Every year, I check in with my primary doctor for a physical. The BOY thinks that I am crazy because why go to the doctor if nothing is wrong with you, but I like touching base once a year. My doctor is very well read and up to date on current research. We talk a little about my allergies and IBS and a bit about my running. I didn’t have anything big to talk about this year, and I was actually pretty exhausted Friday afternoon when I had my appointment. My doctor does fasting blood work, which I had drawn earlier in the week, so that we can talk about it during the appointment. She feels that it is important to have some baseline measures and last year, she told me that at my age (30), she is already having to discuss lifestyle and diet modifications with her patients. When it comes to my cholesterol, this is not the case. My numbers were great! The doctor said that with such low overall cholesterol, she was impressed to see how HIGH my HDL’s were. I was excited to hear that my healthy diet shows in my blood work. I think it is the real foods that are high in nutrients, specifically Omega 3’s, that help keep my cholesterol in check. That combined with good family genes, of course!
The rest of my numbers were good as well. However, I was surprised to find out that the doctor’s office does a vitamin D test. I know that Vitamin D is all the rage in the media right now, but I have never thought much about it. When I ran out of my multivitamin a few months ago, I didn’t refill it. I have heard and read contradicting information on the benefits of taking a multi. Recently, a few different health care professions, including my primary, have said that by eating a well rounded diet, I should be getting enough of the vitamins and nutrients that I need without a supplement. The past few weeks, I have been really fatigued, but I have attributed that to a busy schedule, travel, and recovering from a sinus infection. I guess then that I wasn’t too surprised to find out that I was Vitamin D deficient. Over the past few months, I have drastically cut down on my dairy intake and I don’t eat many of the foods fortified with Vitamin D, like cereal and orange juice. Although I have discussed some of these dietary changes with my doctor, I never would have thought to ask for the test.
So why does it matter if I’m low on D???
According to the NIH, Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption. We all know why this is important, especially for women! Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation. Early research has also shown links between Vitamin D and cancer and Diabetes. Many websites report about the relationship between low Vitamin D levels and fatigue. I do not believe that this is as well supported as its positive affects on bone health, but I think it is possible that there is a connection.
Vitamin D is hard to find in food, unless you like drinking cod liver oil, so I went out and bought the 1000 IU D3 recommended by my doctor. She advised me to take 1 per day to try to bump up my levels and we will retest it in the future. I am more interested to see if increasing my levels will give me an energy boost! I’ll have to keep you posted.
Does anyone else take Vitamin D??? Thoughts on the current research???