Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Institute of Medicine and Vitamin D Deficiency

The National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine has set new governmental nutrient levels for Vitamin D intake at 3 times what it was previously. The new recommendation is for daily intake of 600IU for adults but many researchers and experts are unhappy with the new report. They believe that the new guidelines are inadequate and will leave many people with Vitamin D Deficiency. The new guidelines were established upon the levels that we would need to maintain bone strength alone and says there is not enough evidence proving Vitamin D Deficiency is a cause of chronic diseases.

They report that most U.S. and Canadian citizens are getting enough Vitamin D already. This, in light of all the hard work and research already done and published by many respected scientists all over the world that shows otherwise. As a victim of Vitamin D Deficiency myself, I want to express my gratitude to all those researchers. The published studies have helped me to make informed decisions about my own health care and as a result, I am living a better quality of life, free from the pain of Vitamin D Deficiency.

I suppose it is better than nothing and a teeny tiny step in the right direction. At least it was increased but I will continue to monitor my own Vitamin D level by getting my blood tested so I can take the amounts that I need to maintain a healthy level. Much more than 600IU of course. Each of us is different. The proof is there. Darker skin, age, weight, amount of sun exposure, distance from the equator, latitude, medications and season, all need to be considered. Some people need more, some less. The point is, we need to see a health care provider and get tested and then monitored to find out what the right dose is for each of us. It will most likely be more in the winter.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency and Vitamin D3

I have talked with many people about Vitamin D Deficiency and Vitamin D3. One of the subjects that keeps repeating is how tough it is to get people to take this seriously. The consensus seems to be that it is because it is called a vitamin and we tend to think of it as something we get from food. I have heard many people refer to Vitamin D3 as a hormone and while that isn't exactly true, the body essentially converts Vitamin D3 to a hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the body. Beyond that, if you are getting the right amount of Vitamin D3 then you get an additional benefit of disease prevention.


Cholecalciferol is Vitamin D3 which is made naturally when skin is exposed to the sun and  uses cholesterol in the process. You can also get Vitamin D3 from some foods and by taking Vitamin D3 supplements.

Cholecalciferol is converted in the liver to Calcidiol which is what is measured with a blood test. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D test results show what the blood serum level is for Calcidiol. 

Calcidiol is converted in the kidneys to Calcitriol which is a steroid hormone. The Calcitriol(hormone) regulates the amount of calcium in your blood and when there is enough to do that, the rest of the Calcidiol will go to the cells of tissues to make more Calcitriol(hormone) for fighting cancer and other diseases.

To make it work, we need the right amount of Calcidiol available in our blood. The blood test will give you and your health care provider a level to work with so you can start figuring out if you need to take vitamin D supplements. If you have Vitamin D Deficiency, it will take some time and several blood tests to determine how much you need, to get to and maintain the right level.

Visit Vitamin D Council for more information.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke

In this study, researchers were surprised to find that Vitamin D Deficiency does not appear to be tied to increased risk of stroke in blacks. Findings did show, however a doubled increase in risk of death from stroke for whites who were deficient in Vitamin D. Further research might show whether blacks have a natural resistance to this effect of Vitamin D Deficiency and why.

Interview with the lead researcher, Dr. Erin Michos, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Study findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2010.

Courtesy of Global Medical News Network.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms


I have put together a list of the top symptoms reported to me from all of the people I know who have been diagnosed with Vitamin D Deficiency. Many of these same symptoms are also being reported to me by those that I suspect are Vitamin D Deficient but have not been tested. Some are symptoms that I have even experienced myself. I included actual comments made by sufferers after each Vitamin D Deficiency Symptom and would be interested to hear of any other experiences as well. Anything you could share would be appreciated by me and others who might be seeking more information. Be sure to use the comment section located just below this post to add your knowledge.
  
