Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vitamin D

Take calcium and Vitamin D as you get older, blah, blah, blah. Just some more stupid advice we need to follow to keep the vitamin companies in business. I have osteopenia which is getting worse over the years. My mother, aunts, and grandmother all have osteoporosis. My grandmother and one of my aunts also broke their hips.

Between the thyroid non-existence (which I think has impact on calcium absorption) and my family history, as well as being on Femara and a few other of my ailments, I have had bone density tests for more than five years now. The most recent one showed progression of my osteopenia. I do weight bearing exercises three times a week. I take calcium and Vitamin D. The next step will be some kind of medication. There is hope that once I am off Femara my bone density will come back a bit.

So as I diligently take my 3 calcium/Vitamin D tablets each day, I am hoping for the best. I take all three tablets together even though you are supposed to take them spread out. I tried that it meant I forgot to take usually two of them - my brain couldn't handle that many pill takings in a single day.

Now this new study has come out (because we needed another study) that shows that you need to take 800 IUs (International Units - whatever they may be) of Vitamin D for it to make a difference in preventing bone fractures. The article only came out last Wednesday and it has taken me nearly a week to finally remember to check my vitamin bottle to find out that I have been taking 1200 IUs of Vitamin D all along so at least I am doing one thing right.

Its nice when a study confirms that what I am doing is mostly right for once.

2 comments:

Dalene said...

Hi Caroline. I am a breast cancer survivor and am compiling a list of cancer blogs when I discovered yours. I wanted to share that my doctor (and research I had read)advised me not to take more than 500 mg of calcium at one time because that is all the body will absorb. So I do split it up twice a day. I have the same bone density as you describe osteopenia and I do attribute it to my thyroid disease. Just wanted to share that information with you in case no one has mentioned it. There are so many things the medical community fails to mention, depending on who your doctor is.

Anonymous said...

If you're having trouble absorbing/uptaking calcium, have your doc check not only vit D but parathyroid levels. I lost a parathyroid in my thyroidectomy, and it's caused me to have low calcium probs as it affects uptake no matter how much calcium I ingest (and I can't tolerate dairy). I take calcium citrate (easier on the tummy, better absorbed, Vitamin Shoppe brand has 250mg tablets w/ no additives) and rx super-D3 (calcitriol, generic for rocaltrol, talk to your doc to see if you need that). I also take OTC vitD3, not sure if needed but worth a shot (make sure you're taking D3 instead of D2). Check your magnesium as that matters in the mix. Also, don't take calcium close to thy meds as calcium reduces absorption. FYI, calcium & iron fight for absorption w/ each other AND thy meds, not sure what wins. I take 250mg calcium & OTC vitD after lunch, and 500mg calcium & rx calcitriol w/ dinner. My dad has very bad osteo, and I have lots of risk factors so doing what I can and trying to balance my competing needs/concerns. Good luck!