Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Diabetes and The Other D

A lot has happened in the past two months. I'd like to say that my schedule and stress have evened out, but that is certainly not the case. Moving is hard work! That's all I'll say.

On the upside, Anthony and I have gotten to spend a lot of time with both of our families since moving back, and have been able to reconnect with some old friends we haven't spent much time with for the last several years.

I've also gotten hooked up with a great new Endo, Dr. M, and a CDE. We're working on some basal testing right now in preparation for my next appointment. For those unfamiliar, this involves skipping meals and adding lots of finger pricks to see how my pump's basal insulin settings function without the influence of food and extra insulin.

And today, I had a follow-up discussion with Dr. M about some bloodwork she had drawn a couple of weeks ago. All in all, everything was great. Kidneys, cholesterol, thyroid and all of those other things that can secondarily go bad with Type 1 are doing fine.

Except for one. Now I have a new "D" to worry about - a Vitamin D deficiency. And suddenly, lots of little things make sense. Higher levels of stress and anxiety, feeling more tired than normal, and, I've been sick more times this year than I have probably been for the last several years combined. All of these little things could be affected by low Vitamin D levels.

A web search says that this is very common, and likely very under-diagnosed. To give me a quick boost, I am taking a once-a-week mega-prescription Vitamin D pill for a couple of months, and when that brings me into a normal range, I can rely on over-the-counter supplements. There's not a lot we can do to get more D from diet. Even Vitamin D Milk is not concentrated enough to help much - you'd have to drink several glasses and eat five servings of salmon every day to reach desired quantities of the vitamin. Humans evolved with the ability to synthesize their D from the sun, just like plants. Since we drive cars, sit behind windows (or in windowless offices like me) and wear sunscreen, we just aren't getting what we need from nature. This is not to say that I don't do plenty outdoors. Anthony and I go for evening walks, and we bike and golf on the weekends. However, like my pancreas, my photosynthesis just needs some help.

I took my first dose with dinner this evening, and I hope I will be able to see some benefit from this little miracle vitamin soon.