Monday, January 17, 2011

Taking care of you

Here's a medical science-y sounding post.

I recently got routine blood work done to check my cholesterol, thyroid, Vitamin D and I guess some other things(no glucose testing). I am 30 now. I know that isn't old and it's especially not these days. I am sure I am not the only one who gets nervous about getting things checked out. I hadn't had my cholesterol checked before, to my knowledge, although it could have been checked along with all the other things whenever they took my blood when I was pregnant. My obgyn prescribed the blood work during my routine visit to them.

I hadn't gone to a Dr's office for myself in probably two years, but between Dec 14th to Jan 6th I went to four different medical facilities! Saved it all up for a short amount of time! First Dr visit was because of my chest cold and very sore throat, thankfully I didn't have strep throat. Next visit was routine to obgyn, then I was given an RX for the blood work plus an ultrasound for pains I have been getting. So I went to a lab, and then a week later to an imaging place for the ultrasound. (Still waiting for u/s results, I assume things are ok since they didn't rush results?)

My cholesterol was fine! It could always be better, and I'd like it to be, but when the obgyn's office called with my results they said everything was fine except one thing - my vitamin D level was too low. I am now taking 2000 "units" of vitamin D, two times a day. Until when? I don't know, they didn't say and I forgot to ask! (I will, don't worry)

And that is what I really want this post to be about! I have heard about vitamin D deficiency but it's not something any of us seem to be concerned about usually. But in reality, vitamin D deficiency is very widespread! And what's the big deal? We might ask. But I found out that Vitamin D is necessary for things like strong bones and a healthy immune system, while it also has been studied to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The beauty of this all is that it can be easily remedied by taking vitamin D supplements. The dose I am taking is WAY over the suggested amount of daily D, but it may be because I need to build it back into my system.

The sun can cause your skin to make vitamin D, but with skin cancer being a real concern, we are avoiding the sun more often. It's also found in milk, salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, cod liver oil(ew?) and other foods but in small amounts. I had been having milk almost every day and that is obviously not enough. Getting 10-15 minutes of sunlight is supposed to be enough, but I haven't gotten that lately either! Plus, I read that during winter months, areas north of Atlanta, GA don't have the right angle from the sun to even get the needed UVB rays to make your skin make vitamin D!

I'd definitely encourage everyone to get routine blood work done even if it's scary! Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, a softening and weakening of the bones. I would say to take Vitamin D, but it's not good to take a lot unless you know you are deficient. 70-80% of our population is deficient though! And it's as simple as taking vitamin D pills. And it's really important!

Vitamin D


Anonymous said...

good to know stine! -jenny

Lucy The Valiant said...

Its so funny that you posted this just now - I JUST started taking vitamin D pills! I read a study linking vitamin D deficiencies and belly fat... apparently the people that they studied who had little belly fat had good levels of vitamin D, and every person suffering from obesity was also VERY deficient in vitamin D. I didn't know all the other health stuff about it, though! Apparently it's kind of important!

Beka said...

Yeah, I know I need to have more vitamin helps your immune system too, which everyone is desperate for in the winter!!