Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Personal Note - Back to Health

I have not posted much about my children on this blog but if you could indulge me a bit this morning it may even help you or someone you know.

My second oldest daughter is now turning 24. At 16 she started to get sick. One of the first things we noticed is that even on 600-800 calories she would gain weight. She began loosing energy and having trouble concentrating. We started the round of doctors who basically said everything was all in her head. Others accused her of eating secretly. A children's endocrinologist in Pittsburgh told her to get therapy.

We finally found a doctor that began to treat her for thyroid and adrenal problems based on her symptoms. It seemed to help a bit but really, in the long run her health deteriorated even further. She had to drop out of college because of the mental fog that prevented her from reading. At this point we did not know what to do so we gave her the summer off of all responsibilities and she slept and tried to recover. That fall she began to teach herself computer web design and in the next spring passed one of their certifications. She felt good enough to move away and she got an internship at a company and was later hired. Her energy levels were still really low. She would go to work and then fall into bed. Weekends were spent trying to sleep and catch up. That next year after wearing herself thinner and thinner she got about 5 viruses in a row. Now we had a very sick kid.

She quit her job and moved home. We gave her what we thought would be 3 months to rest and get back on her feet. Three months turned into a year and then longer. Again we saw the rounds of doctors who seemed completely baffled as to what was going on. They finally diagnosed her with chronic fatigue and fybromaligia - which to those of you ,who know is a nice way of saying, "We don't know what the hell is wrong with you, why you are in bed all day and why you hurt all the time."

Depression was her companion. Here was a child in the prime of her life feeling like she was dying day by day. Many doctors would try to blame the depression but Britt constantly said, "I'm depressed because I don't feel well - I'm not sick because I'm depressed."

She applied for disability and that gave her access to free health care. This was such a gift to us. At that point we got a doctor assigned to us that #1. believed us and #2 was willing to do whatever we wanted to trace this down. We have seen a round of specialists, heart, stomach, sleep, etc. She was found to not be digesting fast enough, the beginnings of asthma, polyps on her colon (which simply baffled the doctors because of her young age) and then last of all we saw an endocrinologist. He ran a gamut of tests and everything came back in the normal ranges EXCEPT for a vitamin D deficiency. (her level was at a 19 - normal levels are supposed to be 35 at the LOWEST and 50-75 for normal ranges)

He gave her a script for 50,000 IU's of vitamin D once a month and sent her on her way. She popped the first pill and we sighed - thinking it would do nothing. The next day she started feeling amazing. All her pain was gone in a little over 48 hours. She had a burst of energy like she had not felt for years.

We started reading. I have read everything on the Internet for the last 4 weeks. We found that a vitamin D deficiency ( which actually works as a hormone) could account for all the problems she was having. We soon found that the vitamin D that the doctor prescribed was actually not the best one to take and so we started supplementing with a liquid form of the vitamin in D3 form. Except for some stomach upset she is feeling amazing. It has been like a magic pill. For 4 weeks we have been holding our breath in trepid anticipation but it has continued to make her stronger, more clear headed, the pain has stayed away and her mood has gone from a 2-3 to a 9 or more. She feels like she has been given a new lease on life and even the greenness of the grass delights her.

I had a doctor that had actually run this Vitamin D(25-hydroxyvitamin D test, also called a 25(OH)D. (This is the test you want to order - there is another test of another kind of vitamin D that will not give you the measurements you need) I was at a higher level but at the time I just shrugged it off. Since Britt has been on this therapy I have also increased my vitamin D to 5,000IU a day. I immediately felt my mood lighten and hope return. It is crazy. I have read that those living in the north actually cannot make vitamin D by sunshine except from May till September because of the slant of the sun.

Anyway this is long enough. You can go to http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/ for the springboard to some good information.

16 comments:

grace said...

Thanks to your post Barb, I just opened the bottle of D3 my husband said I should be taking.