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms:

1. Fatigue - "I feel tired all the time" and "I am having trouble sleeping" and "I have trouble waking up in the morning"
2. Pain in the joint area - "I sprained my ankle walking up a flight of stairs" and "I sprained my wrist just getting up from the chair"
3. Pain in the feet - "The bottoms of my feet hurt when I walk" and "My heels hurt"
4. Pain in the hips - "I have pain in my hips and it feels like it's deep inside the bone"
5. General pain - "I hurt all over" and "I can't quite pinpoint where the actual pain is. It's like it's deep inside" and "I take Ibuprofen all the time"
6. Muscle weakness - "I can't lift as much as I used to" and "I don't have any energy anymore"
7. General Malaise - "I don't feel like myself" and "I feel like I am always coming down with something or like I am about to get sick"
8. Feeling old - "I feel like my body is done, I am just old now" and "I think I have arthritis"
9. Illness - " I get sick more than I used to" and "I never used to get the flu"
10. Cramps - " I have cramps in my legs and I never did before" and I get cramps all the time in my back like, when I roll over in bed"
11. Cholesterol - "I have high colesterol and can't seem to keep it in check even with meds" and "My triglycerides are all out of whack"
12. Weight gain - "My metabolism has slowed down from what it used to be" and "I excersise and eat right but I can't lose weight"
13. Arthritis - " My doctor told me I have Rheumatoid Arthritis" and "My vitamin D level is 30 and my doctor says that is a good level"
14. Depression - "I feel sad all the time because of the pain" and "I can't enjoy life the way I used to"
15. Osteoporosis - "I had a bone scan and they said it showed Osteopenic" and "My doctor told me I need more calcium"
16. Rickets - "My child was diagnosed with Rickets even though she drinks milk. We are giving her vitamin D supplements now"
17. Periodontal Disease - "I floss my teeth but my gums are always inflamed" and "I had to have two of my teeth pulled because the bone around them was deteriorating."



As you can see, most of these symptoms, on their own, seem to be "just part of the process of aging" or something requiring medication of some kind. Since there is a chance that they are actually Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms, ask your health care provider to check your Vitamin D level. Learn about Vitamin D, how it works, what affects the absorption rates of it, etc. If you are deficient, and with the knowledge, you can take control for yourself and work to get your Vitamin D up to a healthy level and keep it there.

Share what you know in the comments section below.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder which causes inflammation in the lining of the joints. The immune system has antibodies that normally attack invaders to the body and in RA, they mistakenly attack the lining of the joints. It is very painful and leads to damage of the cartilage between bones. The cause of this disease is still unknown and it can cause permanent disability. Patients with RA can experience other problems including fevers, feeling tired and problems with the lungs and heart.

Did you know that Rheumatoid Arthritis is two to three times more likely to afflict women than men? Women living in the northern latitudes are more prone to getting it than women living closer to the equator. Women living in the north are also more likely to have Vitamin D Deficiency and research is pointing to a link between this deficiency and RA.

One of the studies I found was published in the Environmental Health Perspectives and clearly showed the risk is higher in northern latitudes. Researchers believe it might be connected to Vitamin D Deficiency because of less exposure to sunlight in northern latitudes such as Oregon or Washington in the U.S. Vitamin D can affect immune system function. There are also studies and research that have found a connection between higher latitudes and other autoimmune diseases including Multiple Sclerosis and Crohn's Disease.

If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, find out what your Vitamin D level is since you are likely to be deficient. Know your level even if you are healthy and keep your level up since Vitamin D has been shown as a preventive of a host of diseases.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How Much Vitamin D Is In Foods

The current Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin D is only 200 International Units (IU) for people up to age 50. Ages 51-70 is 400IU and ages 71 and over is 600IU.

Experts are telling us about their research which has shown that we need a lot more than the current RDA to prevent Vitamin D Deficiency, perhaps 10 times that or even more. They say intake should be higher in the winter and for those living at higher latitudes. I live in the southwest and I am currently taking 4000IU daily as a maintenance dose. I may need to take more this winter. Some medical conditions, additional body fat and some medications may inhibit the ability to absorb and convert Vitamin D.

