Last week, I decided to take advantage of Australia’s free health care and get a whole lot of blood tests done. I wanted to see what my general well being was like post malaria last year (it affects the liver and iron levels) and before planning to have a child (yes, I am an old woman by Indian standards).
“Make sure you get your Vitamin D levels tested. I’ve heard a lot about people being deficient,” my mum insisted to me. Sure, okay, mum.
Much to my horror, seven vials of blood were taken from me at the doctor’s office. I don’t handle that sort of thing very well, and felt so dizzy afterwards that I had to go to bed.
Back at the doctor’s office three days later, the results were in. All that may have been wrong, wasn’t. “You are fine, healthy and young. Everything is in balance,” the doctor proclaimed. “Except your Vitamin D levels are way too low.” My mum was right. I have a Vitamin D deficiency.
Even the doctor, a lovely Sri Lankan lady, was shocked. “But you live in a hot country!”
Ah, yes, I do. But it’s not a country that encourages baring my uncovered skin to the sun to absorb Vitamin D. In fact, for more than six months of the year, it’s too hot or too wet to even go outside much. Unfortunately, Vitamin D deficiency in India is widespread.
Low levels of Vitamin D can contribute to all kinds of health problems, so I’m going to have to take a high dose supplement for at least a few months to get my levels up. (And everyone, get your clothes off and sun those bodies!).