A few days back, out of nowhere, I had a severe back ache. I blamed it on my bad posture while picking up my little daughter. But the pain persisted. I knew it couldn’t just have been the posture. Then one of my shoulders became stiff and the left knee started hurting. And you know how misery loves company, so my knuckles started getting stiff too. I remembered this had occurred during my pregnancy too two years back.
No, no, before you start congratulating me let me make this clear. I am NOT pregnant. So it was all the more confusing, why this problem had resurfaced now? When I felt that my back would break if I didn’t do something about it, pretty soon, I rushed to my physician. He wrote down a few tests. When I handed him the report, he told me to see an Orthopaedic doctor. My Vitamin D was 13 while the acceptable level is 30. No wonder then that my bones and muscles were going soft on me.
The Orthopaedic asked me, “Do you go out in the sun?”
I said, “No. But my house gets ample sunlight from the windows.”
He tut-tutted,” That’s not enough. You need direct sunlight for at least 30 mins between 10 am to 4 pm.”
“Wow, isn’t the sun at its cruel best at that time?” I asked sarcastically.
He smiled as if indulging a child, “May be but your body needs that cruelty.” Then he added, “Don’t think you are the only one. Around 40% of Indians suffer from Vitamin D deficiency; it’s slowly rising to an epidemic level.”
Can you believe that a sunshine country like India has people suffering from a deficiency caused by lack of sun exposure? Sadly, that’s the case. Office workers, students and house-wives are the main targets, and so are pregnant and menopausal women. Our unhealthy life style and unbalanced diet too add to the woes.
Interestingly, I send my toddler everyday to play in the sun for an hour even in the harshest summer so that she could be exposed to the sun. Then why in the God’s name didn’t I think of the same thing for myself? Anyways, let bygones be bygones.
I have taken to the body repair management with gusto; Vitamin D injections, calcium pills and sun exposure for at least 20 mins every day, regular exercising and nutritional food (eggs, mushrooms, breakfast cereals, fortified milk). For non-vegetarians, of course the options are vast: salami, ham and sausages, oysters, caviar, fish etc.
If you notice stiffness in your joints and experience muscle ache, don’t treat it lightly. Consult your doctor today.