Lots of foods have some Vitamin D in them but it is tough to get enough from diet alone. We also need safe sun exposure when we can get it but most of us are going to need to take Vitamin D3 supplements to prevent Vitamin D Deficiency. Looking at the table below, you can see how difficult it would be to get enough every day without taking supplements.

Food                   Serving Size             Vitamin D Content     

                                                                 IUs in each serving

Cod Liver Oil       1 Tablespoon              1360 
Some researchers caution that Vitamin A content may be too high and could lead to Vitamin A toxicity.

Sockey Salmon   3 ounces cooked          794 

Mushrooms         3 ounces, UV-B             400 
Only when grown/exposed to UV-B light to increase Vitamin D

Mackerel              3 ounces cooked           388

Tuna                    3 ounces canned           154
                             in water and drained              

Milk                      1 cup, vitamin D             115-124
                             fortified                                          

Yogurt                  6 ounces, vitamin             80 and higher with
                             D fortified                         additional fortification  

Margarine            1 tablespoon
                             vitamin D fortified             60   

Egg                      1 whole egg with               25
                             yolk                                            

Cheese, swiss     1 ounce                              6     


                      

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another Vitamin D Deficiency Diagnosis

I have been telling all of my friends and family and anyone else who would listen, about my story and trying to convince them to get tested for Vitamin D Deficiency. I got another call a couple of days ago from a good friend who told me to "add another one to your list." When I get a call like that, I am always torn between a feeling of joy, knowing they have been diagnosed and feeling angry because they went this long without a diagnosis.

This particular friend is a survivor of cancer. I watched her come through a horrifying fight for her very life, some 25 or 30 years ago. With all that is known about Vitamin D Deficiency, you would think someone would have thought to test her Vitamin D Level. Even though it is not routine, someone should have done that for her. Someone who is trained and paid to know. I think I will always be angry about that.

I wonder why, in some circles, it seems to be, that they would rather see people sick and suffering. Vitamin D3 is pretty cheap compared to the costs of drugs and treatments for illness.

Get tested now, don't wait. I have seen this change lives, including my own. There is even the possibility that it has and will prevent many illnesses or even deaths. Getting tested and treated for Vitamin D Deficiency may just be the most important thing you will ever do for yourself and your family and friends. If you have a story like mine, share it. Tell everyone who will listen and even those who won't. This is one very simple thing, that gives us all, the potential to make a difference.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dr. John Cannell Video

Dr. John Cannell talks about Vitamin D Deficiency, Immune System and Disease including colds, flu, tuberculosis, etc. One of the leading experts on Vitamin D, Dr. Cannell is the Executive Director of  the Vitamin D Council.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency and Osteoarthritis Study

The purpose of the study was to find out if Vitamin D supplements would have an effect on osteoarthritis. 146 people with Osteoarthritis of the knee were studied for 2 years by a team led by Dr. Timothy McAlindon, an associate professor of medicine in the rheumatology division at Tufts New England Medical Center.

They found that Vitamin D supplements did not help the participants in the study and the findings were presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Atlanta. Web MD reports that the study should be considered preliminary and has not been reviewed by outside experts before it is published in a medical journal. I could not find any information about where the funding for the study came from.

During the study,  participants were only brought up to above 30 ng/ml so it appears that the study was based on below optimal levels. Web MD, however,  reports "There's no consensus on what level is optimal, but 15 to 80 nanograms per milliliter of blood is generally considered normal," according to McAlindon.

I was diagnosed with severe Vitamin D Deficiency with a level of 18 and I know over 30 people diagnosed with Vitamin D Deficiency at levels of 35 and below. I wonder what the findings would have been if the participants were brought to a higher level?

