Vitamin D3 Will Change the World

by,

Suzanne Coleman, MD

Two new studies published recently continue to show the major importance of vitamin D to human health, both physical and mental.

Medscape.com reported on both studies.  One study showed that vitamin D supplementation improves depression (which we already knew, didn’t we?).  The other study showed that treating vitamin D deficiency in malnourished children led to not only an increase in weight (vs. kids not given extra vitamin D) but also increased their intelligence.

How will this change the world?  If areas which have malnourished infants and children begin to supplement vitamin D in order to end vitamin D deficiency, this will improve the population’s health and intelligence, making the areas more resilient and successful and better able to address the challenges that they face. It will also decrease the presence and negative impacts of depression and other health problems.  Since programs already exist to address malnourishment through the use of high calorie food supplements, the study’s results suggest that providing higher doses of vitamin D in the food supplements is an option for those with vitamin D deficiency which will lead to better outcomes for these children.

Malnourishment in developed countries like the United States may underlie many individual health and social issues as well, but may not be as recognized as it does not exist to the extremes that it does in some other areas of the world.  In these areas of the USA, several factors may contribute to low vitamin D levels, including lack of access to vitamin D in foods or supplements and a lack of sufficient sunlight exposure due to geographic location.

But vitamin D deficiency is not only seen in malnourished people, it is a wide-spread problem.  Low vitamin D is bad because it is linked to depression among many other physical and mental health issues.  Appropriate treatment with adequate amounts of vitamin D3 should reduce many problems, including depression which can have a number of negative effects on a person and society including self-neglect and self-harm, unintended child neglect and abuse, unemployment, lost time at work, low self-esteem, and drug abuse and dependence among others.  Depression and low vitamin D can occur in anyone regardless of gender, race, age, or financial position.

The scope of depression is immense.  Study two notes that “Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression. It’s the number one cause of years lost to disability worldwide. In the United States, the overall prevalence of vitamin D deficiency hovers around 42%, with the highest rate seen in blacks.” [2]  This is important to note as many medical professionals continue to hold the false belief that those with darker skin do not have the risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Providing vitamin D testing to all patients worldwide will give the patient and their medical provider a baseline understanding of their overall health needs in regards to vitamin D3 supplementation and this testing is highly recommended by myself and other medical professionals.  A simple test can change a person’s life for the better.  Educate yourselves and others on this opportunity.  Vitamin D3 is an easy oral vitamin to take if your levels are low, see my more in-depth article here on the details about vitamin D3 supplementation.

Take care of yourself!

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References:

  1. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/896391?nlid=122275_4502&src=wnl_dne_180510_mscpedit&uac=113256SN&impID=1628885&faf=1
  2. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/896449?nlid=122367_4502&src=wnl_dne_180511_mscpedit&uac=113256SN&impID=1629894&faf=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vitamin D is Essential for Your Health, Is Your Doctor Getting it Right?

by,

Suzanne Coleman, MD

Vitamin D is a type of healthy, naturally-occurring steroid.  It works within our body’s cells and is necessary for our health.  We are only now learning more and more about how important it is, and about how many people do not have sufficient levels to be optimally healthy.  It’s important for everyone to get their levels tested, regardless of their race or age.  Low vitamin D can cause both physical and mental health problems, and correcting low vitamin D may help to treat some problems that were previously thought to be untreatable.

A lot of research is being done lately on vitamin D, and rightly so.  So far evidence points to its importance in our mental health, allergies and atopy (like eczema and psoriasis), heart health, bone health, immune system, and likely others.

Here in the United States, doctors will check vitamin D levels using a test called 25 (OH) vitamin D.  The results of this test are important, and you should ask to look over them together with your doctor.

The test result will show a number that represents how much vitamin D is in your blood, and the test will have a range of what that particular laboratory thinks is an okay number for you to have.  The range is usually between 30 and 80 ng/ml or so.  These numbers bring up a very important point.

Some doctors will tell you that a number of 30, or even 20, is enough vitamin D.  I am going to tell you that in my opinion, that is NOT enough.  I have seen both severe osteoporosis and depression in people with levels in the low 30s.  When they started taking an appropriate amount of oral vitamin D3, their blood levels increased to around 50 over the next several months or so.  Their moods and energy improved significantly.

In order to stay healthy, both mentally and physically I recommend trying to keep your blood levels around 50-60.  Your doctor can monitor these with testing every 3 months or so.  If your initial level is low, she can tell you what to try to take to improve it.  Vitamin D3 is the correct type of oral vitamin D to take.  For the people I mentioned above, with levels around 32, taking 5000 IU a day of a USP-tested vitamin D3 was sufficient to raise their levels into the healthy range of 50 or so.

