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Vitamin D Deficiency

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 836
Joined: Mar 2013

Hello my friends,

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you I fractured a bone in my foot? As it turns out, on a follow up x-ray, after much of the swelling had subsided, and I suppose pictures taken at a slightly different angle, because I was more comfortable, it turns out that 2 of my bones were fractured. 

Also, the doctor was not happy that it was healing slowly so he ordered a blood test for vitamin d levels. As it turns out, I am extremely deficient. He prescribed 50,000 units of vitamin d2 (Rx only) to be taken once per week for 12 weeks, along with 1000 units d3 (OTC) daily. Then I will be tested again. 

I am aware there seems to be much hype about low vitamin d levels but I am beginning to be a believer. The old school ailment for lack of vitamin d was (is) rickets. It is essential for bone health. The more I have researched this vitamin, which is actually a hormone, the more fascinated I have become. For one thing, it is essential for proper calcium absorption and not available in very many foods. 

Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, muscle cramps, joint pain, mood disorders, and more. 

The last few times I have seen my Oncologist when reporting in for Rituxan maintenance infusions, I have complained about how weak my legs felt and how unsteady I felt. I requested, and he ordered Physical Therapy. I was doing my PT sessions as well as volunteering at the clinic, in hopes of building my strength. Those things were good but I got so tired that I wound up collapsing--and broke my foot.

In just over a week of taking the supplements, I already feel better. I haven't taken a single Advil for neck and shoulder pain, whereas I was taking it a couple times a day for quite some time. I have not had a single leg cramp in the night. And my poor broken foot is feeling so much better.  Oh yes, and I feel in a better mood.  

For what it is worth. . .

Love and healing,

Rocquie

 

 

 

Jeff148's picture
Jeff148
Posts: 183
Joined: Apr 2014

I'm so glad they found out the problem. It sounds like you are healing well. Thanks for letting us know in case we have similar issues!!!! Jeff

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 836
Joined: Mar 2013

I'm sure you know the best source of vitamin d is the sun. Unfortunately, we have been so warned against sun exposure and advised to use sunscreen to the point that vitamin d deficiency has become epidemic. I am happy that I'm having the problem corrected. 

I hope you are continuing to feel great. . .

Rocquie

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3307
Joined: May 2012

Appreciate the info, Roc.  You may recall that I had anemia out of the blue about two years ago. The doc ran a lot of tests, including a colonoscopy, but never found a cause.  Unrelated, I take a potassium supplement because that stays low also.

I have fairly severe muscle cramps and spasms, usually after stretching. I might ask if vit D can be related.

max

Anonymous user (not verified)

calcium deficiency is a big cause of muscle cramps But calcium supplements don't always help.

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 836
Joined: Mar 2013

I have heard that about calcium and muscle cramps. My own calcium levels are fine and part of the blood panel I routinely have pre-Rituxan maintence. Also vitamin d is essential for the absorption of calcium. 

I hope you are feeling well. I remember that you may be facing further treatments and I think of you often.

Best,

Rocquie

 

Anonymous user (not verified)

Thank you Rocquie. Yes, its looking more and more like I will need treatment soon. Lump is bigger but still small and the rash on my legs comes and goes. i will wait till my scheduled appointment in April to see the doc. At that time if the lump is still there he will biopsy it.

as for vitamin D, maybe we should move to Florida and get more sunshine. I am out doors a lot and wear only a t-shirt when its warm enough.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3307
Joined: May 2012

GKH, 

Sorry you may need further "work."  May whatever treatment might be necessary  be mild, quick, and successful.

Oddly, my last labs showed my calcium level significantly  too high.  I don't  drink milk, I do stay out of the sun,  and don't  take a supplement with calcium or vitamin D in it. I do eat a lot of collards  and spinich however.

I have been reading a bit on this, and not many things cause high calcium. Various thyroid issues or thyroid tumors seem to be the most common issues, but I am unaware of having any thyroid problems. I have an order to get a more sophisticated calcuim check , but have not had the time to go by the lab. Stomping out one fire at a time....

If anyone has had high calcium in the past, I would be interested in hearing about it.

 

max

 

 

Anonymous user (not verified)

i am well for now. I will worry about April when it gets here. All my very best to you as you have your surgery later this month.

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 836
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi Max, I know you like to stay on top of lab tests, so FYI, the most accurate way to measure your body's vitamin d level is the 25-hydroxy vitamin d blood test. My lab considers 35 - 100 ng (nanograms) to be the reference range and mine was 12. So thankful that my Orthopedic doctor pursued this. He wants get and keep my level on the upper end of the range.

