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

Friday, March 16, 2012

Reasons That Vitamin D May Matter

First of all, I want to thank my friend Jane for sharing this article with me from The New York Times Health Blog (it never popped up on my newsfeed so if she hadn't shared it with me I wouldn't have seen it-----I've really met some awesome people through the blog!)

Full disclosure, I take 5000 IUs of Vitamin D3 daily, and in the winter months 3 days a week (M-W-F) I take 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D3. Even at what may to some people seem to be high levels of the daily dose, I struggle in the months outside of summer to get my level up to what Dr.Carr considers the optimal level of 70-100 ng/dl (that number varies widely among practitioners, but for most of those who are BHRT experts, they consider the "standard normal" 30 ng/dl level of Vitamin D to be woefully inadequate).

I am out in the daylight/sunshine almost every day, but it's important to note that if you live in the Northern two thirds of the country, from about mid-October to late March, you are not going to get adequate Vitamin D from the sun even if you stand outside naked all day (and for a lot of reasons,  I don't recommend doing that.)  Also, as we age we simply do not absorb Vitamin D from the sun the way we used to when we were younger, and so it's vitally important to get your levels checked (and rechecked to make sure you are staying at an optimal level).  In the summer, I swim for about 40 minutes outdoors (sans sunscreen) about 4-5 days a week, so my level by August-September gets up to about 70 ng/dl-----I've never been able to get it any higher.  From October to late spring, my level usually drops back to about 58-63 even with aggressive supplementation. 

Take a good quality Vitamin D----I use Ortho Molecular brand:
It can be purchased through Dr. Carr's office,  and you do not need to be a patient in his practice to purchase vitamins and supplements.  You are better off investing a little more (it's not an expensive supplement) and staying clear of the drugstore/big box store brands, often they do not contain an adequate amount of the vitamin to raise your levels to the optimal numbers.

I hope everyone is enjoying the same kind of beautiful weather we are having here in the Southeast----we broke temperature records (in the mid 80's) a couple days this week----trees are in aggressive blooming  mode, about 10-14 days ahead of schedule.  For those of you who are new to the blog, you may not know that one of the many benefits of bioidentical hormone optimization is that it cured my seasonal allergies (and Charlotte is considered to be one of the top five worst places for seasonal allergies).  Hell, especially this year, I'd take progesterone just for that-----walk through the grocery store and you will hear people sneezing their brains out. Same at the gym. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!