Vitamin D Promotes Healing
I feel it pertinent to mention the role of Vitamin D on the road to healing endometriosis, as more and more women are deficient in this natural healing component.
While it is known as “vitamin” D, it is actually both a vitamin and a hormone.
Optimal levels of vitamin D enhance the creation and functioning of healthy cells throughout your body.
It also helps protect your bones and boosts your immune system.
Optimal vitamin D levels are essential for optimal adrenal function.
Current scientific research implicates vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer (including breast and ovarian), auto immune diseases, depression and chronic pain.
Further Benefits of Vitamin D
There are two major types of vitamin D – vitamin D2 and D3.
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is synthesized by plants and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is made in large quantities in your skin with sunlight exposure. It can also be ingested from animal sources.
Vitamin D2 makes for strong and healthy bones by retaining calcium. It is also a precursor to cholesterol (which is the precursor to the all important hormone: progesterone).
Vitamin D3 is an antioxidant that protects your cells from damage. It helps to oxygenate red blood cells and prevents blood clots. It also promotes healthy skin.
Vitamin D3 improves fertility and aids in egg implantation.
Vitamin D3 helps reduce hot flashes, and improves breast tenderness. It promotes anti-inflammatory action and is needed for antibody production.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Signs of vitamin D2 deficiency include joint pain or stiffness, backache, tooth decay, muscle cramps and hair loss.
Signs of vitamin D3 deficiency include lack of sex drive, exhaustion after light exercise, easy bruising, slow wound healing, varicose veins, infertility and low testosterone.
Harmful actions against both types of vitamin D include a lack of sunlight, high temperature cooking, especially frying, air pollution, birth control pills, excessive intake of refined or processed fats and oils and a low fat diet.
A blood test is all that’s needed to find out what your vitamin D levels are. Normal levels should be between 32-100ng/ml.
Be sure to ask your doctor what your number is, as “normal” levels are not necessary optimal. Per Dr. Christiane Northrup, optimal levels of vitamin D are 40-100ng/ml.
Solutions for Vitamin D Deficiency
Good food sources of vitamin D2 include herring, salmon, mackerel, boiled eggs, tuna and grass fed butter. Vitamins A, C and E help protect D2.
Good food sources of vitamin D3 include sunflower seeds, cold pressed olive oil, safflower and sunflower oils, broccoli, sprouts, green leafy vegetables, spinach, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, avocados, salmon, eggs, asparagus, tuna, bananas, oatmeal, carrots and peas.
Vitamin C and selenium are helpful in the protection of D3.
The best way to boost vitamin D is with moderate sunlight exposure. The sun’s UVB rays enable your body to manufacture vitamin D in the fat layer under your skin, as long as you don’t use sunscreen.
It is recommended to sit in the sun for 10-20 minutes a day without sunscreen (more if you have darker skin).
Your body can make up to 10,000 IU of vitamin D in thirty minutes of total body exposure and will never create toxic levels.
To prevent burning and to keep away the sun’s harmful rays, the best times to sit are in the mid-morning or late-afternoon sun.
In northern climates (those with a latitude around mid-30 degrees or higher) between mid-October and mid-March, you cannot get enough UVB rays to make vitamin D under the skin, so supplementation will be necessary.
It doesn’t hurt to supplement anyways year round. If you are low in vitamin D, Dr. Northrup recommends taking 5,000 IU per day. After establishing a healthful level, supplement with at least 2,000 IU per day, as it is hard to get all you need from food.
On the Positive Side?
As springtime in Colorado moves closer to summer, my husband continues to comment on how “tan” I look. While I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that I am tan, my skin has darkened from its natural pale color.
This is because I followed the advice of sitting in the morning or late-afternoon sun for 15-20 minutes with a good book or meditation mantra 🙂
I hardly ever used to sit in the sun without sunscreen on. We are taught to fear the sun, when exposure (without burning) is actually very good for us!
The thing is, I used to burn after only a few minutes in the sun. Come to find out that this is a big sign of nutrient deficiencies. Since this is no longer the case, I am assuming that I’ve corrected this imbalance 🙂
I find that the simple action of sitting in the sun to be very calming and grounding for me. The sun is the energy source of this world, and sitting underneath this power has granted me additional energy too.
Have you had your vitamin D levels checked? Do you make a point to sit in the sun? Have you noticed a difference with supplementation?
I’d love to hear from you…..