Computer Geek Disease

I can’t be the only “computer geek” who has someone tell them they need to get more fresh air or that they look pale and need some sunshine. In my case this got to the point my parents were making crypt and vampire jokes. it turned out there is a serious side to those comments which I’ve been meaning to write about for a while.

About this time last year, I was noticing that my joints were unhappy about something. In particular stairs were hard to climb up with my joints feeling at least twice my age with tearing sensations in my knees. This was along with various other aches and pains which were slowly getting worse. I’d also fractured my hand 9 years ago and ever since it had a dull ache at the fracture site, particularly after stirring gravy, painting or hammering in nails to a fence or similar activities.

On a different matter and nearly in passing, my GP suggested checking my vitamin D blood level and the test came back as borderline deficient suggesting Osteomalacia (in childhood much more commonly known as Rickets, eek!). Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin” being generated by exposure of skin to UV light. You get very little from food sources. A low level made sense in that I work indoors and when I do go out into the countryside and get exercise on the bike, I’m wearing layers of protective clothing and skin exposure is a bad idea. Sunlight exposure generating enough vitamin D in northern latitudes is questionable at the best of times and with a pale skin, any strong sunlight would trigger me to use suncream and hence block off the UV that would generate the vitamin.

Thankfully the “cure” is simple, either sunlight exposure (which here at this time of year isn’t going to work) or supplements. Having taken some supplements, I have to say it was amazing the difference they made with my joints no longer experiencing the tearing sensations and generally feeling a lot better. Also, totally unexpectedly, the fracture which ached when provoked stopped aching and has not done so since! There shouldn’t be any long term issue since the deficiency was mild and any issues reverse themselves with normal vitamin levels.

So if you spend lots of time in front of computers, make sure you get some sunshine too!