It has been two and a half, maybe three years (I've lost count to be honest) of pain, extreme fatigue and utter frustration. I went from one doctor to the next trying to explain to them what was going on with me and how I knew something was wrong and I kept being dismissed, told to lose some weight, sleep more, eat better, do physio, etc. They tried to treat me with respect but mostly I think they thought I was just wasting their time. I had anxiety and OCD and depression and it was all just causing my body to hurt. So they sent me away time and time again. Sometimes with a referral, sometimes not. But at the root of it, I knew that they didn't think there was anything wrong with me.
Maybe I am judging them too harshly. After all, they only get to see me for ten minutes and when I'm around doctors I clam up, especially when they started blaming it on my mental health or weight. I would just nod and let them tell me that I need to exercise more despite the pain I was feeling which made it hard to get out of bed, let alone exercising!
About a year and a half ago I read somewhere how crucial Vitamin D and B12 were and how they could be a cause for fatigue. After having every other blood tests under the sun and all the results coming back completely average, I was told that "everyone in the UK is vitamin D deficient anyway so there was no point in testing for it." I was told that if I was still concerned in six months, to ask for a test then.
I did. I was told that I was probably just overweight and overworked and thus that was why I was feeling lethargic for that reason. I told them about my painful hands - because how could they be hurting if it was just because I was overweight - and that did seem to stir something in my doctor but instead of the blood test I wanted, she booked me in for an x-ray on my hands to check for arthritis.
But guys... I finally managed to get a doctor to agree to a blood test to check my vitamin D and Vitamin B12 levels.
And guess what?
I am severely vitamin D deficient.
The average person should have a level reading somewhere between 75 to 200. A reading of 25 is considered extremely deficient.
My reading came to 17.
Do you want to know what I've found out about vitamin D deficiency?
- It causes unexplained fatigue
- It can make it difficult to think clearly
- It causes bone pain
- It causes joint pain
- It causes muscle pain and weakness
- It can cause weight gain
- It can make it harder to lose weight
- It can affect serotonin levels increasing risk of depression
- It can cause gut issues, especially concerning lactose...
Do you want to know something else?
I have all of these symptons. Every. Single. One.
I knew something was wrong. I knew it wasn't just because I was overweight because I have always been overweight and so why would my body suddenly be complaining about it all now?
And because I knew it, I did not give up. I kept going back. From one doctor to the next, from one test to the next. I was determined to get the bottom of it and determined to prove the doctors wrong - it wasn't just because I was an overweight lazy person or because I ate like crap or because I was mentally ill. It wasn't all in my head. There was something wrong with me.
I have been told it will take a while for the supplements I now have to take to return my levels to normal but I have a hope inside of me that I haven't had for a long time. I believe that I can get my activity levels back up, my energy back up and be the person I used to be, the person I long to be again. It may take time, but I'm ready. I've waited three years, what's another few months?
So to end this post, I just want to say that if you have something ailing you, if you are certain that something in your body isn't right, please listen to your body and keep going to your doctor until they take you seriously and you get the diagnosis you need.