My new doctor is one SMART cookie.

I went back to the doc yesterday because the first antibiotic wasn’t helping, and she’s tentatively diagnosed me with a resistant form of strep. Kick up the antibiotics and add steroids (uck). Making matters worse, the infection seems to have moved to my inner ear because I’ve got terrible vertigo. I spent most of yesterday in bed. But the doc on call last night assured me that “this too shall pass.”

My new doc is technically NOT a doc – she’s a PA (Physician’s Assistant). She works under supervision from a doctor, but sees patients in her own right, writes prescriptions, etc. In my experience, I’ve gotten better care from PA’s and NP’s than I have actual MD’s, so I was eager to see her. Plus, the practice she works with has excellent reviews on assorted websites.

The first time I saw Melissa, she listened to me for a LONG time about my symptoms. She ordered a whole slew of tests. The lab work comes back VERY quickly – a day or two, rather than a week or 10 days at my former doc’s. She appreciates that I’ve been researching my condition (whereas my former doc made fun of it). Like I said, she thinks I might be on to something with the copper toxicity issue. However, she landed on another potential answer for my troubles – Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D was one of the first things she tested for, given that no one else has done so, and other vitamin tests have come up “normal”. The list of symptoms is staggering – extreme fatigue, aches and pains, weight gain, dry eyes and mouth, forgetfulness – the whole gamut of what I’ve been experiencing. Long-term effects in adults include bone problems – easy breakage, osteoporosis.

Melissa’s nurse called me up and guess what? “Normal” for vitamin D is 60 and above. My level: 16. So I’m now taking 4000 IU’s of the stuff daily.

We get vitamin D these days from several sources. It’s added to milk these days because we no longer get it from lard (the best source until relatively recently, when docs declared animal fats “unhealthy” and manufacturers created a leaner pig). However, I do not drink milk. I don’t eat cereal. I rarely eat ice cream and yogurt. I do eat a lot of cheese but I’m not thinking that would add up to more than a glass or two of milk per week. Another good source is salmon – another thing I rarely eat because filets are expensive and I’m generally too lazy to make salmon patties even though we love them. And lastly we get it from the sun. I don’t get a lot of sun 🙁 And apparently my laptop monitor does not release UV-B rays. Now THAT would be a boon, if manufacturers could set that up…)

If you have aches, pains, fatigue, weight gain… talk to your doc about testing for Vitamin D deficiency. It’s a very simple blood test. Melissa says that they’re seeing a staggering number of people with this problem these days. She also told me that a lot of her patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia have shown incredible improvement on a D supplement.

1 Comment

  1. catfantastic

    I’ve heard really good things about vitamin D, from sources that I trust. Taking too much can be toxic, but most folks don’t get enough.

    I probably don’t get the 1000 IU that the Canadian Cancer Society recommends outside of summer months, but I drink enough milk to get at least the minimum most days, and that’s supplemented with more milk, yogurt, cheese, and sardines. Nobody talks about the lowly tinned sardine, but the el cheapo store brand over at No Frills yields 120% of the recommended daily intake. And they’re nummy. 🙂

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