When talking to your physician it’s critical that you’re as open and forthcoming about your symptoms as possible. Many doctors need to know all your symptoms in order to figure out if they’re connected. This ensures optimal treatment. For example, let’s say you have high blood sugar, frequent skin rashes, erectile dysfunction, a weak urine stream, a perspiring head and bouts of sadness. And then you go to the doctor, but focus on on blood sugar assuming that these other symptoms have nothing to do with your visit. You’ve done yourself a disservice.
Why? Because if you focus on blood sugar, your physician will chase it down with conventional pills such as metformin. You will be given instructions for a special diet, and you’ll have to start testing your blood sugar with finger sticks. Nothing is wrong with any of that, but had you mentioned all the other symptoms you deal with, it’s likely your physician would have picked up on a vitamin D deficiency, and suggested that you take D before prescribing all the pills and pricks.
A deficiency of D can call all of the symptoms I’ve mentioned plus more. And if you have a good doctor that is truly listening to you, the seemingly random list of symptoms make sense from a broader perspective to them. Furthermore, the treatment you would receive will make a huge difference because it would be nice to clear all your symptoms up by restoring D levels, rather than chasing down the right drug for every symptom you have.
Vitamin D receptors grab hold of the activated hormone form of vitamin D and then impacts the expression of about 900 genes! So if D is low (or high) there are literally hundreds of symptoms that you could experience. Many signs and symptoms of D deficiency get medicated. For example, the “winter blues” results in part from insufficient D and yet, it’s treated with antidepressants. Erectile dysfunction certainly has many causes, however, one of them is D deficiency. Perspiring sweaty body parts are often treated with Botox shots, but sometimes it stems from D deficiency. Whether D deficiency is the driving factor, or a contributing factor, it is something that your physician should check.
Here are some other unusual signs of D Deficiency in case you are wondering if you have any. It’s not me just saying this, there are randomized, controlled studies that have confirmed the following symptoms and related diseases are associated with insufficient D:
Irritable bowel (both constipation or diarrhea predominant)
Flare ups for autoimmune conditions
High blood pressure
If you decide to supplement, it’s a good idea to get your baseline levels of D, and then begin your supplementation. Even though it’s a nutrient that is sold everywhere, I support you having your practitioner supervise you and test you periodically. Many people worry excessively about overdosing, but it really takes a lot of D to do that. Vitamin D is available in two forms, one that is animal (sheep) derived, and one that is plant (moss) derived. There is no difference in terms of how you absorb either version, or what benefits each provide. It really just comes down to personal preference and sustainability.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.