Health is Wealth

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This dates back to the year 2000, when I had just gotten settled into my first job. I had severe pain in my right leg to the effect that I used to limp and could never be at ease. There was little relief when I used to keep moving the leg in circular motions. The pain lasted for over a year and a half. My mom took me to an ayurvedic doctor, who was a close family friend too. This sweet lady, a gold-medalist, would never accept that I could ever be ill or have any kinds of pain. When I had been to her complaining of severe pain and swelling of my abdomen too, she would just give me some pain killer, saying, ‘You’re a young and active girl and all girls have a little bit of pain during periods. Learn to be strong.’ 8 years later, the same pain turned out to be a tumor weighing 2-2.5 kgs. Anyway, upon Mom’s repeated requests she prescribed some medicinal oils to be used for massaging the leg and some kashayam (decotion/syrup) for intake. Honestly, it did not help me at all. The pain was getting worse only. 

Later Mom took me to a homeopathic doctor and he mentioned that I was suffering from ‘Shaadi ka Pain’. Yes! That’s what Mom and I heard and we were wondering what this strange illness was. Over the years, I have noticed that for some strange reason, almost all doctors write in a very illegible manner. So we couldn’t even make it out differently from the prescription. My sister used to tease me saying it was time for me to get married and that is what ‘Shaadi ka pain‘ meant. The pain was so intense that I was always irritated and would loose my temper easily. So when my sweet Mom told him that I am always angry, this doctor who was a retired army major, gave me medicines to control my temper too. Huh! I seriously wonder if there is a ‘medicine’ to control temper. But when you are in pain, you’ll try anything and everything to just get some relief. I did too. Those medicines did provide me some relief.

It was only years later that we got to know that what he mentioned was ‘Sciatica Pain’. Thank God!

On a serious note, it was not Sciatica. It was only about 3 years back that we got to know that it was because of Vitamin D3 deficiency. This vitamin is essential for your body to absorb calcium and phosphate. A deficiency of this vitamin leads to less or no absorption of these essentials minerals in the body. The pain had not troubled me for a long time because I was continuously on  medication, especially Calcium and Iron, after my surgery for about two years and then for a year each during both my pregnancies and post-labour. Thus it didn’t trouble because the body did have adequate amount of calcium intake.

Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).[1] Cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol can be ingested from the diet and from supplements.[1][2][3] The body can also synthesize vitamin D (specifically cholecalciferol) in the skin, from cholesterol, when sun exposure is adequate (hence its nickname, the “sunshine vitamin”).

Information Source: WikiPedia

There are blood tests which reveal the measure of Vitamin D3 in your body and there are good doctors out there who can guide you properly and treat you well. I was given calcium absorption tablets (Calsorb and Calcirol) as well as Vitamin D3 supplements (Ultra D3 tablets) for about a year and I am fine now. I was also asked to take milk and milk products, egg white and green veggies rich in iron regularly. The milk part is indeed important. But the most important thing the doctor mentioned was at least half an hour in sun.

Our lifestyles these days keeps us all tucked in air-conditioned offices and houses. Our children too are either locked up inside the houses for fear of security or they are admitted in closed boarding schools. They do not get to play or roam around in sunlight which is an essential source of Vitamin D. Apart from this, our food habits too are unhealthy compared to those in our childhood. So do make a point to let your children and yourself to be exposed to sun light as and when possible. The love for fairness which I usually call the ‘complexion syndrome’ is another mind block that keeps youngsters away from sunlight.

turnyourface-tothesun

A quote that is relevant literally as well as philosophically. 

This weekend, we went to a cousin’s place to visit his ailing daughter. She’s a sixteen year old who is going to appear for her 12th standard boards this year. She’s also a great dancer and performs at various stage shows. What has happened to her? She has acute pain in her right leg running from her hips down to her knees. It was very difficult for me to see her in pain because I have been through it. Her case is much much more severe than mine and she is totally sleep-deprived. She’s going through the necessary treatment but her glowing face has turned into a dull pale. I could clearly see how much she was worrying about the pain and her forthcoming pre-boards for which she’s unable to concentrate on her studies. It is quite evident from her face how much she is suffering. I wish and pray that she recovers soon. 

This is my request to every parent, every youngster, every child, every single human being to expose yourself to sunlight at least for half an hour a day. It will only help you stay healthy. Also, if your health problems persist even after a consultation and subsequent treatment, do not delay in taking a second opinion with a well-known doctor and always avoid self-medication. Ayurveda and homeopathy are good treatments but need to be taken for a longer period, but sometimes there are issues which need immediate attention and will need to be taken care by allopathic medical practitioners only.

