My mood would turn without warning; my mental and emotional swings were coming out of nowhere, didn’t seem to have any trigger that I could figure out, and it would take hours – or even days – to get past them. Things reached a point where I was considering psychiatric help.
I have a mild sun allergy that requires me to use very strong sunblock throughout the spring and summer and knew that my body did not naturally produce as much Vitamin D as it should. But it never occurred to me that the sunblock I relied on also prevented my body from receiving the kind of light it needed to make Vitamin D, that it also lowered those levels even further, or that I should ask my doctors for a Vitamin D test. In fact, through my professional work, I know that the Vitamin D test is one that has been used more often than is necessary.
In the midst of all of this, I was at the OB/GYN for my annual check-up, and the doctor asked me how I was doing. I mentioned my allergy to the sun, my mood swings, and my depression. In that visit I learned how important it is to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms, even if you don’t think they’re relevant to that particular conversation or appointment. When I told my OB/GYN what I was experiencing, they recommended that my Vitamin D levels be tested and prescribed supplements based on the results.
That conversation with my doctor changed my life. Now that I’m following their recommendations about supplements, my moods are manageable, I’m not fighting depression anymore, and my emotions evened out. I feel happier and balanced, allowing my real personality to come out. I can enjoy my family and my life. Vitamin D testing and supplements are not the solution for everyone with my symptoms, but telling the doctor about all my symptoms allowed us to work together to find the right tests and treatment for me as well as options I would never have found without them.
Michelle M., Illinois
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