Archive for the ‘1’ Category

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A Vacation without Cake Not Likely

March 4, 2010

So there’s no time for a more in-depth update before I’m off on my vacation; that will have to wait just one more week.

Leaving your life for a week of fun and adventure when you’re sick is hard! Flying, especially, can be hard on an already imbalanced digestive system. Obviously when the alternative is feeling bloated and sore at home, feeling bloated and sore in a foreign country is not so bad. And there is always positive thinking, because it could be much worse and we should be thankful that it is not. But yet there is always the fear of wasted time and opportunities; what wonders will I miss out on should I start to feel ill? All the time spent planning each careful part of the adventure seems to go to waste.

But I’ve been feeling a bit better lately so here’s hoping that it will be a good trip all the same. Have a great week without cake. I’m probably going to eat some cake, at least once, right before bed, while I’m vacationing in Ireland. Most likely from this restaurant.

Beir bua agus beannacht!

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Vitamin D

January 9, 2010

Back in mid-October I started supplementing with Vitamin D. The transition from something I was toying around with to a daily, regular supplement was a quick one. I ran across this old article from 2003 that stated that “93 percent of all subjects with non-specific musculoskeletal pain were vitamin D deficient.”  That’s a pretty staggering number. The same week that I found that article, I had a discussion with a friend who had recently found out about her own deficiency, and she encouraged me to continue supplementing, and to determine my own dosage based on symptoms. I asked my doctor for a Vitamin D test  when I saw her at the end of the month. She looked at the results of an older metabolic panel and said that my calcium levels were fine so there was no need to test for D.

I continued to take the D, and the more I read about optimal levels, the more I took. I also didn’t notice immediate relief from the pain, bony aches that came and went and migrated through my limbs, back and pelvic area, so I kept increasing my dose, up to  around 7,000 iu daily. Right around Thanksgiving I felt the bone aches coming on one day, and they lasted about 2 or 3 days. But the good news was that in getting them back I realized that I had been without them for weeks! I realized I had skipped a few days of the Vitamin D, so I upped the dose again, to where I was taking between 7,000 – 10,000 iu daily. This is equivalent to about 50,000 iu weekly, which is the dose most often prescribed to someone who is found to be deficient. I am currently pain-free and at this point I am fairly convinced its from taking the Vitamin D on a regular basis.

I ended up getting that Vitamin D test after all as well; since it was in with the battery of tests my holistic MD requested. My level is 39.5 ng/mL. Definitely not in the toxic range! There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on the optimal level of serum Vitamin D; my lab’s reference range goes from 32 – 100 ng/mL. Dr. Mercola says that anything under 50 ng/mL is deficient! So clearly my nearly three months of mega-dosing have not been harmful to me. If anything, I still need more Vitamin D so I’m going to continue to take my large daily doses.

Other benefits I’ve noticed: back in July I noticed that I couldn’t feel my big toes. I realized today that I can feel them. Also, in the midst of really feeling incredibly unwell and experiencing every single textbook symptom of hypothyroidism except for my hair falling, I have long, girlie fingernails for the first time in my entire life. I have been a nail-biter all my life. The few times that I have tried to grow them out, the process is painfully slow and I end up breaking them almost right away. I got acrylic tips on Halloween because my husband and I dressed as Zuul and Vince Clortho and I wanted long, red Sigourney Weaver nails. Two weeks later the tips came off and I was pleasantly surprised to see that my left thumbnail was, while still short, beginning to resemble a real adult woman’s thumbnail. I promised myself not to bite it, and well now its very long!  I’ve been letting the rest of them grow too; protecting a few at a time, and I am beyond halfway to a lovely set of nails!

My only concern is that since August I’ve noticed that my face is often flushed in a mylar or butterfly rash pattern. I don’t attribute this to the D, but its been getting more noticeable lately and I need to figure out if something I’ve been taking or eating is doing this to me. Otherwise, I would call this a victory for Vitamin D and one small part of the chronic multi-illness mystery solved, at least for me.