Friends, I need the D.
You know how when you feel like you’re in a rut and you’re not feeling sexy, you know you just need to get some D? Late at night, when you first wake up…it doesn’t matter when you get it. You even consider getting some D outside in broad daylight. Sometimes you know you need it so bad, you’re even willing to pay for the big D.
That’s soooo me right now. I’m dying for some good D.
A couple years ago, a Canadian ad campaign promoted the benefits of getting some D – vitamin D. The ads portrayed photos of smiling women with the headline, “We all need the D.” As you might imagine, the internet had a field day with the innuendo.
You may remember from my last post that I had a dermatology appointment to discuss hair loss, among other things. First, and most importantly, I loved her. If you need a dermatologist in southern California, give Dr. Chen a call.
I expected Dr. Chen would inform me that my hair loss was caused by the beta blocker I take. To my surprise, she suspected it was just an unfortunate part of being chronically ill and faulty genes, but suggested we check three blood tests I mentioned in my previous post – thyroid, ferritin and vitamin D.
To my surprise, my vitamin D is low, and while my ferritin isn’t technically low, it has dropped 30 points since I last had it tested 6 months ago.
This frustrates the hell out of me. I’m very familiar with both ferritin and vitamin D. I know to take ferritin with vitamin C, but not with calcium. And to take it either 1 hour prior to eating, or 2 hours after. I know to take vitamin D with a meal, preferably one with some fat, and a large glass of water. I know all about vitamin D and ferritin. Since I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, I have consistently tested low in both. When I first fainted 8 years ago, it took another 2 years to get a diagnosis because my doctor was so convinced my symptoms were caused by my very low ferritin count of 3.
So, yeah. This ain’t my first rodeo.
But somehow, after taking both iron supplements and vitamin D supplements nearly every day for years, my blood levels of each still need to double. I’m not sure how to do that, especially when my ferritin dropped 30 points in 6 months, even while supplementing. Taking supplements is beginning to feel like a lesson in futility.
Symptoms of low vitamin D include fatigue, bone and muscle pain, brain fog, headaches, hair loss, and depression. Which sound quite similar to symptoms of low ferritin. Which also sound quite similar to the symptoms of almost every chronic illness EVER.
A recent study concluded that over half of patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) have low vitamin D. As a group, we’re not the most sun-seeking bunch. So, POTS friends, get tested to see if you, too, need the D. As I mentioned in my previous post, H2 blockers (such as zantac) and proton pump inhibitors (such as Prilosec or Prevacid) interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins/minerals. The list includes:
- vitamin B12
- folic acid
- vitamin D
Given that my iron and vitamin D are already low, I will probably look into getting a zinc test as well. Mast cell friends, I’d suggest you have all of the above tested. Deficiencies can lead to serious health risks, including cardiovascular disease and anemia.
While I was researching the effect of medication on vitamin/mineral absorption, I looked into the effects of beta blockers, since so many of us POTSies take them. I discovered that beta blockers interfere with your CoQ10. If you’re on a beta blocker, talk to your doctor about whether you should supplement CoQ10.
Friends, maybe you need a little D. Or, maybe you need some massive, “oh my god that thing will kill me” amount of D. Maybe you already get enough D, maybe you get so much D that you only leave the bedroom to eat and certain body parts are starting to get sore.
I think I took the pun too far.
Regardless, there’s only one way to find out – If you don’t know how much D you’re getting, ask your doctor.
“Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”
Smell ya later.