Friday, June 13, 2008

Vitamin D--whether you've had WLS or not!

As WLS postops, we fight various vitamin deficiency possibilities. The fat soluble vitamins are of particular concern to those who've had an RNY as we malabsorb the fats due to our rearranged intestine... Those vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K. It is recommended that we take those in their dry form for better absorption.

I know that I, personally, went into my surgical journey already low (almost depleted) in vitamin D stores. The "normal" level these days is anything between 32 and 100, with 100 being the preferred end of the spectrum. Mine was 24 preop. At 3 months postop, I was down to 17. At 6 mos postop, I was down even further to 11. Yes, ELEVEN! Another thing with vitamin D is its interaction with calcium and how being low in vitamin D and calcium can mess with your parathyroid levels as well. Your parathyroid levels will go up if you are low in D and/or calcium as the parathyroid overworks to try and find the calcium elsewhere (like from your teeth and bones--not good!). So, while my blood calcium level registered an "okay" number (middle of the normal range), my vitamin d level was bottoming out and my parathyroid numbers were climbing, indicating that I was not getting enough vitamin d OR calcium and that I was on my way to osteoporosis! SO, I started taking very large doses of vitamin d (about 14,000 iu daily) as well as became very diligent with taking my daily doses of my calcium supplements. Over time, my vitamin d level is climbing (though very slowly) and my parathyroid is dropping back towards the normal range. My dexascan showed that I did not have significant bone loss, but that I need to work on increasing bone density.

What prompted this blog entry on vitamin d??? Well, a dear friend was diagnosed this week with fibromyalgia. She's been dealing with some truly severe pain and thought it was just her arthritis worsening. And, part of the prescribed treatment her doctor has started includes--yep, you guessed it--daily doses of vitamin d! Vitamin d is truly drawing attention lately as being sort of a wonder-nutrient... Being deficient is capable of causing all sorts of things--including joint pain!

So, I wanted to share some links to vitamin d info with you all! If you are not already supplementing this (whether you've had WLS or not), please consider doing so!

Sam's Club sells a 400 count bottle of 1000 iu vitamin d tablets for less than $5. They are a small to medium sized tablet and are easy to swallow even as a WLS postop. I also buy my calcium citrate there (630 mgs calcium citrate plus 400 iu vitamin d). Those are just shy of $9 for like 400 tablets (200 doses). Those are a larger tablet, but they are scored in the middle and break very easily if you need a smaller tablet size.

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