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Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin D3’

Treating Fibromyalgia with Nutrition

March 31, 2018 @ 8:09 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

I was asked about treatments for Fibromyalgia.  Pain clinics have injections and pharmaceuticals that often help, but not always enough.  I approach from a different angle.

Fibromyalgia is a collection of many different maladies that are  magnifying each other.  They are very difficult to untangle.  Treating all aspects of the pain is the key to success.

I have actually “cured” fibromyalgia only 4 times, but usually I can decrease the pain enough that other measures will work better than before. 

The key is understanding that pain often is nerves misbehaving, magnifying the intensity of unpleasant stimuli.  This is neuropathy or neuralgia.  These conditions are made much worse by nutritional deficits.

B1, B6, B12 and Folate are key nutrients for nerve function.  Controlling diabetes is also important.  Low calcium, potassium or magnesium cause cramping and pain.  These should ALL be checked.

Vitamin D is often overlooked as essential for nerve function.  Low vitamin D will cause depression, malaise, nerve malfunction and increased pain.  I aim for a vitamin D level of 70 ng/ml – higher than needed for bone health, but completely safe.  If your level is very low you may need megadoses, well above 5000 IU daily.

Take Control Naturally with Vitamin D3, as well as B1, B6, B12, Folate, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium.

Jay Ginther, MD

Treat to Target # 2 – Fragility Fracture

January 31, 2018 @ 8:23 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Treat to Target means aiming for NO NEW FRACTURES.  As discussed last time, the original target was to maintain Bone Mineral Density (BMD) at the level first tested.  25 years ago that was amended to be a T-score of -2.4 or higher, since “osteoporosis the test result” was set at -2.5.

But what if you already have fractured?  Clinical Osteoporosis the diagnosis is a T-score of -1.5 plus a “Fragility Fracture” acquired in any fall from standing height, even on ice.  That is because for the first year after a fracture your risk is 5 times normal. Your risk decreases to 2 times normal after 5 years, but always is higher after a fragility fracture.

If your Fragility Fracture was a Hip Fracture, you have Clinical Osteoporosis regardless of DXA BMD and T-score.  You are at high risk of future fracture, especially of the other hip.  You should start treatment to prevent a new fracture.  At the very least you need to optimize calcium, vitamin D3, protein, and multiple vitamins & minerals intake.

If you also need a pharmaceutical, it should be one which can raise your T-score above -2.5 if you have no fractures, and above -1.5 if you already have a fracture.  That usually means considering an anabolic.  Your goal is NO NEW FRACTURES.

FRAX next time.

Jay Ginther, MD

Spring! Sunshine! Vitamin D?

March 20, 2017 @ 7:27 am
posted by Dr Ginther

Spring!  The Sun is back for more than 12 hours daily!  The sun crossed the equator at 0529 CDT.  Vitamin D?  Not so fast.  This is Iowa and we are still too far north.

Your skin can make Vitamin D when exposed to strong enough sunlight.  Strong enough sunlight happens when the sun is high enough in the sky that its UV rays are not blocked by the atmosphere.  This happens at mid-day all year round in the tropics.

Iowa needs to wait another couple of weeks for our first moments of Vitamin D from the sun.  Mid-day is around 1:10 to 1:25 pm CDT, depending on location.  Southern Iowa will get enough sunlight several days before northern Iowa.  Late June we will have 4-5 hours of opportunity.

Unfortunately, Vitamin D, Sunburn and Skin Cancer are often a package deal.  You can encourage them all, or block them all with Sun-block.

Your safest move is to protect yourself from sunburn and skin cancer, and take your vitamin D3 tablets or gel-caps.  A 25-hydroxy Vitamin D blood test will show if you have achieved the ideal range of 40-80 ng/ml.

You need to take control, but this is one area where naturally can have a significant downside.

Jay Ginther, MD

Vitamin D is necessary in order to absorb Calcium from your diet.  Your skin can make some Vitamin D from the Mid-day Sun, but only in the “summer”.  The sun is high enough above the horizon at mid-day only 5 months of the year in Iowa.  Over half of Iowans are low on Vitamin D as summer ends in September.  7 out of 8 Iowans are low by mid April when we can first get a few minutes a day of Vitamin D.  That’s the Good News.

The Bad News is that Sun Block blocks Vitamin D production in skin.  You need to risk Sunburn and Skin Cancer “naturally” if you want to make your Vitamin D “naturally”.  Plus you need to expose enough skin (determined by your age and personal genetics) to make enough Vitamin D.

Foods naturally high in Vitamin D3 include “yummy” Seal Blubber and Cod Liver Oil.  Most Fish Oil does not have much D3.  Vitamin D2 from plants (like mushrooms) is much less long lasting than  D3, so we are talking pounds of mushrooms daily.

Your easiest and safest move is to take extra Vitamin D3.  The amount of D3 in your multiple vitamins and minerals, calcium supplements, and milk combined are very rarely enough.  Most of us need 2,000 to 5000 units of additional D3 daily.

Test for 25-hydroxy Vitamin D Level to tell if you are taking enough to get between 40 and 80 ng/ml in your blood.

Help to Take Control Naturally by getting enough Vitamin D.

Jay Ginther, MD