Tuesday, January 10, 2012

IMPORTANT! Share and read! :)

If there is one blog post by me that I want you to share, it's this one! We all already know that exercise and nutrition are both important components to your daily lives. With that said, how many of you take a multivitamin each day? Now, I (as you know) am not a doctor and I am not trying to be, but I will tell you from my experience not only the importance of a multivitamin, but the importance of having your Vitamin D checked!

By the show of hands how many of you know what your vitamin D level is? Really, raise your hands. If you're not raising your hand, you NEED to ask your doctor what your vitamin D level was at your last physical. (And if it's been more than a year since you've had a physical, GO! Under health care reform, your once annual physical with your primary care physician is FREE with NO COPAY. No excuses.) So, if you've been recently and you didn't take note of your D levels in you blood work, call today!

Why am I so adamant about this? Well lack of vitamin D may have played a roll in my diagnosis of MS in 2009.

All of this information about Vitamin D was taken from WebMD, but I am cutting and pasting for your convenience b/c it is very important information:

Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness can mean you have a vitamin D deficiency. However, for many people, the symptoms are subtle. Yet even without symptoms, too little vitamin D can pose health risks. Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following:

1. Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease

2. Cognitive impairment in older adults

3. Severe asthma in children

4. Cancer

Research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin D deficiency can occur for a number of reasons:

You don't consume the recommended levels of the vitamin over time. This is likely if you follow a strict vegetarian diet, because most of the natural sources are animal-based, including fish and fish oils, egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver. I did not follow a vegetarian diet. I ate fish and egg yolks.

Your exposure to sunlight is limited. Because the body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight, you may be at risk of deficiency if you are homebound, live in northern latitudes, wear long robes or head coverings for religious reasons, or have an occupation that prevents sun exposure. I’m not a sun worshiper by any means, but I did get outside often. I do however, live in a northern latitude.

You have dark skin. The pigment melanin reduces the skin's ability to make vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure. Some studies show that older adults with darker skin are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency. I do not have dark skin.

Your kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to its active form. As people age their kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form, thus increasing their risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Your digestive tract cannot adequately absorb vitamin D. Certain medical problems, including Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease, can affect your intestine's ability to absorb vitamin D from the food you eat. I do not have any of these diseases.

You are obese. Vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cells, altering its release into the circulation. People with a body mass index of 30 or greater often have low blood levels of vitamin D. I was not obese at the time of my diagnosis.

*I point out these things because when I was diagnosed with MS and even currently, I do not have any of these things that would cause you to think I was vitamin D deficient. So, please don’t read these and think, “Well I don’t have to worry because none of these things are applicable to me.” You never know. When I was diagnosed I was at my physical best; I was running marathons for goodness sakes. Like most diseases, MS is not prejudice and can affect anyone.

When I was diagnosed with MS, my vitamin D level was severely low. Severely. I was not taking any vitamin D supplements at the time. I am now. I personally take 5,000 IU’s a day. You should absolutely call your doctor to find out 1) what your levels were the last time you had your blood checked 2) make an appointment to have a physical if you haven’t and/or 3) find out how much vitamin D per day you should take as a supplement if you don’t already.

The active form of vitamin D helps control calcium and phosphate levels in the body. The normal range is 30.0 to 74.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). A lower level indicates vitamin D deficiency, which you should discuss with your doctor

Talk to your doctor to see how much you should be taking because the verdict is out on how many IU’s you should take as a supplement a day. I’ve seen some say that adults should take 600-800 IU’s a day and others say that taking 10,000 IU’s for a few weeks is appropriate. So, speak with your doctor and your children’s pediatrician because children need this vitamin too. (And if mom was deficient while preggo, your child will probably be deficient too…this I know.)

Can your child get too much vitamin D? Taken from http://www.babycenter.com/0_vitamin-d-in-your-childs-diet_10324696.bc

It's very unlikely. In fact, many health experts are concerned that the 400 IU recommended daily amount is too low, and that children and adults actually need 800 to 1,000 IUs each day. (To get this amount, a child would have to drink eight to ten glasses of milk a day, which is not recommended!)

That said, vitamin D can be harmful if you get too much. It's stored in our tissues, so it's best not to go beyond what health experts recommend. (Vitamin C, by contrast, isn't stored in the body –people eliminate any excess through urine.)

To be safe, if you have a very young child, stick to the 400 IUs recommended as an infant supplement. More than 400 IUs may be recommended for an older child – but talk to your doctor to be sure.

I have given you a lot of information today, so I will share my meal plan that I had today tomorrow b/c I will be eating the same things that I had today, tomorrow. Because I am holding myself accountable with this blog, I will say that I am within my calories for the day! I also will complete my Insanity workout when my little man goes to bed!

Tomorrow I will share what an Insanity workout is like. I will also talk about...whatever you want. Please email me or leave a comment and let me know what you want to see me write about. theflower4@gmail.com

Quote of the day: “Be brave and be patient. Have faith in yourself; trust in the significance of your life and the purpose of your passion. You are strong enough to sit in the space between spaces and allow divine inspiration to shed some light. When you put positive energy and productive effort into the world it will come back to you. Occasionally in ways you might not immediately understand and on a time frame you didn’t expect. Look. Listen. Learn. Stay open. Your destiny is awaiting you.”~Jillian Michaels~

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