OK so I didn’t actually get rickets, I’m not under 12 years old and my legs are straight, but rickets sounds snappier than severe vitamin D deficiency. I grew up on the Isle of Wight, in the sunniest town in the UK. I spent pretty much everyday outside, rain or shine. Since moving to Guildford and working in London, I’ve been spending hardly any time in the sun, mostly because I was leaving the house before dawn and coming home after dusk. Thanks to the whole lack of sunshine and weekend cloud cover (mother nature was not on my side this year) I developed a severe vitamin D deficiency. Most people in the UK tend to have a slight deficiency because of our latitude, some people are much better at naturally harvesting vitamin D from their food. I’m guessing that living outside in the sunniest place in the UK for 18 years didn’t really prepare my body for naturally harvesting vitamin D effectively.
Vitamin D is like the body’s basic element. It helps your bones, your immune system, and general reproduction of cells. During the year my hair and nails would split and feel brittle, I felt generally unwell, I felt depressed, my back ached, and I was so over tired that I couldn’t sleep. In the end I went to the doctors because I thought I had depression. They sent me for blood tests to see if there was any chemical reason, and they diagnosed a severe deficiency. Your normal levels are supposed to be 75ug a severe deficiency is classes as 25ug and my levels were 22ug. I got prescribed some high strength vitamin D tablets. And since taking my sunshine tablets I’m feeling much better. Not just physically having more energy, but mentally better. Although I do still have some back ache these days, I’m defiantly on the mend.
The whole time I had the deficiency my mental state was awful, I was really depressed, crying all the time and I mean ALL the time. I was in such a state that when I got turned away from Tesco for not having my I.D I cried at the cashier. I’m normally pretty level headed, able to get on with the inconveniences of forgetting my I.D. I even crashed the car twice in less than 20 minutes due to my super over tiredness, forward into a parked car and then backwards into a tree. It was the first and second time I’d ever crashed my car and luckily nothing was hurt except my bank balance.
I found out about my deficiency about a month before my contract at my placement was due to be extended. I decided it was better to finish work at the end of my contract rather than extending. I needed to get some rest and generally just chill out before going back to university in the autumn. It would be nice to not feel rushed into returning, and have time to work on my 4th year project, and get back to grips with studying engineering! So much maths! I’ve been finished from work for 2 weeks now and I already feel much better. I’m hoping to get some serious rest and sunshine and get back to my old self before going back to university.
Get outside people of Britain, it can seriously mess with your health if you don’t!