It’s just part of getting older! That was my answer for subtle issues that were going on in my life. Several years ago I started to put on a few pounds…weight that I got serious about trying to shed last year and despite biking many miles a week and watching what I ate I never lost more than a pound. But hey – just part of getting older, not smoking, and a slower metabolism right? Other issues were elevated triglycerides, lower energy levels, and a whole host of other small things that you notice but don’t pay much attention to. Then, this past winter, on New Years Day specifically, I had the pleasure of having a back spasm. Interestingly during the day I would be fine, but a few hours after falling asleep at night it would spasm and wake me up. I tried all the usual tricks of cold, heat, ibuprofen etc etc, but after 4 days of little sleep I ended up going to the Dr. I had full range of movement without pain so I was sent home with muscle relaxants and pain meds and told to come back in a week if it still hurt. Neither of the meds helped me and I continued on the waking up with pain schedule. I found it interesting that ibuprofen worked better than the prescription meds telling me that there was some sort of swelling or inflammation going on. After a week I went back and the advice I received this time was to take more pills and shop for a new bed. This advice wasn’t satisfactory to me and I went to see a new Dr – a DO this time instead of an MD. During the time frame the spasm stopped but the pain migrated to my lower back and surrounding across my hips to the point that after sitting for a while it was hard to stand up and I would have to walk hunched over. I felt like I was in my eighties, and started to think about all the things that I wasn’t going to be able to do anymore. When I finally got in to see the DO she knew exactly how to contort me to cause pain and diagnosed me as having sacroiliac (SI) joint pain. I went through a battery of tests with an afterthought being checking my vitamin D levels. Everything came back normal with the exception of the vitamin D which was extremely low…. Vitamin D?? What?? Me??? I’m outside in the sun all the time..I was extremely surprised. I went on a ibuprofen and prescription vitamin D regimen and instantly saw results. Amazingly the first positive result was my mood – turns out vitamin D can make you happy. It’s also a possible cause in chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia patients. I figured I had probably been deficient for years. Now several months down the road I’ve dropped over 10 pounds, my SI joint pain is by and large gone, and my triglycerides are lower. The miracle of vitamin D. So, even if you’re in the sun a lot, if you live in a region that has diminished sunlight in the winter and you’re feeling that something isn’t quite right take the time to have your vitamin D levels checked – you may be surprised.