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.

11 comments:

  1. I am curious if the vitamin d test is affected by the supplement. I guess I mean, if you have just taken a 50000 iu supplement, will it give a false reading on the test. Do you know?

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  2. A great question that I don't have the answer for. Time for some focused research/reading on my part. In the meantime, do any readers have experience to share here?

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  3. I was diagnosed with a deficiency in late september (my number was 21). After doing some research, it made so much sense! So that's why my legs ache, and I hardly have the upper thigh strength to get off the couch, and my back aches, and I'm so tired. I took 50,000 units the first day and take 5,000 units daily. How long until I feel better??? I've probably had this for 5 years. I wonder if I'm being unrealistic... will I just magically feel better? (that's what I'm waiting for) or do I need physical therapy or something to strengthen muscles that have been week for so long?

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  4. CJ, I am glad to hear you were diagnosed and know your vitamin D level! I am not a doctor but my research of vitamin D deficiency has shown that most people diagnosed with a severe deficiency like you and me are given a prescription dose of Vitamin D2. Unlike you, they are prescribed 1 or even 2 50,000IU doses each week for a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks. The blood level is checked again before a maintenance dose of over the counter D3 is prescribed or continuation of the prescription D2. I would expect that you would have your level checked next month (at 3 months from initial diagnosis) and intake of vitamin D adjusted appropriately. Research has shown that the absorption of vitamin D can be affected or slowed by certain prescription medications and by additional fat. Those that are on these medications or are overweight would need to take more vitamin D. While I was on the prescription dose at 50,000IU once a week, the most noticeable effect for me was immediate relief from pain. The pain would gradually come back over the week before my next dose and I could hardly wait for the seventh day to take it again. Each time I took a dose, I felt better for a longer period. After I finished the course of prescription D2, I had trouble maintaining my levels and interestingly, I was both on a statin drug and overweight. You may want to read a previous post from my blog about this:
    http://www.vitaminddeficiencysyndrome.com/2010/08/i-got-off-of-cholesterol-meds.html
    Thank you for commenting and I hope you feel better soon.

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  5. Did you know that there is a 2009 book on vitamin D by an MD and there are 4 2010 books about vitamin D and all of them are by an MD?

    Also I read an example of what is happening around the country. A guy had a heart attack and got stents put in. Then the doctor said that he is going to do 3 things to prevent another one from happening.

    1. A drug to lower bad cholesterol. 2. A drug to raise good cholesterol. 3. Vitamin D supplements since they relax and make more flexible the walls of the arteries.

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  6. I have only just had my bloods done a few weeks ago when my MRI came back with a fractured spine, i had very low Vitamin D. everything else came back great. as the fracture was assumed to have come from a major traumatic accident, which was not the case i had had no injury to cause it. we did a bone density test and it came back great. the onset of this was waking up in the middle of the night screaming in agony and hospital unfortunatly not the best hospital they just doses me up and sent me home. I had had surgery 5 years prior with a prolapsed disk. a week later the same thing woke up in extreme agony with my foot. had an x ray and i had fractured my toe but i had not had an accident. about a week after that it happened to my little finger. my doc and i decided not to x ray as i have had so many in my life and have decided to wait it out for anymore. She had a look at my hands and said that the bulging on the joints was that of arthritis. all this with in one month. my hand is in constant pain and some nights my foot will wake me with extreme pain still. I was put on vitamin D i have only just started having it. Thanks for your site. I have made notes and will give to my doc as i see her once a week and get the appropriate blood tests and the right vitamin D also. did you or other people find that they are getting fractures in there body without any accidents in any way or form. prior i had no problems it started so suddenly. before reading this site i was looking at a very grim future so thank you

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  7. I admire your courage for living through such harsh experience. I wish you the best and hope you will soon be relieved of such terrible pain.

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  8. I had problems with bruising. I remember that whenever I banged my shin, the pain went deep and the soreness/bruising took forever to go away. Now, when I run into the coffee table and bang my shin, it only hurts for a few moments and the pain does not go deep. Most times, I never even get a bruise. Thank goodness because I am still clumsy.

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  9. Hello, I've been doing some research because I've been going to the doctors about symptoms that have affected my life since I was 15. These included - depression, tiredness, muscle aches and pains and constantly feel sick. Sometimes I got headaches and blurred vision. I am overweight but I never was untill these symptoms made my motivation go downhill. I have just recently received my blood test results and its found that my vitamin D levels are low. Could this be my answer? Please tell me more about your symptoms?

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  10. All the symptoms you mention can be associated with Vitamin D Deficiency. We also have a list of symptoms gathered from many people here: Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms. The most important thing to do is work with your Health Care Provider to make sure you get your level up and be monitored for any other disorder that could be causing your symptoms. I hope you find relief when your Vitamin D level is higher.

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  11. @thenataliedaniels : plz get ur vitamin b12 levels checked and also read about b12 defeciency. as blurred vision,tiredness,depression can also be caused by b12 deficiency .

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