Take extra D to make sure your body gets what nature takes away in the winter months.
Ever find that your body is more achey in the winter? It could be a seasonal deficiency in vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin." Our bodies produce vitamin D only when our skin is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays. That means it is in short supply during the late fall and winter months. Research shows that a lack of vitamin D is linked to a list of painful maladies, especially aches and pains in the muscles, bones, and joints. Vitamin D deficiency has also been implicated in mood disorders, chronic fatigue, and seasonal affective disorder. Experts note that many people don't get enough vitamin D year-round.
An easy solution is a little extra vitamin D. Currently, the recommended dose is 400 IU per day for children and 600 IU per day for adults. These numbers are outdated, according to researchers, and most children and adults need at least 1000 IU. For people with pain, they suggest 2000 IU or more of vitamin D3, especially during the winter months. Not only is vitamin D a safe drug (it interacts with very few drugs and rarely causes side effects), it's inexpensive, too. Talk to your doctor before beginning any supplement regiment.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...