Erin said...

Wonderful news and I hope it continues to be a solution for her. Thanks for the education, as well, it is something I need to consider.

Tracy Simmons said...

Barb, it's like your daughter needed her own special "Dr. Greg House."

I work for a doctor who has people sent to him when no one else can figure out what is going on. It always AMAZES me that the previous dozen or so docs that have seen these patients have not done the most basic vitamin tests on these poor folks. You'd be shocked by how many people have major neurological symptoms because of B12 deficiency.

Sadly, your daughter's story isn't the first time I've heard tales just like this, but I am thrilled to hear she finally found the right doctor who figured it out. :)

Barb said...

Grace, They say that for people who are NOT deficient you should be taking 2,000 iu a day. It was good having my blood tested the other day to see how far out of the hole I needed to dig myself.

Erin, the more I read on this subject the more I'm becoming a Vit D advocate which is so funny to my husband because I have NEVER liked taking any sort of vitamins or pills of any kind unless they were for a headache.

Tracy, Dr. House is what we needed!! Actually, funny thing is the doctor that finally found this was the most RUDE doctor we had seen to date. He would not let us talk, refused to meet with us when the tests came back, almost pushed us out the door. I was furious. Oh well. I guess bedside manner is overrated.

traveller said...

Barb,

Your comment about your doctor's bedside manner caused me to laugh. The doctor who was my main physician, and continues to be, during my treatment for bladder cancer was similar. Some of it I think was he had an incredible schedule of patients, so always short on time, and some was perhaps his desire not to get too close to his patients since so many die from cancer...a form of protective defense mechanism. He did have a wry wit which I enjoyed. At one point I was conveying this to a person I know. Their response was you are not going to this guy to find a new best friend you are going to him because he is one of the best GU cancer doctors in the world. My friend had a point.

There is another irony, however, since my doctor works in a cancer institution that has a staff with the most deserved reputation of being caring, compassionate and very holistic in its approach to patients, including not only a concern for the physical issues but spiritual issues as well.

Over the almost decade I have known my doctor I have grown to respect, admire and enjoy the time I have to be with him, crusty exterior and all.

Mary said...

Barb,

I'm so glad that your daughter is feeling better. It must have been so very frustrating to not know what was wrong.

During our first year of marriage, I was taking a birth control pill. I was also taking various vitamins. I discovered quite by accident that when I didn't take Vitamin D, I would feel really depressed. If I took the Vitamin D, I would be happy and energetic. However, my legs would also itch something fierce.

I stopped and started taking the Vit D a few times to confirm my suspicion. Each time I didn't take the Vit D, no itching but feeling depressed. If I did take the Vit D, I felt great but would scratch my legs to a bloody mess.

A doctor didn't believe me and just said that my legs were itching because of dry weather.

I went a year before I decided that the battle wasn't worth it and quite taking the birth control pill. Problem solved. I'd forgotten about all of that.

I should look into Vit D again.

Barb said...

traveller, at least our hospital system around here does not have a rep for being "caring" and is one of the classic ways our doctor characterizes the system he works for. In either case, what is important in the long run is getting better I guess. If I had to choose one over the other...I'd choose the getting better part. Here's to yours too!

Mary, you might want to try a different vit d formula. In my reading I found if one pill bothered you you could try a different manufacturer. Britt is on a liquid form in drops from biotic because of stomach upset with it. We are even looking into a shot form. Make sure you are taking D3 though because D2 is from animal sources and does not stay in your system long enough to build up a reserve like D3 does.

Heidi W said...

I'm D deficient, but haven't really started taking it yet. 50,000 sounds like a lot, but wow... what results! I guess i'll start taking mine (similar symptoms to your daughter).

Heidi W said...

I have to laugh too because I always tell my husband that I need Dr. House!

Barb said...

Heidi, hope it helps. From all I read the 50,000 tablet was D2 and not D3. Most agree it is not as effective as taking 5,000 to 10,000 a day of D3 until you get back up to acceptable levels.