For anyone interested in learning about Vitamin D Deficiency,  Michael Holick, John Cannell, Cedric Garland, The Vitamin D Council and Grassroots Health are excellent resources.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency and Cancer

FACT: Cancer patients are very likely to have Vitamin D Deficiency.
FACT: Vitamin D is involved in regulating cell growth.
FACT: Vitamin D Levels are not included in routine blood screens.

If Vitamin D facilitates regulation of cell growth, I'm guessing that it would play a role in reducing the overgrowth of cells associated with cancers.

If Vitamin D Deficiency can have an effect on bone formation, muscle strength and the immune system, then I think it's important for all of us to make sure we have adequate vitamin D levels and even more important for those with illness such as cancer.

Both of my grandmothers and one of my parents have had cancer. I would be next if genetic statistics bear out. With all I have read, learned, seen and experienced for myself, I believe Vitamin D3 is going to be my best chance.

So many people I have talked with have never even seen a printout of their own blood test results. These are your results. Ask to see them or better yet, ask for a copy. It is very interesting to compare successive results and see how the increased Vitamin D level compares to changes in other blood levels like cholesterol.

If you are interested in reading about Vitamin D and bone cancer, Visit The Bone and Cancer Foundation website.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency and Multiple Sclerosis

 There is an epidemic in Scotland of Multiple Sclerosis and I want to share a link to a wonderful Campaign there. It's called Shine on Scotland and it's worth a look because this is a concern for our whole world.

Research has shown that people  with Vitamin D Deficiency are at a higher risk of developing MS. MS is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks brain tissues and nerves. Comparison of those living at varying distances from the equator shows it is somewhat rare for folks closer to the equator to develop MS. Some studies seem to indicate that those having MS are more likely to have been born in Springtime so a larger percentage of time in the womb was during the winter.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vitamin D and Diabetes

Although I have never been diagnosed with Diabetes, both of my parents and one brother have it. They are all taking various medications and finally agreed to take Vitamin D3 about 3 months ago. I suspect that they all have Vitamin D deficiency because they don't get much sun exposure and they all have high cholesterol. I have been trying to get them tested and on Vitamin D3 ever since I was diagnosed with severe Vitamin D deficiency.

For several years, my Dad, who has more health issues related to the illness, has had edema or swelling in his ankles. I think it is related to or caused by his Diabetes. Amazingly, the swelling is gone, COMPLETELY! I have to believe that it is resolved because his blood serum levels of Vitamin D have come up. He has had pain for years in his back and his knees which I think might lessen if he stays on Vitamin D3.

It is incredibly satisfying to see the astonishment in someones eyes as they experience relief from a long-term symptom. I am very excited to watch and see what relief he will report next! I hope they all find the same relief I did and it seems my Dad is well on his way.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vitamin D and Autism

I have some thoughts I would like to share in light of the news I have been reading about the link between Autism and Vitamin D. I am doubly intrigued because my brother is severely Autistic.

I was thinking about the fact that he was born near Maryland in early March. What if my Mother had been vitamin D deficient over the Winter or simply because she was living at a higher latitude? My brother is 1 year older than me and I was also born near Maryland. The interesting thing is that we moved to the southwest before I was 3. My brother had lived there for almost 4 years. We actually moved here shortly after my folks figured out there was something wrong  with him.

He was diagnosed as Autistic in the early 60's and at the time, research on Autism was being done at a University here. My brother became the subject of study at the University and although they learned something, sadly, my brother remains severely Autistic.

Sometimes I wonder if I escaped my brother's fate simply because of sunshine...

If you want to read more about this subject,  Read Dr. John J. Cannell's  Vitamin D Theory of Autism  at the Vitamin D Council website.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Flu Season and Vitamin D

With flu season fast approaching, I want to talk about the connection with vitamin D level and respiratory infections like the flu. I have been reading about research that has been done that indicates higher vitamin D levels actually may prevent colds and flu! I found one study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

This will be my first flu season at optimal blood level of vitamin D and when the season ends, I'll post an update on my health through the season. Flu season peaks in November through April.

