Chronic Fatigue and Muscle Aches? Have Your Vitamin D Levels Checked.

Around 4 months back I was referred to a Rheumatologist for a diagnosis of chronic joint pain and recurrent joint swelling. While my condition was diagnosed as Palindromic Rheumatism(more about that in another post), another startling revelation was made during this appointment. A blood test done about a year back had shown very low levels of Vitamin D. This finding was never communicated to me and so I was not aware that my Vitamin D levels were low. Since I knew nothing about it, I did nothing about it as well. Now the levels were so low that bringing it back to normal with food or exposure to sunlight was not possible and so I was recommended Vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D deficiency can cause muscle aches, chronic fatigue and muscle weakness. My low levels of Vitamin D meant that it was kind of exacerbating the intensity of my rheumatic joint paints.


Before I talk about the supplements, let me tell you a bit about Vitamin D and why it is important to us. Vitamin D is necessary for good health and strong bones. Vitamin D regulates the amount of Calcium in our body and Calcium as you must know is needed to keep our bones strong. Normally Vitamin D is synthesised in our skin by exposure to sunlight. There are also some foods that are sources of Vitamin D albeit in small amounts. Oily fishes and eggs are two good food sources. In normal cases most people get the required amount of Vitamin D from their diet and exposure to sunlight. But sometimes for different reasons the body does not make the required amount of the vitamin leading to a deficiency as it happened in my case. In adults lack of Vitamin D can cause bone pain/tenderness due to osteomalacia(soft bones). And in such cases the GP will prescribe Vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D supplements can be picked up from pharmacies and many health stores online but I decided to give the ones from Protein Lifestyle a go as I have previously tried products
from them and found their products to be of a good quality.



I took the Vitamin D capsules from Protein Lifestyle to increase my vitamin levels. The capsules have a gelatine shell and contain Vitamin D3 and Soya Bean Oil. Each capsule provides on average 5000iu(125mcg) of Vitamin D3. (Do check with your GP regarding the dosage as it might vary person to person depending on the case). The capsules are spherical, tiny and easy to swallow. To me the capsules felt like little globes of sunshine :) I took them as directed and after 3 months when I went for another blood test and a subsequent follow-up appointment, the GP confirmed that my levels of Vitamin D were back up again and asked me to stop taking the supplements. Phew, what a relief! The capsules did their job and I am happy with the results. I will need to recheck my Vitamin D levels again in Winter because in winters the UVB rays in sunlight are not sufficient enough to make Vitamin D in the skin. Also since we follow a vegetarian diet at home, the amount of Vitamin D I get from food sources is not as high as someone whose diet includes fish and other meat. But in any case now I know where to get my Vitamin D supplements from should I need them again.

Note: As with any supplements, do not take more than the prescribed dose as it could be harmful. Excessive intake of Vitamin D can soften or weaken bones, so stick to the dosage your GP had suggested.

Along with Vitamin D, I also went on a short course of Vitamin C. Unlike Vitamin D which is fat-soluble and stored in our body's fatty tissue, Vitamin C is water-soluble and is not stored in the body. So it must be replaced each day. Vitamin C aids in improving the immune system function and also increases the absorption and utilization of Iron. Since I had some nutrient mal-absorption issues, I also took Vitamin C for short period of time. The tablets were again from Protein Lifestyle and come in a packaging similar to the Vitamin D capsules. There are 90 tablets in the box and each tablet provides on average 50mg of Citrus Bioflavonoids and 1000mg of Vitamin C. The tablet needs to be swallowed whole and this is where I had a little problem. Many a times I face difficulties swallowing large tablets as an unconscious gag reflex kicks in. These tablets are a bit bigger than what I can normally take without any issues. If the size was a bit smaller, it would have been wonderful :)



Overall, both the supplements were of a good quality and reasonably priced as well. Am happy with both the products. You can check out the entire range of vitamins and minerals available on Protein Lifestyle here.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the post is written based on my personal experience with the supplements. Supplements in general should not be used as a substitute for a varied and healthy diet/lifestyle. And always consult your doctor before you begin taking any supplements.


“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
- World Health Organization, 1948
PR sample

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