Vitamin D: Why It’s Important and How to Get Enough


*Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a doctor; the information provided should not take the place of medical advice. Please speak to your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements. This post is about my personal experience. Your doctor will be able to best test and guide you to find what will work for you.*

Welcome to the Sunshine State! The most populated season is winter here in Miami. Why? Because here, our seasons are hot and muggy, less hot, warm, and what I like to call “cold enough that we can wear Uggs, but northerners say its bathing suit weather.” 

Have you ever noticed how the weather can affect your mood?

Vitamin D: Why It's Important and How to Get Enough Rachelle Haime Contributor Miami Moms Blog
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How do you feel when it’s gloomy out? How do you feel when it’s sunny? So many things that surround us can affect our mood, and I would say one of the biggest ones is the weather. 

Weather is one of the reasons people flee to the south during the winter months. They do it to avoid seasonal affective disorder. SAD is a disorder related to the change of seasons and the lack of sunlight, which affects our vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is incredibly important when it comes to a lot of things. It keeps our bones healthy and strong. It supports our muscle health and helps cell growth. And it’s also hugely beneficial to the immune system and fighting off bacteria and viruses.

Another incredibly important benefit of vitamin D is how it supports our mental health. As I mentioned above, low vitamin D can do a number on our mental health. 

So how can we add more vitamin D to our lives?

Well, as I mentioned getting outside is hugely helpful! Everything from workouts to BBQs. I know the mugginess doesn’t make it too comfortable to be out for too long, but anything you can do helps. The great thing about Florida is we can be outside pretty much year-round (just make sure to apply the proper sunscreen before spending extended time outdoors). 

However, sometimes just going outside might not be enough. 

Vitamin D: Why It's Important and How to Get Enough Rachelle Haime Contributor Miami Moms Blog
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While I was going through postpartum depression, the doctor tested me for various hormones and vitamins. One of the things they found was that my vitamin D was almost non-existent. 

At the time, we were living in Bogotá, Colombia, and my doctor said the deficiency was being made worse because of the rain we were getting 24/7.

The lack of sunlight was not helping my mood. That could pose a massive problem, especially once I started tapering off my PPD medication. So to help boost my mood, I was put on a high dose vitamin D supplement as I tapered off Lexapro. 

I am still on it now after moving to Florida. More specifically, I take vitamin D3 with vitamin K2 (for better D3 absorption). 

I take a lesser dosage than before because the sun is helping a bit. However, getting out in the sun still wasn’t enough. So if you are like me, you might need to take a supplement to get your vitamin D level to where it should be even with added outdoor time.

Another way to get more vitamin D is through your diet.

Rachelle Haime Contributor Miami Moms Blog
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Foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, cod liver oil, cheese, and beef liver are all high in vitamin D. There are also foods fortified with vitamin D that you can look for, including some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.

How do I know if I have a deficiency? 

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include:

Fatigue or feeling tired
Bone pain
Joint pain
Muscle pain
Sour mood
Low energy 
More frequent illness
Weight gain
 Hair loss

These symptoms may also be because of other ailments, so please be sure to discuss this with your doctor before starting any vitamin D treatments. 

So how much vitamin D do we need?

Vitamin D: Why It's Important and How to Get Enough Rachelle Haime Contributor Miami Moms Blog
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

There are average daily recommendations. However, your doctor might recommend different amounts based on your specific situation.

If you think you might have a vitamin D deficiency be sure to bring up your concerns at your next doctor visit.