Just one more reason to get your level checked by your health care provider right now. Don't wait because the death toll from the flu, worldwide, is estimated to be between 250,000 and 500,000. Ask your provider to test your blood for vitamin D level. Ask for a test called 25-hydroxyvitamin D test, also called a 25(OH)D.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Losing Weight With Vitamin D3

I have lost 30 pounds in the year and a half since I was diagnosed with severe vitamin D deficiency. I am convinced that my own weight loss is a direct result of of my increased blood level of vitamin D.

My level was only 18 at my initial diagnoses and was considered severe. Over the first year, I reached a level between 35 and 45. At the end of the first year, I had lost 12 pounds. That's 1 pound per month. Honestly, I can not identify any other variables that would have contributed to my slow but steady weight loss. I do believe that higher Vitamin D levels must boost metabolism.

I gained a lot of weight in the 3 years after my bout with Valley Fever which I shared in a  previous post. Since I spent 3 years with little to no sun exposure, my Vitamin D level obviously dropped drastically and would seem to be linked to the drop in my metabolism.

Over the next months, taking Vitamin D3, my level continued to rise. I saw the rate of weight loss grew to almost 2 pounds per month. Although I am sure that a good diet would help me lose weight, my own experience convinced me that my vitamin D level is just as important.

I'm looking forward to losing another 20 pounds and returning to what I consider my normal weight. Wouldn't that be amazing? I'll let you know when I reach my goal!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

NASA advising trapped Chilean miners should take Vitamin D

Fantastic! Great to see a government agency recommending higher Vitamin D intake. I wonder what dosage was recommended?  Read article courtesy of Americas on MSNBC.

Upwards of 70 percent of American adults are vitamin D deficient or insufficient

More doctors are testing patients for vitamin D deficiency. I like this article linked here. My level is currently 75 and I would like to get above 80. Nice to be off of all medication and maybe I can stay off. Read how I did it in my previous posts.

Friday, September 3, 2010

FNP

I have been referring to my Family Nurse Practitioner as my "Doc" but I want everyone to know that she is a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has helped me more than any Doctor has in the last 25 years so I think she will always be "Doc" to me. It amazes me to no end, how much she has changed my life in such a short time. I struggled with getting doctors, any doctor to listen to me and do something, ANYTHING! My FNP did listen and I believe she saved my life.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I got off of cholesterol meds!!!

When I was first diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, my level was 18 which is a severe deficiency. At my last checkup, I found out that my vitamin D level was at 75 and all my blood work was normal. My Doc said I no longer need statin drugs to lower my cholesterol.

When I first started taking the statin (cholesterol lowering drug), I began to have muscle cramps. I was never prone to muscle cramps before and these cramps were really strange. I actually had cramps on the tops of my feet! I had cramps in my back and legs as well and it made me very uneasy so I called my Doc. She had my next blood draw checked for vitamin D.

At my initial severe deficiency diagnoses, I was prescribed 50,000IU of vitaminD2 once a week and was still taking the statin drug. After about 2 months, my blood test showed a level of 45, up from the original 18. I started taking 1000IU of over the counter D3 as a maintenance dose. Around  3 or 4 months later, my level dropped back into the 30s, my back pain and weird cramps returned. My blood results showed problems with my cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. still too high.

I was convinced the statin drug had something to do with my vitamin D level. I started taking 3000IUs and still had back pain so I decided to try an experiment. I cut my cholesterol pills in half each day and increased my vitamin D3 to 8000IU daily. I did this for 3 months. For the next 3 months, I cut the cholesterol med down to 1/4 of a pill daily and took 6000IU of vitamin D3 daily. The next month I took no Cholesterol pills and took 4000IU of D3. I went in for a blood draw and the results came back completely in the normal range allowing me to go off the statin drug about a month ago.

