"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vitamin D tests not covered for most Ontarians

I am willing to bet this news from CBCNews.com is going to start getting a bunch of play here in the US with our big debate over healthcare reform. As of December 1, the Health Ministry of Ontario Canada will no longer cover Vitamin D testing unless the patient has a diagnosis of osteoporosis, rickets, etc. I suspect the US insurance companies are going to pick up on this and start refusing to pay for Vitamin D testing ---- bad move, in my mind.

Trust me when I tell you that most of my friends have heard me go on and on about the benefits of Vitamin D, and they all know that even with supplementation, my levels were way too low this spring (which frustrated the hell out of me!). I get from them "well, I take Vitamin D in my multivitamin" (yeah, right, maybe 400 IUs ---- my doctor has most of his patients on 5000 IUs, and this winter, I am on 10000 IUs daily), "oh, I get out in the sun, I don't need any supplements" (spare me, I live in NC, and in the summer bake outside without sunscreen for at least 40 minutes 4-5 days a week in the pool), "my doctor says testing me is a waste of time" (get another doctor.) After I get the first two excuses, some of these women have had a doctor check their Vitamin D3 levels, and ----- gasp! ------ tell me in a shocked tone of voice that they are Vitamin D deficient. You think? If the insurance companies stop paying for the test (and it's pretty inexpensive now, usually between $25-45 at most of the major labs), I'm afraid the Vitamin D deficiency problem will just get worse.

No Vitamin D from the sun here today in NC, very dreary and gray---two days in a row. I know that I live north enough that even in a full sun day, I will not get enough Vitamin D from the sun, but sunny days are just plain nicer! Hope whatever you are doing this holiday weekend (no, I am not hitting the Black Friday sales----I do not celebrate or observe the holidays, so I am just waiting for all this madness to be over) you are staying warm, healthy and safe.

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