Today I want to discuss something that is so serious to everyone’s health and when I say everyone, I mean Men, Women, and Children. A Health Issue that even Doctors rarely test for. In fact it is so well hidden, that no one thinks about it.
I was recently diagnosed with this serious health issue much to my shock and horror, but in one way was very glad, as it means a diagnosis given some months ago, could be wrong.
As usual – I have put the cart before the horse, let me explain further –
About 2 years ago, I contracted something they call here in Australia Ross River Fever in USA they call it – Rocky Mountain Fever (one of a group of viruses called arboviruses or arthropod-borne viruses), which are spread mainly by blood-sucking insects – Mosquitoes)
I was very sick with this for about 9 months with the following symptoms –
Flu-like symptoms that include fever, chills, headache and aches and pains in the muscles and joints plus dizziness.
Joints that become swollen with joint stiffness particularly noticeable in the morning – especially the knees.
A rash occurring on the body, arms, or legs, usually disappearing after seven to 10 days mine lasted for well over 6 weeks.
A general feeling of being unwell tired and weak which affected my work performance in fact it was all I could do to get out of bed in the morning. – LUCKILY I work from home and am my own boss! It certainly slowed me down to less than a snails pace!
Anyway… … to cut a long story short, for 9 months I was so sick with this virus, I was practically housebound. Throughout this time I had numerous blood tests to see how things were, in fact this is the only way they can detect something like this.
Eventually I clawed my way back to something like semi-human. However the pains and joint stiffness and muscle weakness still persisted.
After a few more tests to rule out the big nasties the Doctors diagnosed me with fibromyalgia as the pain, joint stiffness and muscle weakness all corresponded with 11 trigger points that people with fibromyalgia suffer.
Caused by? Well unknown – however, they (the Doctors) said 99% due to the Ross River.
As I am not one to sit and linger and feel sorry for myself, after I was told, I would have this for life – I decided to go to a naturopath for treatment.
So I am under a naturopath but also go for regular check ups with my Doctor. They are working hand in hand to get me back to 100%. I refuse to accept the “Life” sentence!
At my last visit to the Doctor, I requested another set of full bloods, as well as my other yearly check-ups. As she was drawing the blood, I asked her to tell me out loud all the things she can check for in blood.
As she rattled them off, one thing became very clear; I had not been checked for vitamin D deficiency. This I requested with the other things my Doctor wanted to test for.
Guess what it came back I had an ACUTE Vitamin D deficiency!
This surprised both of us! At first I was shocked, and then I gave thanks as this could be an answer to the many symptoms I have been suffering from.
My doctor, spent a whole heap of time with me explaining exactly what this deficiency means, how it comes about, the symptoms and problems lack of it can cause, who can suffer from this, plus I got an apology that she had not tested sooner!
I feel strongly that people need to learn about this deficiency, because it can affect EVERYONE!
So I present to you – the vitamin D story – as given to me by my Doctor.
Vitamin D is perhaps the single most underrated nutrient in the world of nutrition.
You can have supplements; however, it comes from sunlight your body makes it when sunlight touches your skin it cannot penetrate glass – So you don’t generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home.
Vitamin D prevents osteoporosis, depression, prostate cancer, breast, ovarian and colon cancer and surprisingly can even effect diabetes and obesity (Drug companies can’t sell you sunlight, so there’s no promotion of its health benefits – my addition here not my Doc’s)
It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet and you would have to drink liters of fortified milk daily to get enough.
Sufficient levels of vitamin D are paramount for calcium absorption in your intestines, rendering calcium supplements useless unless correct levels of D are present.
Acute and chronic “D” deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight to rebuild the body’s bones and nervous system. Suncreens help cause this deficiency because they block anything up to 95% of the suns rays (On this note, spend 20 minutes in the sun BEFORE adding sunscreen, this will give the body what it needs) also, It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.
If it hurts to press firmly on your sternum, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now- (My sternum is so painful to touch, it hurts even to cuddle my 10 month old grandson – I put up with the pain though – he needs Nanna cuddles!)
Also one very important fact – People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 times more exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D.
I also wrote down a list of diseases a vitamin D deficiency can cause (thanks Dr Sue for allowing me to take notes, when you had a roomful of patients waiting to be seen)
Osteoporosis (See calcium absorption above)
The CORRECT amount of vitamin D prevents prostate cancer, ovarian, breast and colon cancer, depression, and other related depressive diseases,
“Rickets” (this is apparently being seen more and more)
Vitamin D deficiency may worsen type 2 diabetes by impairing insulin production which is done by the pancreas.
Obesity impairs vitamin D utilization in the body, meaning we chubby people need twice as much vitamin D.
Vitamin D is used around the world to treat Psoriasis.
Now here is a biggie and a reason why I got excited – Chronic vitamin D deficiency is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia because its symptoms are so similar: muscle weakness, aches and pains (remember I have been diagnosed as having this)
There is a lot more apparently to learn about vitamin D Deficiency – I am no medical expert, but I know one thing, this information needs to be talked about and brought to people’s attention.
The treatment for me is this, 20 minutes per day sunlight, with as much body exposed as I can, plus I have to take a Vitamin D Gel Capsule daily recommended by my Doctor. Apparently it will take months to undo the damaged caused by this deficiency.
I wonder how many people worldwide have this deficiency and do not know it – let’s spread the word, as one simple blood test can maybe help one to stay healthy!
I would love to hear from you on this subject, so please comment!
Until next time.