The D Dilemma: Is Vitamin D a Vitamin or a Hormone or what?

The Little Known (yep) Hormone – Vitamin D

If we put this little pop-quiz out there, anywhere, chances are the majority of people would flunk out. It’s kind of complicated how D gets to be a hormone, so to eliminate the “huh?” factor, let’s just keep referring to it as Vitamin D, or just plain “D”.  Vitamin D is a hormone the kidneys produce that controls blood calcium concentration and impacts the immune system. It is also known as calcitriol, ergocalciferol, calcidiol and cholecalciferol. (Why, why do they have to create these names no one could even venture to pronounce?)Vitamin D manages calcium in your blood, bones and gut and helps cells all over your body to communicate properly. Understanding this hormone and the role it plays in the body will help you make informed health decisions that don’t include ziplining it to your pharmacy for buckets of D supplements.

D’s Duties

Another misconception is that D is all about building strong bones. Oh, but as a hormone, when it’s in balance, it does some pretty amazing other things. On the other side, Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to play a role in almost every disease. This includes:

  • Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
  • 17 varieties of Cancer (including breast, prostate and colon)
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • Infertility and PMS
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Pain
  • Periodontal disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Oral health
  • Type 2 diabetes

You didn’t know? Who did. But before you start hyperventilating, read on.

Soak This Up

Another fact; only about 10% of D comes from food-even if you scarf sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, caviar (how high is your credit card limit?) and, we have to say, YUK, to cod liver oil. Ok, so pass on the food.

IU’s (that’s how D is measured) out the roof won’t do it.

So here comes the sun…

This is the most natural way to get vitamin D. Your body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight. The part of the sun’s rays that is important is ultraviolet B (UVB). But how much sun is enough? Another conundrum. It can be an Einstein-worthy calculation that requires a multi-page spreadsheet.

Being a “worshiper” can do nothing but make your skin wretched and wrinkly and ah yes, lead to skin cancer. Slathering on SPF’s will only keep you from getting good rays. Cloudy days figure negatively into the picture. As does altitude, skin type, and the time of year and time of day. And no, you can’t get Vitamin D through a window.

Where on Earth?

Vitamin D deficiency remains the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, affecting nearly 1 billion people. It’s epidemic. A global problem in all age groups, male and female. Generally, it’s found most where there is limited sun exposure. Which makes it surprising that even countries with plenty of sun have a high number of people with Vitamin D deficiency. For example, Vitamin D deficiency soars in sunny Australia, one of the sunniest places on earth. In the Caribbean, there’s no shortage of sunshine, but again, there’s a huge Vitamin D deficiency. The same goes for sunny states in the US, like Arizona, California and Hawaii. From Pakistan to Iceland, the D deficiencies would shock you. So where are you going to go?

The Best D Can Be

Your body contains hundreds of hormones circulating within your blood or stored within various tissues of your body. Maintaining a proper level of each hormone is absolutely key to your overall health; too much or too little of a single hormone can lead to a hormonal imbalance. And a Vitamin (hormone) D imbalance can do a boatload of damage to your whole body. So what can you do? You call Denver Hormone Health. They specialize in what your regular doctor doesn’t; hormones, and nothing but hormones. Every one of their experienced doctors can help determine if your D is deficient and exactly what to do about it. A few simple tests will tell them what they need to develop a treatment plan that targets your individual needs. So what you really need to do is make an appointment at Denver Hormone Health right now. Of the nearly 1 billion people worldwide with likely vitamin D deficiency, you don’t have to be one of them.

BINGE ON THIS – Healthy, Not Heavy

Healthy

Think healthy. The fact is, you can easily make a Thanksgiving menu that your gut will be extremely thankful for. Taking away some of the fat and high calorie foods, doesn’t mean taking out the taste. Just cutting down on the damage that’s sure to hit when you cook up the calorie and fat combo you usually do, can do wonders. This year, put away your time worn recipes and hit the computer. Recipes galore. Recipes no one but you, will know are actually good for you. There are platters of turkey day tips to help put a halt to indigestion from an overload of all the things you look forward to and think you are entitled to.