Not all vitamins for sale are tested to ensure that they actually contain what they are supposed to contain.  That is why I recommend using only vitamins which have a USP seal on their label.  The USP seal means that the vitamins have been tested and should contain what they say they do.  Taking a vitamin without the USP seal on the label is not a good idea as they may not contain the vitamin, and they may also contain unhealthy substances.

Depending on where you live, sun exposure will raise your vitamin D level.  So if you get a lot of sun in the summer, you may not need to take a vitamin D supplement during that time.  If you never get much sun, then you likely will benefit from taking a supplement year-round, as long as your levels are being monitored.

When you first start taking vitamin D3, if you have low levels, you may feel a burst of energy.  Because this may impact your sleep, I would recommend taking the vitamin in the morning, or avoiding taking it anywhere close to bedtime.  After a while, maybe a month or so, once your body’s levels start to become more normal, this effect will not necessarily be seen.

If you have any other medical conditions, be sure to check with all of your doctors before starting vitamin D supplementation, to ensure that you can take it safely.

You also need to know that you can get too much vitamin D.  Levels can be too high for your health, that is why if you take supplements, your levels need to be monitored on a regular basis.  Vitamin D toxicity can present with symptoms like nausea, loss of appetite, feeling tired, having pain, being thirsty, and other somewhat vague symptoms.

I hope that everyone will get their vitamin D levels checked so that they will be as healthy as they were meant to be.  For some, possibly many, vitamin D deficiency just may be one problem that you can correct that will change the rest of your life for the better.


 

I have found very useful information on vitamin D from the Vitamin D Council who has great online resources.  Here is a link to their page on general vitamin D testing and the various lab levels recommended by different groups.

My recommendations and views in this article are based on my experience and readings, previous recommendations by endocrinologists, and the views of the Vitamin D Council.  This article is for informational purposes only and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship.  I hope this information is helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itchy Eczema Be Gone!

Doc's Corner graphic, 500

by,

Suzanne Coleman, MD

If you have an itchy reddish spot or itchy small bumps that are driving you crazy, it might be eczema.  Eczema can happen when sensitive skin gets dry and irritated and starts to itch.  It can be intolerably itchy!  Let’s fix that.

Eczema can be in a small spot or on a larger area of skin.  It’s generally treatable if you do exactly what I tell you here:

1.  Buy and use only soaps and lotions without any perfumes or dyes in them.  Most lotions like this are marked “hypoallergenic” (which means it won’t bother people with allergies, like people who get eczema), or some will simply say “no added colors or perfumes.”  Soaps are a bit harder, but try and find one for “sensitive skin,” like some Dove products.  Smell the bar and if it has a strong smell, find one that has no smell, or a milder odor.

2.  This is very important, laundry detergent and anything else that goes on the clothes also needs to be scent and dye free.  Luckily for those of us who suffer from these things, these healthier soaps are now easily found in any store.  They are usually the laundry soaps in the white bottles.  Also, be sure your fabric softener is also dye and perfume free.  These are critical as the clothes will be on your skin and if you sweat, any irritants can cause you to have a skin reaction.

Also, don’t use excess soap in the laundry, and whatever you use, make sure that it rinses out properly.  The same goes for the fabric softener.

3.  Try and avoid bleach, as it is a strong irritant.

4.  After washing hands and after bathing apply the lotion mentioned in step one all over your skin.  Do this every time you bathe and as often as your hands feel dry (in winter, this is usually after each time you wash them).

5.  Avoid using hot water to wash or bathe in, it dries out the skin and makes it more likely to be irritated in general, and this predisposes you to more of a chance of eczema and itchy skin in general.

6.  Avoid overheating your body.  Sweating can cause irritation to the skin as can overheating.  Use 100% cotton clothes from top to bottom and use layers so that if you, or your child, get too warm, you can just remove a layer.  With kids, if their cheeks are red or you see any sweat on their hair you know they are definitely too warm.  You should also touch their upper back under their layers and if they are sweating, remove one or more layers.  Check them often until you get a sense of how many layers they need indoors and out.  They will love you for it!

7.  Keep your home and workplace properly humidified (see my article on winter dry skin and lips here).  If you live in an area where you use heat in the winter, or just a dry area in general, humidity in the home is essential for healthy skin and lips, and as well as for your overall health.  A good humidity level is 45-50% but can be adjusted to your personal preference.  Above 50% you need to watch out for mold issues.

