Wednesday, February 15, 2012

it's not just my imagination...

As it turns out, there is a reason for my winter blues and persistent lack of energy. It's not just my imagination. Comforting news after a difficult several days last week.

In the hopes that this also helps someone else, I'm disclosing my health information here. After my blood test last week, I heard from my doctor. Thankfully, most of my results look great - thyroid is normal (thyroid disorder runs in my family, so this is something I get checked out periodically), cholesterol and sugar levels are normal and healthy, which is a relief for this dessert-loving gal. Is this license to have a few more spoonfuls homemade pistachio ice cream? :)

homemade pistachio ice cream, following this recipe... enjoyed with gelato spoons (yes, there is such a thing and yes, they are necessary ;-)) from this friend

However, my test results also indicated that I don't get enough protein, despite the hefty amounts of beans and lentils that we eat on an almost daily basis, plus lots of Greek yogurt, nuts and nut butters.... It also turns out that my vitamin D level is currently at 5.9, and I should be at 31 at the very least. Statistically, my levels are within the lowest 10% that my doctor has seen. Yikes.

(As a side note, I love my doctor for how she started with the positive things first)

The good news is, there is a fix. She recommended a prescription-strength vitamin-D supplement, which is 50,000 IU twice a week. Or, I can find an over-the-counter supplement for 5,000 IU which I will then take twice a day everyday to get 70,000 IU a week. The issue with the prescription-strength one is that it does have gelatin or may have a shellfish-derived ingredient (to which I'm allergic). After doing some research, I did find a vegetarian supplement from a company called Seeking Health. The information on the website (as well as the company's information) looked good, and so I'm going to try this one. I also looked into this one, which was recommended by a friend, and I also have tried Garden of Life supplements before. However, the largest dose Garden of Life has is 2,000 IUs - which makes it a bit impractical for me to pop 5 of these a day. I will keep this one in mind though for maintenance when my levels go up to more desirable levels (which will be based on another blood test 3 months from now).

Information is empowering. I only wish I had known about it sooner - if I had not dismissed what I was feeling, I would have sought a solution sooner as well and perhaps it would not have interfered with my life so much the past few months.

But I can only look ahead now, so I'm looking forward to feeling the sunshine. :)

To anyone reading this: please don't take this as medical advice by any means - please consult with your doctor first as these mega-doses recommended to me are probably not for everyone. My only hope is that anyone feeling the way I have been for these past several months will consider asking their doctor or healthcare provider about vitamin D.

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Anonymous said...

Mia, Vegan and Vegetarian diets don't have the same amount of protein in their diet as Omnivores... The US numbers for protein has been said by T. Colin Campbell as too high. Just FYI. I am sorry to hear about your low D levels, but I m so relieved that now you know the reason for being so tired!

cyberlaundry said...

MIA! I'm so glad you now know what's up wichu. And there's a way to remedy what's up wichu. And you know you were feeling all funky because of what's up wichu.

And please please update me with what's up wichu.



Mia said...

Anonymous: yes, I read the same thing somewhere about protein, and how the average omnivore american consumes more protein than necessary (to the exclusion of other nutrients, unfortunately). I'm actually not too concerned about that part of my test results, since I get enough (I think) from beans, nuts, yogurt, etc. Plus I'm not a competitive athlete or endurance athlete that needs more protein. The vitamin d result was certainly interesting though...

Mia said...

Cyberlaundry: yes I'll update you! Thanks, friend :)

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