This is the third of my six part series on Getting the Most from your Doctor. In part two of this series, I talked about inflammation and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and gave you tips on how to decrease inflammation in your body.
In this third installment, I’ll share with you the numbers you want to know and the questions you want to ask your doctor about vitamin D levels.
What’s your vitamin D level and why is it important?
Vitamin D was misnamed. It’s not really a vitamin, it’s actually a pro-hormone, so it acts in the body more like a hormone than a vitamin.
And that’s why it’s been shown to be so beneficial in preventing so many diseases, including these major ones:
- heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Vitamin D protects our heart, our brains, and our bones – all those things we are really concerned about as we age – but not if we don’t have optimal levels of it in our bodies.
The Mason-Dixon Line
We used to be taught that if you lived south of the line that runs between San Francisco and Virginia, you’re getting enough vitamin D, just from the sun.
But that’s not always true. I live in Florida (the Sunshine State!), and over the years, the vast majority of my patients have been either vitamin D deficient or suffer from a lack of vitamin D.
How to Increase Vitamin D
So how do you get more vitamin D? What are the optimal levels?
Most labs quote 30-100 ng/ml as the normal range for Vitamin D levels. So if you’re below 30 ng/ml, you can certainly benefit from vitamin D supplementation.
But as I always says, normal is not the same thing as optimal. I like to see my patients between 55 and 70 ng/ml, because those are the levels where Vitamin D is really going to work to help prevent disease.
Vitamin D Supplements
For most of my patients with suboptimal Vitamin D levels, I usually recommend 2000 – 5000 IUs a day. In general, I don’t recommend taking more than 4000 IUs per day, unless you are having your vitamin D levels regularly monitored (every 4-6 months). I recommend monitoring vitamin D levels just like I would monitor any other hormone level.
Getting the Most from Your Doctor – Prevention vs. Disease
A doctor’s training goes something like this: here is a disease and here is the medicine to treat that disease.
This may sound simplified, but most doctors are not trained in how to keep people from becoming unhealthy or how to prevent unwanted medical situations from happening. In a word, they are not trained in prevention.
It’s up to each of us to become educated in disease prevention – and practice it on ourselves and our families.
Take Good Care
As a hormone specialist, I have a lively practice helping men and women balance their hormones and restore their health. And I want to reach even more people with the information I have. I am here to support you and I’m glad you’re here.
Wishing you great health, great happiness and great moments.
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