Vitamin D: All That D Can Be

Vitamin D a Hormone?

Vitamin D? Nah, it’s a vitamin. What’s with the hormone thing? Yep, it’s a hormone. Discovered in 1920, Vitamin D is the single most understood hormone in our body, critically important from birth to death. The results of a clinical review printed in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association estimates that up to 85 percent of people have insufficient levels of Vitamin D and are unaware of their deficient state.

  • “I can’t be low in Vitamin D because I drink milk.”
  • “I can’t be low in Vitamin D because I take D3 every day.”
  • “I can’t be low in Vitamin D because I take a multivitamin as well as a calcium tablet that also contains vitamin D.”
  • “I can’t be low in Vitamin D because I live in Southern California and bake at the beach.”

With hundreds of vitamin D studies being published on a weekly basis, it has become more difficult than ever state up to date with the latest evidence-based information on Vitamin D. But are you deficient?  Probably.

(Let’s drop the Vitamin D moniker here, and starts calling it like it is-a hormone.)

The Sun Conundrum

Hormone D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin. Really the sunshine hormone. Human skin can make large amounts of Hormone D when lots of skin is exposed and the sun is high in the sky. Your body is designed to get the Hormone D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight. But your exposure to sunlight is limited. If you’re like most working Americans, you more or less drag yourself out of bed in the dark, trudge your way to work, then sit in a fluorescent-lit office space for 10 hours, after which you make the same grudging trek back home… in the dark. So when the sun shines, you glow. And we’re not just talking tan here. Among other things, sun is good for your mood. So how much sun is enough? It is believed that short daily periods of sun exposure without sunscreen (about 10-15 minutes for lighter-skinned people) during the summer months is enough for most people to make enough Hormone D. Without sunscreen. Yes, without. Even SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, the type our bodies use to make D. (And you’re slathering on SPF 50?) Evidence suggests that the most effective time of day for Hormone D production is between 11am and 3pm. The larger the area of skin that is exposed to sunlight, the more chance there is of making enough Hormones D before you start to burn. Burning is bad. Tanning beds won’t do the trick. You want enough D to be beneficial? You have to be smart about it.

The Good, the Bad, and Who Knew?

Being deficient in Hormone D (keep thinking hormone, not vitamin) can be a real downer when it comes to our health. Maybe a list will put it perspective for you. A hormone D deficiency can lead to:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor sleep
  • Getting sick repeatedly
  • Getting infections more easily
  • Muscle pain
  • Bone and back pain
  • Bone loss
  • Hair loss (Both men and women)
  • Depression
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Erectile dysfunction (What guy wants to hear that?)

Hormone D can play a role in the prevention and treatment of the above chronic conditions. Research suggests that it could also have a positive effect on other more serious conditions including diabetes, hypertension glucose intolerance, multiple sclerosis and even breast cancer in women. Nope, Hormone D isn’t just about building strong bones.

It’s All in the Balance

Because Hormone D plays such a crucial role in your life and overall health, a deficiency needs to be treated as a hormone imbalance. Can your primary doctor address it? The question is, what do they know about hormones? Most likely, not much. Not in their treatment realm. What you need, is someone with serious hormone replacement experience. Someone who understands how delicate trying to balance the hormones in your body is. An expert who knows hormones inside and out, able to make you feel better inside and out. That would be the hormone specialists at Denver Hormone Health. With simple tests, all the doctors at Denver Hormone Health can determine whether you have a D deficiency, and how serious it is. Then they can develop a unique and integrated treatment plan that would include bioidentical hormone replacement therapy plus diet and lifestyle changes. Call Denver Hormone Health now and feel the best you can be. No bones about it.

Hormone Facts: Stranger than Fiction

Hormones Are Pretty Amazing Things

Hormone Facts: Hormones are special chemical messengers in the body that are created in the endocrine glands. These critical messengers control most major bodily functions, from simple basic needs like hunger to systems like reproduction, and even emotions and mood. There is not a single person on Earth who is not completely dependent on their endocrine system. Without hormones, you would simply not be able to exist. It can get pretty complex, medical and factual if you really dig into them.

But There Are Many Facts and Theories About Hormones That Are Surprisingly Eye-Opening.

Even unbelievable. The only way to demonstrate these are to list some of them. Don’t be surprised if the thoughts “you’re kidding” and “no way” come to mind…

The Use of Electronics Can Really Mess Up Our Minds.

One week of camping, without electronics, can help the body synchronize melatonin hormones with sunrise and sunset, and get a normal sleep pattern back on track.

Heil Whaaat?

During World War ll, the Allies considered injecting estrogen into Hitler’s food to make him less aggressive and cause his moustache to fall off.

Your Hangover Is the Result of Drunk Hormones

When we drink alcohol, it messes with the job of the antidiuretic hormone. What follows is the incessant peeing that happens when you drink, which is a major contributor in being hungover. So think of it this way: every time you drink, you’re kind of getting your hormones drunk too, because they quit behaving appropriately — like you.

SPF For Your Eyeballs?

