Tuesday, August 19, 2008

So my new theory on why I am in so much pain after having the baby is a doozy, and one I hope that you will help me figure out--seeing as my Docs are not very creative. Apparently if I just get out and exercise and move a lot, that will fix everything. Except that it doesn't. I have a few stiff muscles and then I get up and get a shower and stretch and they are okay, and I am still doing exercises for physio for my stomach diastesis and they are working.

But the pain is still there, some days worse than others, sometimes livable, other days a terrible searing ache from my toes to my fingers and all the way up my back and neck. The kind of pain that makes you think about lying still and never ever moving again, if only for a little relief. And then on the weekend, I read this story about low levels of Vitamin D and chronic pain.

And then I remembered that last year I had been assessed as having low levels of vitamin D in my blood, and put on a higher level of supplements. And that my osteoporosis was likely worse because of the pregnancy and breastfeeding, even if I had taken lots of Caltrate and extra D. And I didn't take enough because lots of days I skipped it because I felt nauseous or my heartburn was bad. (I don't drink milk because I'm lactose intolerant, so I need even more, bad me....) So now I'm wondering if I am just low on D or if I have developed osteomalacia.

Rickets for grownups that is. Read the link, and if you are on bedrest or confined during pregnancy or on a special diet for pregnancy, or fertility treatment---you might want to do what I'm going to do and get a blood test for Vit D and calcium levels. My own GP is away on vacation right now, so the substitute Doc gave me a requisition and included several dozen other blood tests. I'm not sure if any of this will show anything but if I have this at least there is a cure, and maybe just maybe, it won't be so painful to get up in the morning.

So what do you all think? Is this really possible? What about all of you? Do you guys get enough D and calcium?


  1. sure sounds possible to me! I know a lot of people in our area have low Vitamin D levels on account of the fact that the sun only shines for 3 months of the year and the rest of the time it is gray and rainy.

    Also, I believe that breastfeeding lowers calcium levels/bone mineral density as well, can't remember if you are breastfeeding or not but if you are it might affect it as well. It's not a reason to stop breastfeeding and they've done studies that show that the levels go back up once the baby is supplemented with other foods, but in the meantime it would be a good idea to take extra supplements especially if you have other issues that are causing extra low vit D and calcium.


  2. It's certainly possible & worth investigating, especially if you've already been told you have low Vitamin D. There's been a lot of press in the last year or so about the benefits of Vitamin D, including an endorsement from the Canadian Cancer Society. Dh's mother, an aunt & two uncles all had cancer in their 50s & 60s & all died (although the one uncle lived to be almost 80), so as soon as he heard that, we both started taking a Vitamin D supplement. We get 400 IUs through our regular multivitamin and now another 400 separately. I also started taking a calcium supplement around the same time. I know I don't get as much milk or yogurt in my diet as I should.

  3. I was just diagnosed with severe vitamin D deficiency in May, after I went to an alternative MD out of sheer desperation, because the muscle pain was so awful. I didn't want to move, but climbing into bed didn't help either.

    I went off Lipitor. Started Neurotin aka Gapapentin (not sure that it really helps) and supplements. I'm taking 5000 IU of Vitamin D a day and my levels still aren't in the normal range. I do find that d-Ribose (http://www.iherb.com/ProductDetails.aspx?c=1&pid=4290&at=0) makes a difference in energy and is important in muscle recovery. Ubiquinol (more absorbent form of CoQ-10, or something) also very good.

    Bottom line Vitamin D insufficiency is a BIG issue and it triggers heart disease and cancer. Yeah, I would get my levels tested.

  4. Wow. I don't have much to say after Thrice, except it sounds possible and I'm glad you're getting it checked out. Pain is bad.

  5. I'm lactose intolerant as well, with a mild case of Crohn's disease to boot.

    I would recommend trying Lactaid. I don't have any intolerance issues with it, it tastes just like regular milk, AND it had the added benefit for me of resetting my digestion system and making it possible to stop taking my Crohn's meds.

    Hey, it's worth a shot to help with the Calcium/Vitamin D right?

  6. I have nothing to add but did remember to take my vitamins today thanks to you.

    post the purse.
    everyone wants to see it.

    well I do anyway.

  7. It's definitely worth checking out. I've just added a calcium and D supplement myself as I don't drink milk. Also T gets a D supplement as they recommend it for all babies here.

  8. Vitamin D deficiency is also related to POF as the lack of estrogen can interfere with the absorption of Vitamin D. Here's a link to a great, but loooong article about Vitamin D and all the conditions a lack of it can cause. I was experiencing a lot of numbness in my body and finally realized that I do not feel it when I take my D supplement (I also have been diagnosed with POF).

    An important point in the article below is:

    Adequate calcium and magnesium, as well as other minerals, are critical parts of vitamin D therapy. Without calcium and magnesium in sufficient quantities, vitamin-D supplementation will withdraw calcium from the bone and will allow the uptake of toxic minerals.



  9. PS. Here's a very recent article that mentions POF, Vitamin D deficiency and bone pain.


  10. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/15/AR2008081503120_pf.html

  11. Hopefully your pain is easily fixed.

    Me, I'm a milk and dairy products addict, so I'm beyond supplied with calcium and vitamin D. We've holidayed in countries where dairy is very infrequently consumed and found myself desperate (think addict) for a glass of milk within a few days.

  12. Are you taking liquid calcium or hard tablet forms of calcium? If you are not already taking a liquid calcium, you should really consider switching to the liquid form, as it is instantly absorbed through your gums, whereas as most vitamins and minerals we take are flushed through our digestive system since they take so long to be broken down.

    There is one called "Bone Solution" by Prairie Naturals -- you can get it at Planet Organic (they have at least one store location in nearly every province I believe), but I'm sure any other organic store or health/vitamin store would stock it. It is liquid calcium, magnesium in a highly absorbable water base, with water-solubilized Vitamin D. It is in a base of natural fruit juice, and you just take a tablespoonful a day or so.

    Here is a website that sells it: http://www.yournaturalvitaminstore.com/products/l0112.html

    the manufactures website: http://www.prairienaturals.ca (it has a store locator on the site)

    Anyway, let me know what happens, I would be interested to know, as I bet you are on to something here.

    I don't think ANYONE gets enough Calcium or Magnesium in our society these days, despite however many dairy products we consume.

  13. it definitely sounds possible. i definitely think that i'm lacking vitamin D, calcium and magnesium (apparently another thing that has been linked to IF as well as muscle pain). perhaps that's why i'm constantly in pain....

  14. I get tons of D. Can it hurt to take more? If not, sounds worth a try. Probably wouldn't give up the exercises, though, at the same time, if it was me.


  15. I'm pretty sure I am stalking you with Vitamin D articles at this point, but you may be interested in reading the article below that appeared in the NY Times today about the potential for Vitamin D deficiencies in babies whose mothers are breastfeeding (particularly those with mothers who have Vitamin D deficiencies):