I am amazed at the results I got. My overall cholesterol went from 230 down to 163. Since I was on a low dose of the statin drug, it was probably safe for me to do this. I only did it because my Doc had told me it would be safe for me to just stop taking the statin at one point. I did confess to her what I had done when I got those last results. I probably should have told my Doc what I was planning to do, in case she wanted to monitor me more closely and remember, I was taking a low dose of the statin drug.

There are still many medical professionals that don't know much about vitamin D, vitamin D deficiency and how to treat it. Lots of them are afraid and worried about toxicity. The experts know that the doses I took are completely safe, yet many doctors are sticking with the 400IU daily official recommendation. Why? I'll save my ideas on that subject for a later post!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Headlines can be misleading

I have been reading about a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In the study, they gave older women a 500,000IU oral dose of vitamin D3(cholecalciferol) once a year for 5 years. They concluded that it had no benefit. This only seems to prove that we need to get vitamin D daily. A once a year mega dose won't help. Some of the related headlines about this study are misleading so anyone researching the many articles on vitamin D should read the whole story and not just the headlines such as "Study: Megadoses of Vitamin D offer no benefit" when the truth is that ONCE A YEAR Megadoses offer no benefit.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A reader asks

A reader asked about an article he read: "I read this and it angers me. Please correct me if I am wrong since I am just learning. But relying on dairy for our vitamin D these days is just silly."

No you are correct. She is correct when she says that milk is the #1 source of D in our diets because it is. The statement is correct even though she doesn't say it's not enough. Milk is a wonderful source of calcium and we can reasonably get enough from it. The problem lies with the recommended daily allowance for vitamin D. The govt is slow in raising it even though we now know that 4000IU or more a day is probably what a lot of us need. That is 10 times the current RDA!!!

The govt doesn't seem to know much about vitamin D and hasn't since milk was fortified years ago Under FD Roosevelt but with only enough to prevent rickets in children. They still have no idea about how much we really need to be healthy. Then there is the fear about toxicity. If you take 500,000IU in one dose, you would not get toxicity. If you take 500,000 every day for 6 months, you might have a problem.

Think of your vitamin D like a gas tank. Once it's depleted, OTC doses are only going to maintain the current low level. The doc cranks you up with 50 thousand IU once a week for 6 or 8 weeks just to get the tank level up. Then you've got to experiment to figure out how much you need to take daily to maintain the level. That's why you need to work with your doctor and get the blood checks. If your level drops drastically, the only way to refill it is prescription doses over a period of time.

Wait til you see the latest article I found. Over the counter D3 supplements may not contain the amounts listed on the label. I only found 1 study so far though. The vitamin industry isn't regulated the way drugs are. Prices would skyrocket if they were. No wonder I run into stories of folks having difficulty reaching and maintaining the proper blood serum level. For me, I think it is best to combine what I get from diet, reasonable sun exposure and supplements. Also why it's important to have regular blood screens for D level. Really the only way to know if you're getting enough.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

OTC D3

Here is a study that concluded some Vitamin D supplements you buy do not contain the amount listed on the label. It is the only study on this I have found so far.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cedric Garland, DPH

Vitamin D role in preventing cancer.
Courtesy of Grassroots Health

Sunday, June 6, 2010

How much vitamin D in milk?

The label on my milk jug lists 100IU of vitamin d. I was shocked to find this 1992 study and hope the process of fortification has improved since then. Even at 100IU, I would need to drink 10 glasses a day just to get 1000IU. Another example of why I need to take Vitamin D3 supplements.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Obesity link

More studies are finding a link between obesity and vitamin d deficiency! One study even showed people living at higher latitudes or lower altitudes(further from the sun)seem to weigh more. It is even more important then, for those living in these areas, to get tested and take supplements if found to be deficient.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Eat first!

Interesting article says study shows vitamin d blood levels are improved by taking vitamin d supplements with meals.

Vitamin D from foods?

