Diabetes Support - What Your Doctor Never Told You About Vitamin D

04-11-2011, 08:35 AM
It took me 1-1-1/2 years to talk my physician into ordering a vitamin d level. When he finally did, it was low, low, low!!!


Dear Pharmacist,
I read your Facebook post about vitamin D and how it works better than diabetic medications. I have diabetes, and no one has ever told me this. Would you share more information? –L.N. Denver, Colorado

Answer: Diabetes is an inflammatory condition, it is not just about high blood sugar like most people think. If left to run it’s devastating course, diabetes could steal your vision, destroy your kidneys, cause nerve pain, heart attack, stroke or amputation. So we have to take diabetes seriously, and do all that we can to reduce blood sugar (glucose) and make our cells happier to see insulin (improve insulin sensitivity).

Doctors have many medications at their disposal to reduce blood glucose. I think natural vitamin D can help too, so I posted that comment on Facebook and Twitter. I was trying to help people with diabetes because they may not know that it’s an inexpensive, over-the-counter dietary supplement. My comment was based in clinical science. More specifically, on a 2004 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which found that raising a person’s blood levels of vitamin D (from 25 to 75 nmol/l) could improve insulin sensitivity by a whopping 60 percent. Compare that to metformin, one of our pharmaceutical gold-standards, which can dispose of blood sugar by a meager 13 percent according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Guess what else? Back in 2001, The Lancet found that infants who took 2,000 IU daily, enjoyed a lowered risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Researchers have also found it may slash a person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer in half. Just amazing!

Before vitamin D can work inside your cells as a hormone, it has to undergo some biochemical changes in your liver and kidneys. People with diabetes have difficulty activating vitamin D to the body-ready form.

It annoys me that conventional medicine’s answer to controlling blood sugar centers primarily around medications which often has side effects. Many studies have concluded that D is good for people, especially those who have high insulin, prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, pancreatitis, breast or prostate cancer and heart disease.

If for some reason your physician snubs his/her nose at this dietary supplement, then get tested. There are home test kits, or you can ask your physician to order one at the local lab. Then there will be no question.

Low vitamin D is associated with depression, fatigue, osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, autoimmune disease, cancers and chronic pain. Dosages vary. I suggest you ask your doctor if he minds you supplementing with about 5,000 IU “cholecalciferol” or vitamin D3 every morning. The most usable form of vitamin D is D3 (not D2) so read your label carefully. For more information, visit www.vitamindcouncil.org

04-11-2011, 10:29 AM
Thank you for posting this. I had to find out the hard way as well. I was fortunate to have a great nurse practitioner order the test. My results were 7.5...it is now up to 15, and I'm supplementing with 5,000 IU daily.

I know...its sad, but that's the medical industry...GREED and pharmaceuticals...:(

04-11-2011, 03:20 PM
While I am a big fan of D, I think it's being overhyped. My doctor was early on getting her patients tested and warned me not to panic about the low results as ALL her patients were coming in below the minimum recommended. Yet we live in area of country that can get D from sunshine. So while I do take D supplement, I also have to wonder about all the money now being made by all of the people now supplementing. Talk about a money motivation!

04-11-2011, 07:38 PM
Your welcome! My physician is a "booger" to deal with! On 3 occasions, he told me I read to much. Yes, I do and will continue to do so!! Knowledge is power, and my health is vitally important. He is aware that I'm in the know of the horrible side affects pharmaceutical drugs impose. He finally gave in and ordered a D level, July 2010. It was 15. Since it was low, he re-ordered another D, October 2010. It was 10!! I for one am sick up to my hazel grey's of greedy pharmaceutical companies!

04-11-2011, 07:46 PM
My physician doesn't work with me. He won't allow me to be part of the "team" when it comes to my health. I was a housebound agoraphobic for 2 or 3 years. I couldn't step off my front or back porch at ALL, so got no sunlight. When summer arrives, I intend to cut down the dose of D3 and get as much sun as possible. Something that must be taken into consideration for those who purchase Vitamin D Milk @ the grocery store. The D is synthetic. I would rather get D from the sun, or from the Cholecalciferol in D3.

04-12-2011, 05:42 PM
My doc too found that "everyone" tests low, but did recommend that I supplement. She feels that the only reason to test is to see if we need to supplement more. I take 2000 units/day as a result. But truly, you don't need a blood level to supplement and if after 6 weeks of supplements, you see an improvement (say in blood sugars) without other changes happening to explain it, you know you are getting somewhere!
Its an expensive test no longer paid for by many insurers (my provincial plan won't pay anymore).

04-18-2011, 05:26 AM
So far the only test my Insurance company wouldn't pay for, even a portion is a B12 level.

04-22-2011, 05:29 PM
I heard a doctor say that if you live north of Atlanta Georgia you are not getting enough D from sunshine. I too tested low. Well, duh, New England! My MD started me on 50,000 once a week for 8 weeks as a loading dose (prescription dose) and now I take 600 a day.

04-22-2011, 05:46 PM
My sister is a physician, and I just emailed her. She believes that we (humans) no longer get enough Vitamin D from the sun; she thinks it is a combination of fear of the sun, natural genetic changes, and the "junk" in the atmosphere. She takes a Vitamin D supplement and suggests it to all her adult patients.