THE BEST KIND OF TRIMMINGS

We’re going to give you a few tips here that could help. You just have to blast the “are you kidding me?” thoughts out of your brain. So here goes:

  • Start the day with a healthy breakfast. That way you won’t be as ravenous later.
  • Keep the food in the kitchen instead of loading it on the table. People will be more aware (and sometimes even embarrassed) of getting up and down to refill their plates.
  • Use smaller plates. The less to give you gerd, and worse, my dear.
  • After dinner, try going for a walk instead of diving to the sofa or a comfy chair. Give your food a chance to digest before the half-time show.
  • Give your leftovers a makeover. Think of healthier ways to use all the food groaning to break out of your fridge the next day. It’s a lot more sensible than stuffing yourself all over again.
  • Get back on track with an exercise routine. And we’re not suggesting an

routine like the Rock lives by. Just something sensible.

THE VERY BEST END OF THE MEAL

Get back all your holiday hormones that are out of whack. Hormones that the Thanksgiving feast put on overload. Hormones that a totally unbalanced meal probably caused your hormones to end up in an unbalanced state. Fortunately for you, Dr. Stephen A. Goldstein at Denver Hormone Health can help. If it has to do with hormones, he’s the specialist to see. With years of experience and expertise, he knows how to get you feeling your best again. He takes simple tests which tell him exactly where your hormones stand and what to do. Then he creates a unique treatment plan to get you back in balance. Make an appointment now.

And celebrate how good he’ll make you feel.

BINGE ON THIS – What’s Gut Got To Do With It?

Gut

Gut? You probably won’t believe it, but Thanksgiving happens to fall on the same week as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Awareness Week. (Who in the world even knew such a thing existed?) The gut is the body’s largest hormone-producing organ, releasing more than 20 different peptide hormones. Is there a link between hormones and heaving food uncontrollably into your body? Without question. And how they link up is enough to make you want to give the whole binging thing up. But, of course, who would ever even consider such a thing? Thanksgiving really gets you in the gut in endless ways.

PASS THE GERD, PLEASE

What actually happens to your system when you overeat?

Your entire body goes into hyperdrive the second you get a whiff of the wonders awaiting you. From the first bite of your unable-to-resist regalia, your stomach immediately begins to expand because it knows more food is on the way. That’s when the “hunger hormones” (yes, they’re actually called that—medical fact, not fiction,) kick in. These hormones are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone, made by fat cells, that decreases your appetite. (But that you can ignore.) Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite, Then there’s insulin. Something to be pretty concerned about as you dig into those sugary desserts, as insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. It could have negative effects on those who aren’t even diabetic. After about 1500 calories in one sitting, the gut releases a hormone that among other post meal malaise and anguish, causes nausea. Not to mention gerd, acid reflux, indigestion, and heartburn. Heartburn, that for some, make them feel like they’re having a heart attack and rush to the hospital. On Thanksgiving, there’s an emergency room overload.

HORMONES AND HOLIDAY BINGING GO TOGETHER LIKE MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY.

Every bite you binge on travels a complex journey through the body, touching off a simultaneous release of hormones. You might not know it, but gratefully, Dr. Stephen A. Goldstein at Denver Hormone Health is renowned in knowing it all. And more importantly, what to do about it. Hormones are like messengers swimming through our bloodstreams, each with an important chore to achieve. But when the guck in the typical Thanksgiving slows up their journey or sends them in the wrong direction, anything can happen. You feel hungry. You feel full. You feel sick. You want even more. At some point of packing it in, your gorge gauge explodes releasing hormones that can make you nauseous and make your body work harder, the digestive overload requiring the heart to pump more blood to the stomach and intestines. It’s a digestive disaster. You feel as boated as a Macy’s Parade balloon. The real answer to counter all your distress is making an appointment with Dr. Goldstein before you even lift a fork to your face. No one has the expertise and experience in knowing how to help. With simple tests, he can determine your hormone imbalances and get them working in sync again by developing a treatment plan tailored to your problems. Make an appointment now.

Discover what “grateful” truly means.