hasn't moved down either.  I'm hoping with more consistent and vigorous exercise that will change.

I still have problems with acne, which is getting very tiring.  My face has always been a mess since I was 12 and at age 28, acne is simply unprofessional.  I'm trying out a medicated face wash (Noxzema) to see if that will provide some clarity. 

Dehydration issues continue to plague me as well.  I seem to have heat intolerance - I get overheated and zap!  all of the water in my system evaporates.  No one so far has any ideas about what's causing this, and I've been tested for diabetes twice.  It's something that concerns me as I can't go an hour without drinking water and not get dehydrated.  It makes me nervous to do things in the sun (funny, given the Vitamin D deficiency ...) and I am forced to take a water bottle everywhere.  Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of this one day.

For now, I'm going to continue increasing exercise and taking supplements.  My Vitamin D levels will be tested again in two months and if they don't increase enough, I'll get a prescription for it.  I'd like to avoid that for cost's sake, but it's not too hard to go sit on my patio and read for 20 minutes.

How has your heath and exercise routine been lately?  


  1. I carry a water bottle everywhere I go ( saliva problems) You get use to it, it just becomes part of your routine..and on the plus side your sure your getting all the water your suppose to get each day. I am so glad to hear your finding the causes of your health problems. YEAH!! No problem with the shower (hot water) problems. We will find showers!


  2. I've been improving as well. I think I'm finally on the last leg of my most recent (and worst I've ever had) lupus flare up. I meet with a doctor this Wednesday to determine if I should consider some new preventative measures. Now that I'm off the prednisone (which causes weight gain) and the weather is getting nicer, I'm looking forward to being more physically active--mostly taking long walks on the bike trails.

    It's really good to hear you are doing better! I hope that you continue on the up and up!

  3. I still haven't had a proper Vitamin D level done, but I've been told to start taking it (and fish oil) for their mood-boosting effects. I think it's still too early to tell if it's working, but at this point I'm just psyched that it's not another prescription.

  4. @ Mica - Thanks!

    @ d'Artagnan - hope your flare subsides quickly!

    @ JP - I noticed a pretty significant mood boost when I started Vitamin D, but everyone's wired differently and your dosage affects how quickly it can kick in.

    I had several readers on facebook comment that the 30nmol/L is really quite the minimum so there's more to improve on. It's crazy to know I could feel even better just because of something so simple!