If you don’t want a sunburn, don’t wear sunglasses. Because sunlight triggers the optic nerve, it immediately puts the pituitary gland on the defense. In response, melanocyte is released to prevent you from getting a sunburn. However, when you put on sunglasses, nothing is triggered, so nothing is released. 

Testosterone Road Trip

Testosterone can cross the blood-brain barrier and be converted to estrogen, but estrogen alone, cannot cross. As a result, men have more “estrogen on the brain” than women.

No Bones About It

Responsible for producing hormones that control, well, pretty much everything, the pituitary gland is also known as the master gland. You can also have 95 percent of this master gland removed and your body will still function properly. That’s because every part of the body is able to make hormones — including bones.

Take This Seriously

There are some 50 different hormones swimming through your bloodstream that play a really big role in your body’s health and well-being. When they are out of balance, it can seriously affect how your body functions. In many cases, when you aren’t feeling well, it could well be hormones. The best way to find out is to find your way to Denver Hormone Health. If it has anything to do with hormones, the doctors at Denver Hormone Health know what to do about it. With simple tests they can tell what’s out of whack, and create a tailored treatment plan to get you back on track. And feeling better than ever. Call Denver Hormone Health for an appointment now. There’s nothing funny about not feeling well.

Hormones and Diabetes: It’s Not So Sweet

Diabetes Basics

Did you know that the medical term for diabetes is actually “Diabetes Mellitus”?  (Although you probably never hear it called that.) Diabetes affects approximately 30.3 million people (9.4% of the population) in the United States, (Tom Hanks, Nick Jonas and Halle Berry to name a few) while another estimated 84.1 million people have prediabetes and don’t know it. What you probably know is that it has something to do with sugar. To put it simply, diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, resulting in high levels of the sugar “glucose” in the bloodstream.

Every Type is Pretty Terrible

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Both types of diabetes are lifelong diseases that affect the way your body regulates blood sugar, or glucose. Glucose is the fuel that feeds your body’s cells, but to enter your cells it needs a key. Insulin is that key. People with type 1 diabetes  (often known as juvenile diabetes) don’t produce insulin. You can think of it as not having a key. People with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should and later in the disease often don’t make enough insulin. You can think of this as having a broken key. Of the two, type 1 is the most severe.

When Hormones Have Their Way

Hormone imbalances definitely influence blood sugar levels. To better understand how hormones affect diabetes, it is important to identify which hormones can impact those levels in the blood. Insulin is the hormone that affects blood sugar levels the most, but it’s not the only one. Glucagon, Amylin, Epinephrine, Cortisol and Growth Hormone are others that are best left to medical minds. Let’s just say when it comes to diabetes, unbalanced, they’re “bad”.  This, we can all understand.

Some Serious Stuff Here

Many people with diabetes often “poo-poo” it, not believing it can really do that much damage. But consider just some of the symptoms and health-related problems:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Nerve pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Hunger
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth 
  • Depression
  • Slow-healing wounds, cuts, or sores 
  • Itching skin
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • Kidney disease

Still think controlling it isn’t something to think seriously about?

Eat This Up

The first thing people think about when it comes to diabetes and diet, is deprivation. No this, no that, and absolutely, positively, never-ever anything sweet. Not so. It’s just all about portion. That box of Valentine candy? Have a small piece or two, just don’t devour the whole thing or dig into a 5-lb chocolate heart. (Cupid won’t die if you don’t). A diet for diabetics is a sensible, healthy diet for anyone; fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and heart-healthy fats. It’s about cutting back on sodium and processed foods. And really cutting back on carbs which are most easily broken down into sugar.  What are a few examples of things you should you totally try to avoid?

  • Frosting (Sorry, but you can ‘t get caught up in the cupcake craze)
  • Bagels
  • Soda (sugar-free is fine)
  • Sugary cereals- (Fruit Loops can really send your blood sugar in loops)
  • Stick margarine
  • Jarred tomato sauce- (Sure, it’s easy, but…Prego is a no-go)
  • Bacon (No more “Bs” in your BLTs)
  • Maraschino cherries (And the sugar-laden cocktails you love them in)
  • Soy sauce
  • Smoothies (Just being green, doesn’t make them healthy)
  • Vanilla cappuccino with whipped cream and hazelnut drizzle (Or any other Starbucks specialty where tons of sugar make them so special.)
  • The devilish duos of anything breaded and fried (bye-bye chicken McNuggets)
  • Fatty red meat (liverwurst’s the worst)
  • Hot dogs

It’s All in the Balance

Before you go bonkers over diabetes, you have to remember that it can be all about hormone imbalances. And imbalances, if treated correctly, by the right medical specialists, can be balanced. The place to start, is getting a good and accurate measure of your hormones, especially those that can contribute to diabetes. And in the Denver area, there’s no better place to do that than at Denver Hormone Health. Every one of the doctors that are at Denver Hormone Health are hormone specialists that know everything there is to know about hormones and getting them back in balance. Simple tests can tell them how they can help you if they determine you’re pre-diabetic or diabetic. Even if it turns out you’re not, they can see if something isn’t in balance with all the other hormones floating through your bloodstream. In any case, all they care about is getting you back to feeling your best. Call the experts at Denver Hormone Health now.

Diabetes doesn’t have to get you down.