At the end of the day, Health is Wealth. Do invest your time and money in it without second thoughts.

Keep Smiling and stay Healthy! 🙂

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30 Replies to “Health is Wealth”

    1. Very True! High-rises, night shifts, luncheon meetings have all ruined our lifestyle. But I feel we should at least make some effort to get up early on weekends and sit and bask in the sunlight. Not an impossible task I guess.

  1. Very true and pertinent post, Rekha! Indeed, it is sad that in a country blessed with abundant sunshine, we are facing issues of Vit D deficiency. I think this obsession with keeping away from sun to avoid getting tanned is having serious repercussions. Thanks for writing this much needed post!

    1. Yes Rachna! It’s indeed sad to note a sharp increase in the number of cases. The worst part is this deficiency is carried on to the foetus from the mother. Many people are not even aware of the severity of this problem. Hence thought of sharing.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Lately there have been many cases I’ve heard in my own family with D3 deficiency… My mom, father in law, my sis…I’ve heard the best medicine is sunlight before 10am. We all need to be careful and go that extra mike for our bodies considering the toxic environment we live in! Every night I promise I’ll get up at least half an hour than my schedule and do yoga…I barely manage at days…time to get strict with self!

    1. Thanks Aditi for dropping in.
      Yes, it doesn’t need much effort from us, but our lifestyle makes us ignore some of the very vital requirements of life. About sticking to a schedule, it’s the same case with me too. 😦

  3. Rekha – I read that a vast majority of Indians do indeed have Vit D deficiency. Very good post, and well highlighted the importance of sunshine. I think this pain gets worse during pregnancy / postpartum years. Glad to hear that you are fine. And yes! alternate methods are good, but sometimes allopathy is the best

    1. Yes, Vitamin D deficiency induced Calcium deficiency is at its worst during pregnancy/postpartum years. Wish everyone takes a note and works to improve their health.

  4. I do understand the importance of sunlight… but my day starts with sunrise and ends with sunset… by the time i come back home.. sun goes to take rest 😦
    I’m scared now… because my work roams around 4 walls where I do not see anything else apart from files and cupboards… Lets see if I can compensate this with food!!

      1. yups… I will try!!

        You know what.. everyday when i get into office cab.. i avoid sitting on right hand side, as i get sunlight and i try to protect myself.. but today.. I sat on the same seat to get sunlight…

        Thanks to you post!! 🙂

  5. Hi Rex, hearing about your cousin reminded me of an aunt’s son who was too hospitalized for sever leg pain. but here the culprit was not vitamin K deficiency but the child was pumping in suplus aerated drinks instead of water, a very common pratice these days. We are forgetting that water should never be replaced by aerated drinks. really need to pull out the next generation from their confort zone.

  6. This reminds me of a nursery rhyme…
    The best six doctors anywhere
    And no one can deny it
    Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
    Exercise and diet.
    These six will gladly you attend
    If only you are willing
    Your mind they’ll ease
    Your will they’ll mend
    And charge you not a shilling.

  7. Well, a worthy advice not only for women but men too of all ages… And you have narrated and presented it nicely. Congrats…

  8. So true Rekha. Very often we neglect ourselves and then suffer more later.

    We have a lot in common Rekha- miscarriage, tumour, D3 deficeny…and so on. Would love to meet you someday.

  9. OMG that tumor thing scared me…Yes we often neglevct our health and that becomes a bane later. When I joined the gym, my colleagues laughed at me saying that I dont need more slimming. Who would explain to them that gymming means exercise, not only slimming

  10. Inspirational post Rekha. When our little boy was born in London, the doctors there actually made us give him Vit D drops since there would hardly be any sunshine in good ol England. Sunshine Zindabad indeed !

  11. Thank you for sharing your experience, Rekha. And I’m glad to know you got to the root of the problem. This is truly important information and you’re doing a great job of spreading the word about it.

  12. When I told about my constant aches on my leg muscles and sometimes almost paralysing pain on the entire left side, one of our old family friend recommend half an hour in the sun. She was like , just stay in the balcony for that much time and soak the sun. I guess she was talking about this situation. Thank you for sharing Rekha. And yes second and even third opinion is highly recommended!

  13. You are so right! Vit D deficiency is scary.
    I take supplements because my Vit D levels were low (now, its fine). Its a forgone conclusion that people from the tropics suffer Vit D3 deficiency here in Denver.. most of them do and most of them don’t take medication and suffer from knee pain, stomach issues, tiredness… :-/

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