I have been thinking about you and your upcoming surgery. I think the date is the 27th? I want to pray for you and your medical team.

Best,

Rocquie

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3307
Joined: May 2012

Close: My surgery is the 28th, should go home on the 29th.  Cath and bag for a week, and hopefully urinary continence returns soon thereafter.

Your prayers and rememberance are much appreciated.  I am looking at it as more as an excuse to lay out of work for a week more than anything else ....

max

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Max, good luck on your surgery and for a speedy recovery.  Rocquie, thanks for the info on Vitamin D - interesting.  Trying to play catch up on posts so short responses when I do for now.

Hugs to all,

Jim

 

Anonymous user (not verified)

Rocqui,

I was curious enough about this to call and talk to a very experienced person who also happens to be a relative. She told me that in her experience almost everyone tested is told they have low D. With the way things are measured and variability between labs accounting for a lot of it. As we age hormonal changes and damage to hormone secreting tissues caused by cancer treatment can lead to low D. She said her advice would be to take the supplementation but to realize the levels may never rise to what many consider to be "normal". As long as you know you have it in your system be ok with that. Best way is to get 20-40 minutes per day of sun exposure. Just face arms and neck is enough and it can be indirect sunlight. No sunbathing. She has a picture of patients in the 1800s being rolled out into the sun for an hour a day. It works as well as anything.

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 844
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Roquie,

     I'm a little late with this, but I just reread your post and it is very interesting.  It seems that doctors are relying more and more on bloodwork, which is a good thing since there seems to be such a plethora of maladies anymore, it is impossible for a doctor to know everything.   Bill had been having severe cramps, think maybe he should be tested. He was waking up in such pain, he almost started vomiting.  In the meantime though his friend suggested salt tablets.  He gets one called Thermotab Salt Supp at Walgreens.  They are otc but they have to order them.  Don't know if anyone else has them.  Anyway, he started taking them as soon as he felt a cramp coming on, and they instantly went away, now he has not had one in a couple weeks.  It seems to do the trick.  So I just thought maybe for immediate relief the salt tablet may be of help to some but I think the vitamin D thing may get to the real problem.  Just thinking Undecided.

Becky

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 836
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi Becky,

Very interesting about the salt tablets. 

From my very first chemo until the last time I had a blood test, I have continued to be low in sodium. My family has joked about buying one of those salt licks deer hunters use to lure them. Can you see me outside (getting my vitamin d) and licking on that thing to raise my sodium?

I am glad they help Bill with his cramps. 

Love ya,

Rocquie

 

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 836
Joined: Mar 2013

GKH,

Yes, the sun is best and most natural source for vitamin d. Problem is, I am living in the mountains of NC, and I am a wimp. I am not going to be spending 20 - 40 minutes with my arms exposed to the sun in January. I'm afraid I've become a bit of an avid indoors-woman. 

I will be interested to see where my levels are after my 12 weeks of supplemtation. The ortho doctor said I would then begin a maintenance dose.

I would love to see the picture of the 1800's patients being rolled out into the sun!

Cheers,

Rocquie

 

 

 

givingrace's picture
givingrace
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

That's funny Rocquie. I like the indoors woman and 1800 people sunning themselves. 

Just a tip. I saw a natural path speak once on supplements and he said  powder form has less fillers. If you read the ingredients gelatin should be the only filler. I don't know if you have the "now" brand where you are but it can be found online.  It's got a big orange label. It's a good company with no extra junk in it. Also Shaklee makes great supplements too...very organic. I use both companies. I buy energy chews from Shaklee that give me focus and energy when I have my head in the clouds. Just a thought. 

 

((Hugs))

~GG~

 

 

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 844
Joined: Aug 2012

I'm still laughing about that!  I am wondering if the salt lick could be raised to your height or would you have to get down on all fours? LaughingLaughingLaughing

Love you too, Becky

NANCYL1
Posts: 289
Joined: Jun 2012

Rocquie:

Glad to hear that you are feeling better along with your foot.

I listened a few years ago about Vitamin D, and decided to ask my Internist.  She included a check for Vitamin D in my yearly blood test.   Found that D was lower than it should be; advised that I take one pill per day.  The only difference I notice is that I have fewer colds.  Just checked bottle.  Supports:  strong bones and teeth; neuromuscular and immune health.

Nancy

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