The Tale of the Brown Lady and the Missing Vitamin D

It’s a tale as old as time. Brown girl falls in love with pasty white boy. Moves from sunny California to cloudy England. They have lots of holidays. Then they have children and a mortgage. So they have holidays in the UK and the brown lady (no longer a girl) doesn’t get her winter sun. The brown lady becomes tired, and tired, and then more tired.

Holiday in Cuba - before we had children
Holiday in Cuba, catching some winter sun…before we had children. Look how healthy I look.

After a couple of months of blood tests and an x-ray, my doctor has informed me that I have a Vitamin D deficiency and Osteomalacia (soft bones). I had assumed I was tired because I have two children and they keep me busy. And I had assumed that the back and hip aches were just throwbacks from carrying my son, who was a very long baby. Plus I had suffered with Pelvic Girdle Pain during that pregnancy (PPGP or SPD). Add the weight gain, and a few other symptoms, and I just assumed it was my age. Let’s face it, I am no spring chicken.

It seems that I need more sunshine. I have two young children, I don’t have time to sunbathe in the garden on hot summer days. But if I am not having a sunny holiday, then this is what I must do. Because I really don’t have time to be tired and achy. I need time for me. The housework can wait. The sunlight in the UK doesn’t have enough ultraviolet B from November to March, so your body cannot make Vitamin D then. This is why it is important to get plenty of sunshine in the summer months.

The funny thing is, I give my children Vitamin D supplements in the winter. They’re mixed race, so I know about the dangers of their young bones not getting enough Vitamin D. And in the summer, I don’t put sunscreen on them everyday as I know that they need the sunshine. But I guess it is another case of putting our children above ourselves. As mums, we need to remember that it is difficult taking care of our family when we have not properly taken care of ourselves.

Last year I fell down the stairs and broke and sprained a couple of toes on my left foot. They haven’t properly healed yet. The podiatrist gave me exercises to do, but they really hurt. Now it all makes sense. Why it has taken so long to heal. Why my bones are always aching. Apparently my aches will begin to go away after a few months. Once I have a healthy amount of Vitamin D.

This is my plan to get some more Vitamin D and become a healthier me (for me and my family).

1. No sunscreen – I hear your audible gasps. Yes, too much sun isn’t great for ageing skin. But I live in London and I promise the sun here is nothing like it is in The Seychelles. I will be wearing a moisuriser without SPF, unless I am in the summer sun for more than an hour. And I’ll be wearing anti-ageing night cream while I sleep.

2. Supplements – I am on a large dose of Vitamin D3 tablets for the next few months.

3. Diet – I will be doing my best to eat more oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified cereals (Kellogg’s add Vitamin D to all their cereals) .

Hopefully I should start feeling better in a couple of months. If you have any tips on dealing with a Vitamin D deficiency, I would love to hear from you. And it’s not just brown people who get Vitamin D deficiencies, more and more people are getting it as we are all keeping out of the sun.


Mama and More


22 thoughts on “The Tale of the Brown Lady and the Missing Vitamin D

  1. I’m starting to wonder if I maybe have the same thing Elfa! I’m totally exhausted all the time at the moment too, but yet in the Summer I have tons of energy. I think I might start to incorporate a few of these foods into my diet and see if it makes a difference. Thankyou for the tips! Xx

  2. Oh Elfa! I do hope these corrective measures start to help soon petal. Feeling tired all the time sucks! I think maybe a trip to California may HAVE to be on the cards soon though. Doctors orders of course!

  3. Love your sense of humour throughout this post hon, really hope you’re on the mend soon! Pure organic cocoa/cacao is is also good for Vit D – make some yummy brownies to cheer yourself up 🙂 #allaboutyou

  4. I hope your new measures will be making you feel better soon. I’ve always felt better in the sunshine, but I don’t think that has anything to do with medical reasons. More sunbathing is definitely needed, so you’ll just HAVE to go on holiday more 🙂 #AllAboutYou

  5. Oh goodness, poor you! So glad you’ve been diagnosed and you’re on the path to wellness again. Thanks for linking up to #AllABoutYou x

  6. I don’t doubt you’re vitamin D deficient, I recently found out a surprising fact that the majority of the population in Europe are. I live in sunny south of France where we get 300days of sun a year and I’m deficient! I also discovered that the obsession with UV protection (which I know is necessary…) has led to rickets making a return in Australia! I hope your supplements and other strategies to increase your D levels have you feeling more energetic soon and that your poor little broken toes mend. #allaboutme

  7. Oh Elfa, sorry to hear this! In someways, though, I’m kind of glad to hear that you are tired because of something you can change though…being tired sucks and if it feels like there’s no way around it, that sucks even more. So I hope your oily fish and massive pills help you to feel better soon. I have a feeling loads more people suffer from this, I wonder if there is a connection with SAD too??

    Either way I think we could all do with a bit more VitD!

    Thanks for linking up to #AllAboutYou lovely! xxx

  8. Oh poor you, Elfa! Your toes sound really painful, good job you don’t have to run around after two kids all day…Really feel for you. Hope now you have a diagnosis, these steps will start to improve your Vit D levels and you’ll feel less achy and tired. I have to say, though, you’re full of life when I’ve met you – hiding it well like a good mummy. Lots of love xxx

  9. It’s great that this has been diagnosed now lovely so you can get yourself on track! It’s scary really, I mean there must be lots of mums and dads who are suffering with something that goes un-diagnosed due to being put down to the aches, pains, tiredness that goes along with being a parent!!!
    Definitely a trip away needs to be on the cards for you 🙂 xx

  10. The title of this post made me giggle before I read it, and then started to nod my head along to much of what you’ve written. We need sun. It’s in our DNA, and some of us crave it more than others. Could your GP not write you a prescription for a plane ticket? I would say only that staying outside as much as possible is the only way forward. Perhaps dot sunscreen around the eye area at least, and then soak up the rest. In the summer, we do pretty much everything outside – the picnic blanket is permanently out and covered in toys, puzzles, and then plates for mealtimes. We rarely eat at the table when the sun is out because I feel resentful of missing a single moment of it. We even put bubble bath in the kids’ paddling pool for bath time! Naturally, that’s all in the summer, and you need to up your Vit D now, so I guess it’s all about diet and supplements for now, and walks as much as possible in what sunshine there is! Thanks for linking to All About You, so sorry for the delay in getting round this week! xxx

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