Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sun Exposure Recommendations And Responsibility To Tell The Whole Story Including The Role Of Vitamin D Deficiency

We are seeing a lot of information lately about the perils of sun exposure, including a report from The CDC. Many of these reports and articles do not even mention the risk of Vitamin D Deficiency caused from lack of sun exposure. If you are going to report, post, and advise the public against sun exposure, then you ought to be responsible enough to at least advise people, young and old, to get their Vitamin D level checked and monitored.

Too much sun exposure can be dangerous. Too much exposure is enough to cause our skin to redden and burn. Too little sun exposure can cause our Vitamin D levels to drop to dangerous levels opening up all avenues for too many diseases to list.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the only way to know your level is to have your blood drawn and tested. Of course it's a good idea to have a blood screen at regular intervals anyway. The results will give you a chance to fix anything that's wrong like high cholesterol, infection or any imbalance that can be corrected. In many cases, Vitamin D levels are not routinely included in these screenings so you have to ask for it. When your provider tells you a blood screen is being ordered for you, ask that they include a 25-hydroxyvitaminD test.

Sadly, there are still providers out there that are not educated on or even aware of the prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency and how it can affect our immune system and health. We have to step up and advocate for our own well being in regard to our health care. We owe so much to all the Medical Professionals who continue to educate themselves and work with patients on this issue.

I want to include the story here, of my latest deficiency diagnosis. Yes, I like to take some credit when anyone is diagnosed that has had to endure my many discussions on the issue. Since I retired from my job of 30 years, I often think of many of the people I worked with. All week long, I had been thinking of one person and couldn't shake it. I finally picked up the phone and called her.

She was very excited to tell me her story and said, "Remember how you were always telling me to get my Vitamin D checked and how we thought I was probably okay since I am outside at work so much and we are in the southwest where the sunlight is strong?" She went on to tell me she finally had the test and it showed she was low! She was low enough that  her doctor ordered 50,000IU twice a week. Then she told me "If I am deficient then EVERYONE is."

That last statement struck a chord in me and supports my belief that if we keep spreading the word, many more can have better health with less cost. Vitamin D3 supplements are inexpensive and easy to get. Know your level first and work with your Health Care Professional to figure out how much to take.

It cannot go unsaid, that Vitamin D Deficiency can affect all of us. We are at risk because so many variables can prevent our ability to properly make, absorb and use Vitamin D in our bodies. Some of these include our age, weight, skin pigmentation, how close we live to the equator and what medications we are taking. Many of us will not be able to get enough simply because of our circumstances. Diet alone is not enough as I mentioned in a previous post about Vitamin D in foods. Vitamin D found naturally in some foods as well as foods that are fortified with it, may only be just enough to prevent Rickets. Most of us are not able to eat enough of these foods to have healthy levels of Vitamin D.  I am amazed that so many believe that we can get enough from diet alone.

The fact that we are seeing the reemergence of Rickets which we all thought was a thing of the past, tells us that there is something wrong with some of the information and advisories that are being given.