If you follow the above advice your eczema will usually improve and resolve in a couple of weeks, give or take.  If you don’t see improvement, it may not be eczema.  If you are in doubt or have concerns, always check with your personal physician as online information can only do so much.

Take care and thanks for reading, I hope this was helpful for you and your family.  Please share with your friends 🙂

Dr. Coleman

 

 

Is Carly from “The Bachelor” a Sociopath?

 

The Bachelor Gossip, framed

by,

Suzanne Coleman, MD

 

She’s been called “evil.”  She’s been called a “bully.”  But, what is she really?

Well, we can’t really tell just from some clips of her, because you know how editing can make someone seem like something they’re not, but what we saw in those clips does give us an idea of what kind of a person she might be.  Let’s talk about what behavior we see in those clips.

She seems to lack empathy.  This means that she seems to have no heart, and doesn’t seem to feel for other people, and for what they are going through.  This is not normal.

She seems to enjoy watching other people suffer.  This is not normal.

She seems to do things to make other people suffer.  This is not normal.

She seems to manipulate Chris Soules, and seems to try to manipulate the other girls, so that they will all hate Britt.  This is not normal.

She jumps all over one thing that Britt said and can’t seem to understand that people can say things about something and then change their minds after they learn more about it.  Carly seems really rigid and inflexible in her beliefs.  That is not normal.

What do all of these behaviors have in common?  They are behaviors that you can see in someone who is a sociopath.  Now, I want to be clear, this isn’t saying that Carly is a sociopath, we don’t have enough information to make that type of assessment.  But it is important for everyone to understand that “bullies” and “mean girls” can have behaviors characteristic of sociopaths and other types of psychopaths.  “Sociopath” and “psychopath” are terms that refer to people with types of mental illnesses that are called personality disorders.

The medical term for sociopath is “anti-social personality disorder.”   There are several types of personality disorders, all of which can cause problems in relationships, but anti-social personality is one of the worst.  Approximately one out of every 75 men, and one out of every 300 women is a sociopath.  People with anti-social personality disorder can be very destructive to those around them; they often seriously disrupt families, businesses, organizations, governments, and society in general.  And they are all around us.

How do you know when you are dealing with a sociopath?  Sometimes it can be hard to tell because some of them are very intelligent and hide their bad behaviors very well.  On the other hand, there are the ones that aren’t trying to hide their behaviors.  Sometimes people call them assholes, and sometimes people call them jerks.  Sometimes people just don’t know what to call them, they are so completely abnormal in their behavior, it leaves others speechless.

But whether they are easy to identify or not, sociopaths do things that other people would not.  Some deliberately hurt other people for their own personal entertainment.  Some spread malicious lies behind other people’s backs in order to cause chaos and disruption.  Some act in a calculated manner to ruin people’s relationships, their reputations, their jobs, and more.  Sociopaths live as though the law and the rules do not apply to them, and that they can do whatever they want and get away with it.  Ethics don’t exist in their world.

And to top it all off, some sociopaths will find the horrible things that they are doing to be really funny.  And they will enjoy planning and executing them, like it’s a game.  You can often find them smirking to themselves as they plot against you, literally.  If you see any of these behaviors in someone, think sociopath.

An interaction with a sociopath will often elicit a strongly negative reaction from you, and you may not be able to figure out why you are feeling so upset.  It might be because you can sense that they are violating your boundaries, or that they are showing their lack of concern for right and wrong.  Pay attention to those feelings, and remember this article if you ever encounter anyone like this.  It’s usually best to stay away from them if you can.  But if you can’t, it may be helpful to directly confront their behaviors in front of a group of other people who can witness what happens (unless they are sociopaths too).  Otherwise the sociopath will keep on manipulating and lying and playing their evil little games behind everyone else’s backs.

 

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Please note that this is a very broad and complex topic and that this article only discusses limited aspects of it.  The above is for informational and educational purposes only.  If you have any specific questions or concerns, please see a physician or mental health professional.

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Beautiful pink explosion of nature!  Original abstract art for your home or office, by Suzanne Coleman. ©Suzanne Coleman, all rights reserved.

Beautiful pink explosion of nature! Original abstract art for your home or office, by Suzanne Coleman.
©Suzanne Coleman, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art for sale HERE:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/211491305/bright-pink-flower-abstract-art-on?ref=listing-shop-header-0

 

 

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