Heidi W said...

Thanks, Barb. After I read the post I took 3 D3, which equals about 6,000.

I'm already getting B12 shots, treated for adrenal insuf, and T3 for thyroid.... antidepressants for 'depression' that, like your daughter, isn't really depression, but rather that I don't feel well all the time.

I just got an MRI which was negative, and nothing seems to be helping the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. (fibro for 20+ yrs, and chronic fatigue has been kicking my butt for 3 now, and like you said, I can eat nothing and still gain weight, along with other symptoms... but nobody ever believes it except my husband who knows I eat next to nothing and I'm still gaining! UGH!).

So this gives me hope of something new to try. I know already I'm deficient in D, but hadn't really taken it seriously.... but I will now!

Heidi

Barb said...

Heidi, read the site at D3 council and then anything else you can get your computer on. It is has been enlightening. I have a google alert for Vitamin D deficiency and it has been really interesting what has come across my desk. I have mainly concentrated on anything that is from a medical source or field because we have spent so much money on alternative "solutions" that have only drained money out of our pocket. My daughter is also using a tanning bed to be able to get more vitamin D than her stomach will allow.

abmo said...

All I can say is WOW!! I'm glad that she is better....and to think vitamin D can have such effects. The world is truly an amazing.

Lindsay Q said...

Hallelujah!! Congrats Britty :) this is seriously AMAZING news!!!

A. Amos Love said...

Just wondering if vit. D
can be made by the SON
as well as the sun.

Sickness and dis...ease
often starts with a broken heart.

Even if the sickness doesn’t start with a broken heart,
once your heart is healed your immune system
will work for you and not against you.

A merry heart does good like a medicine:
but a broken spirit dries the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

Isn’t that part of your immune system?
The marrow of the bones?
White blood cells?
Red blood cells?

When you want to be healed
start with your heart.

Here are a few valuable
“Words”
about your heart

1- Keep your heart with all diligence;
    for out of it are the issues of life.  
Proverbs 4:23

2- A sound heart is the life of the flesh:
    but envy the rottenness of the bones. 
Proverbs 14:30

3- A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance:
    but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.  
Proverbs 15:13

4- A merry heart does good like a medicine:
    but a broken spirit dries the bones.  
Proverbs 17:22

5- Hope deferred makes the heart sick:
    but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. 
Proverbs 13:12 

6- Men's hearts failing them for fear. 
Luke 21:26

7- Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop:
    but a good word makes it glad.  
Proverb 12:25

8- He heals the brokenhearted,
    and binds up their wounds.  
Psalm 147:3

9- Trust in the LORD with all your heart.
    and lean not unto your own understanding.  
Proverbs 3:5

10- The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to preach the gospel to the poor;
he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
to preach deliverance to the captives,
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty them that are bruised.  
Luke 4:18

Thought this complimentary e-book and website
might be a benefit to you and those you serve.

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The Book  ✧  The Posters  ✧  The Words

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Lots of 8x10 wall posters
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Great for decorating kids rooms
and airplane hangers
and hospital rooms
and prison cells
and...

Two Books and stuff about Jesus and His Word
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If you read "Love is Rising" in the book,
let me know what you think.

It's for folks dealing with a broken heart and
feeling unworthy. Yes even believers.

They're not able to love and accept themselves
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Most folks are trying to be both
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Thanks

Be blessed and be a blessing.

A. Amos Love - Love101faith@me.com

Anonymous said...

Having dealt with similar problems, for years, I strongly suggest:
Explaining Unexplained Illnesses by Martin S. pall

Tons of biochemical explinations, suggestions and even some doctors experienced with.

I also recomend, as a supplement, for the information, Ignor the title, it;s the best in a series, "Diabetes; fight it with the blood type diet. by Peter J D'Adamo.

Best wishes