Positively Hopeful

by | Jan 15, 2009 | Uncategorized | 21 comments

This week has been full of doctors appointments. Monday I had some labs done, yesterday Chiquita and Snuggles had check-ups, and today I had my followup appointment with my doctor.

Recently I was asked how I am able to stay so “positive,” and it made me laugh. The truth is I have been really struggling lately. In the fall I was blaming it on being pregnant and sick, over Thanksgiving and Christmas I was blaming it on losing our baby, and lately I have been wondering if I was struggling with postpartum depression/anxiety again. However, the weird thing is I feel like I should be fine, but at the same time I feel so sad, overwhelmed, and emotional. (It takes very little for me to start crying.) I didn’t get it! In the past, exercise, eating healthy, and taking B-Stress Vitamins and/or 5HTP would make all the difference in my attitude, and the past couple weeks, even with doing all of those things, it was getting worse. On top of that, I have been able to sleep less and less each night. I am exhausted, yet I just lie there, praying that I will be able to sleep until 2-3am.

Well today we figured it out!!! A couple weeks ago, when talking to a friend about these challenges she recommended having my Vitamin D levels checked. Well, my results came back today and sure enough, they are really low. (Everything else came back perfect!) The normal range is 32-100 and mine are at 6. From what my doctor told me, low Vitamin D causes many of the same symptoms as depression. She also told me that the lowest she has seen in a patient was 2, and he was barely able to get out of bed in the morning and was SO sad all the time. A week later, he was a new person. YAY!!! There is hope!!!

My doctor wants me taking 1,000 IU each day in addition to my prescription of a weekly mega-dose of 50,000 IU. She said I should be feeling better within a week. I can’t wait!!


  1. Nancy Carabio Belanger

    Jessica: Wow, I just saw something about this in Ladies’ Home Journal, about how common it is that people aren’t getting enough vitamin D–especially in northern climates in the winter. It is the January issue, I believe. I am sorry I got rid of the magazine after I finished it, otherwise I’d send you the article. Maybe Google it? I am so glad you found the reason for your discomfort/sadness. I’ll say a prayer it works quickly for you!

  2. Barbara

    Good for you, following up on your instincts. I hope you feel much better soon. I think many of our ills can probably be linked to dietary deficiencies, if only the doctors would look!

  3. Margaret

    That’s really interesting!

  4. Sara

    I love, love, love Vit. D! Dr. Mike of ProteinPower.com says 4,000 IU’s per day, for anyone who lives north of El Paso, TX! It makes ALL the difference for me and I didn’t get sick at all last year.

    I’m glad you got that recommendation and your dr. tested you.

  5. Angela

    Jessica, I am glad you found out about Vitamin D. The naturopathic doctor I see occasionally swears by it, especially here in the Pacific NW where we don’t get enough sun! It’s good for helping to prevent a lot of stuff! I take it too.
    Hope you get to feeling better!

  6. Shelly

    how long will you need to be on the medication? is this something you should always take?

  7. elm

    Hmmm… maybe I should look into that!! I have been feeling so tired and exhausted. Maybe that could help me, too.

  8. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks everyone!

    Shelly ~ My doctor wants me on the Prescription Strength Dose until May, when she will recheck my levels. After that, if my levels are in a more normal range she will let me try going to 2,000 IU’s each day, and see how I do with that over the summer. I’m not sure if I will always have to take it, and I know that too much isn’t good either, so we will have to see…

  9. Sara

    What would the symptoms be of too much Vit. D? Did she say?

    I think, in the summer, you get a sunburn because your body has absorbed all the vitamin D it can handle. Don’t know what symptoms would look like in winter when we’re not out. Maybe we can handle a huge amt, but the sun is the best way to get it.

  10. Erin


    I’m amazed that you are functioning at all! Wonderful that you have found the problem. Waiting to hear that you are feeling 100% better:)

  11. Juli

    I’m sorry you have been so sad. You seem to be such a source of happiness for everyone else. I’m so glad you have found what the problem is. I know it must have been hard to put on a brave front when you were feeling so low.

  12. Jessica Gordon

    Sara ~ She didn’t say, but I found this online:

    There is a high health risk associated with consuming too much vitamin D. Vitamin D toxicity can cause nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. It can also raise blood levels of calcium, causing mental status changes such as confusion. High blood levels of calcium also can cause heart rhythm abnormalities. Calcinosis, the deposition of calcium and phosphate in soft tissues like the kidney can be caused by vitamin D toxicity.

    Consuming too much vitamin D through diet alone is not likely unless you routinely consume large amounts of cod liver oil. It is much more likely to occur from high intakes of vitamin D in supplements. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine considers an intake of 1,000 IU for infants up to 12 months of age and 2,000 IU for children, adults, pregnant, and lactating women to be the tolerable upper intake level. Daily intake above this level increases the risk of adverse health effects and is not advised.

  13. Melissa @ Homegrown Catholics

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been battling depression, which of course always gets worse in the winter, for a few decades. My current prenatals have me taking 600 IUs a day, and I have no idea if I get any through my food. So I just may have to look into that for some natural relief.

    God Bless You – hope you start feeling better soon! You’re lucky to have such wonderful people in your life to help you along.

  14. Anonymous

    I’m glad my email made you laugh. I’ll definitely be checking into the B-complex and vitamins for myself to see if that happens with the sadness and anxiety I have been experiencing.

  15. A

    I am so behind and lost without my computer. I am ignoring everyone an hiding out in the back room trying to catch up and saw this.
    I am so sorry!!! It makes sense though… right? Because you don't do dairy and isn't that a huge source of vitamin d??
    I pray that the vitamins help and if you NEED anything you let me know. I know you worry because I have a newborn and all… but you forget I have lots of help around here and I want to help YOU.
    (((((((((((HUGS & LOVE))))))))))

  16. Heather

    A six, that’s really low! I just got a light therapy lamp to help battle insomnia, fatigue and overall grumpiness (feels like the walls are closing in on me!). Thank you for the good reminder on the supplement- I’m going to get back on taking my D.
    😉 blessings, Heather

  17. Sara

    I know that D2 is more toxic than D3. You need to be sure you’re getting D3. And I’ll just add that Dr. Mike Eades is a real doctor whom I trust and he recommends 4,000 during the winter months. You can back off of that in the summer if you’re outside. But I religiously took the 4,000 last winter and didn’t have any adverse effects. Still, 2,000 is a huge improvement over the RDA.

  18. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks for the info Sara!!! This is all so new to me, and I am learning so much!! I’ll have to look into Dr. Mike Eades!

  19. Ruth

    You’re in my prayers, dear friend!

  20. Aimee Landreneau

    I know that I’m commenting really late to this, but my doctor just checked my level and it’s 14! So I have to take 6000iu for 3 months, then 2000 for 3 months. Then recheck.

    I just ordered some from http://www.vitacost.com…300 tablets of 2000iu D3 for $10! Best deal I could find. They have tons of stuff, and shipping is flat $5!


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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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