For years I have wrestled with maintaining my vitamin D levels. I take 100,000 units a week to keep near a normal number (the regular suggested dose is 50,000/week). However, even with that high dose, I barely stay where it is healthy. With it being summer, even the extra sun fails me.
I experience a few issues relating to this severe deficiency. The most obvious issue is the gradual increase in pain deep into my bones. The ache can be debilitating. As the pain increases, so does the fatigue, which is usually the first sign my numbers have dropped. When pain becomes chronic and fatigue consistent, depression tends to follow. I am thankful that our insurance hasn’t changed, as this allows me to stay with the same doctor who tests me regularly and supplies the prescription necessary to aide the deficiency.
When speaking with others who deal with bipolar or other mental health illnesses, the simple annual physical exam is never a priority. They have enough appointments with psychologists, neuropsychologist, physchiatrists to counselor’s, etc. Taking time for this little exam seems like small potatoes compared to the doctors who keep them mentally stable.
I get it. I used to be there with my medical care. Years ago, I could not handle the chronic pain I experienced so I had to step it up. I saw one doctor in Florida who asked when my last physical was, and that started my ‘well check’ visits 12 years ago. We do these exams for our children and our parents, but why not ourselves? When that doctor discovered my severe vitamin D deficiency, he changed my healthcare for life.
I recommend a routine physical to everyone. There are many complex pieces to our healthcare. This simple once a year visit should be part of your routine. My Vitamin D effected my physical health and, if too low, greatly effects my mental health.
I know the rut of constant doctor visits is exhausting, adding one more is frustrating. I believe we owe it to ourselves to monitor all of our health needs. You never know if one test may help you in your overall care, and especially your mental health care.
Schedule an appointment and be sure to share all your concerns. While it seems mental health care consumes us, our entire body deserves care and attention! Ladies, get those annual exams and breast exams. Take control of your health care. Only you can.