Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

“Milk. It Does A Body Good.”

That is the campaign slogan I believe from the Ad Council.  And in every magazine ad for this slogan is a celebrity with a milk mustache.  But we know, you did not need to be a celebrity to wear a milk mustache.  As kids, we did it all the time, often getting scolded for making a mess.

Today we can be “scolded” over Vitamin D for another reason.  We in the northeast corner of the United States suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency.  This appears to be a relatively new concept but fairly obvious to understand why.  We do not get to see a lot of quality sunlight as it is, and then when the colder weather comes, and seasons change, we see even less daylight.  So unless you take suplements or drink tons of milk, your body is not replacing Vitamin D sufficiently. 

Beginning in the late Fall months and into Winter, we are destined at one point to develop at least one common cold.  If we are unfortunate, it will get worse and turn into bronchitis.  However, if you get repeated illnesses, or their duration lasts entirely too long, some doctors are now turning away from five prescriptions of more and more antibiotics and instead looking at blood levels of Vitamin D.  It should be of no surprise if our Vitamin D levels fall below the range of 30-100.

For myself, during what is considered standard protocol for me when it comes to my annual bloodwork, I hit a Vitamin D low of 22 three years ago.  I was given a prescription for 50,000 units for the quick shot, followed up by 2000 units a day.  Currently, I just take 1000 units a day and have maintained a safe level at this point.  I rarely develop colds.

Wendy on the other hand, comes down with a sinus infection monthly, if not more frequently.  She is also dealing with other issues.  But one of the first things that was checked as a concern was growing that she was dealing with something auto-immune, was her Vitamin D level.  Vitamin D as it turns out, plays a major role in supporting your immune system.  So besides living in the northeast with the winter blahs, your immune system may also pay a price.  A couple of years ago, when this first became a concern with Wendy, her level was checked and scored in the single digits, practically non-existent.  Today, Wendy knows she is battling something more serious, as she continues to struggle to get her Vitamin D level up to a decent level, which if achieved, might reduce the number of colds and sinus infections that she gets.  But for now, the plan is only to continue on the supplements.

In my case, it is the same thing.  I have a low level, right around the minimum.  I do not get sick as often as Wendy does, but with my immune system being compromised already by not having a spleen (asplenia), it is important for me to do what I can to boost that blood level.

In recent months, I have come across many people, close friends and family, who have been battling bronchial symtpoms for a long time with no resolution.  It is almost instictive of me now to ask, “did you have your Vitamin D checked?”  Almost always, the answer is going to be “no.”  But it is something that is reasonable to be requested.  Some insurance companies, or even some practices will tell women that Vitamin D will not be checked until having gotten through menopause, which is just plain silly.  If you are sick a lot, right now, you should not have to wait for the big change to get this checked.

I must stress, that I am not a doctor, but I would like to play one on TV.  I am however, an advocate for getting an accurate diagnosis, leaving no stone unturned.  I believe the sooner you get diagnosed, the sooner you can get treated with the least severe of modes.

So… drink you milk.

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