People often tell me that I should just drink more milk. The belief that we can get enough vitamin d from diet prevails. Unless we eat oily fish like mackerel or salmon at least 3 times a week or drink 8-10 glasses of milk a day, we can not get nearly enough vitamin d from diet alone. Read more, link above.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Get Tested!

So many people are spending a lot more time indoors these days. During our time spent outdoors, we are warned to cover our skin and wear sunscreen. We need sunlight to shine upon our skin in order to make the vitamin D our bodies need yet we must be cautious not to let our skin burn. More or less exposure time is needed depending on how close to the equator we live. Most of us will not be able to get enough in the winter. I worry about my parents who spend little to no time outside all year. Our best bet is to get a blood test, know our vitamin D level for summer AND winter. We can take enough Vitamin D supplements to maintain a healthy level. Go on and get tested!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My story

After surviving Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis), the aches and "bone" pain never went away. I felt old for years and thought I would always suffer. I kept "spraining" my wrists just getting up from a chair. My symptoms included lower back pain as well as foot and leg pain. Diagnosed as slightly osteopenic (osteoporosis), I was told to take calcium. No one said anything about vitamin D. I was finally diagnosed about a year ago with severe vitamin D deficiency and the day after my treatment began, all of the pain was gone.

It makes sense that I became deficient because after I had Valley Fever, I spent the next 3 years mostly indoors. The sunlight made my eyes hurt and I could not stand the heat of summer days. No sunlight=no vitamin D.

I tell everyone I meet about my experience and now have 20 people diagnosed and treated. Still trying to convince others who are suffering unexplained pain, one friend told me his doctor said "I won't test you for that because it is a women's problem."

Vitamin D Deficiency can affect ANYONE, male and female. In fact, EVERYONE is at risk, even children! The only way to know is to have a blood test called 25-hydroxyvitamin D test, also called a 25(OH)D.

It is important to find a doctor who will work with you. It is best to have a blood test and know your level. If you have a severe deficiency, your doctor can order the correct prescription for you. If you are mildly deficient, an over-the-counter dose may be recommended.

Watch the video below to see expert, Dr. Michael Holick explain what vitamin D is, how it evolved, what it does, why you need it and how to get it. He also uses case studies to show what happens when you don't get enough vitamin D.

Dr. Michael Holick

Michael Holick, MD, discusses vitamin D relating to bone and muscle health and the prevention of autoimmune and chronic diseases.



Courtesy of Grassroots Health

Friday, May 14, 2010

NEJM article. Vitamin D Deficiency Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D.

Once foods were fortified with vitamin d and rickets appeared to have been conquered, many health care professionals thought the major health problems resulting from vitamin D deficiency had been resolved. However, rickets can be considered the tip of the vitamin D–deficiency iceberg. In fact, vitamin D deficiency remains common in children and adults.

click the title above to read the full article.

My first friend is diagnosed.

Once I was diagnosed and began my treatment, I thought about a close friend who had suffered years of bone and muscle injuries and surgeries. I told her my story and asked her to have her vitamin D level checked. Some months later, she called with the news that she had a severe deficiency and her doctor started treating her with prescription doses of vitamin D.

She was also taking cholesterol lowering medication and almost a year later, called to tell me her cholesterol is now at normal levels. Her doctor has recommended that she discontinue the medication. I do not know if this is directly related to her increased vitamin D level but it sure is suspect.

After this news, there was no going back. I knew I had to spread the word. My life was changed as well as my friend. If there was a chance that someone else could find relief, then I had to tell anyone who would listen.

The implication that low vitamin D levels may be tied to diseases like cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, etc. allows for nothing less than my attempt to reach as many people as possible.

More from Dr. Michael Holick.

Read more from Dr. Michael Holick about vitamin D.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Low vitamin D tied to depression

Are low levels of vitamin D a cause of depression?

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older men and women with lower levels of vitamin D in their blood are more prone to become depressed over time, new research shows.

Welcome!

Welcome to Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome! My name is Sunshine Sara and I am dedicated to eliminating vitamin D Deficiency by sharing information.