It is time again for “Ask the Doctor.” I particularly enjoy this monthly feature because it gives me an opportunity to answer your questions and help you on your path to health and wellness.
Vitamin D Supports the Immune System
My friends tell me that I should be taking vitamin D for my immune system. Can it really help prevent getting a cold or the flu? If so, then how can I get enough vitamin D?
Vitamin D, sometimes called the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is important to have optimal vitamin D levels in order for your body to function well and to help prevent disease. Your body makes most of your vitamin D, however some of it is obtained through the foods you eat and . Vitamin D works in your body in two ways: it manages calcium in your blood, bones, and gut, and helps the cells all over your body to communicate properly.
An estimated 1 billion people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency. This deficiency can be caused by lifestyle changes (such as reduced outdoor activities) and environmental factors (such as air pollution) that reduce your exposure to sunlight, which is required for ultraviolet-B (UVB)-induced vitamin D production in the skin.
How do you get vitamin D?
- Sunlight: Vitamin D is made in your skin when exposed to sunlight – your body uses cholesterol to make it. The problem is that most people, unfortunately, no longer get the correct levels of vitamin D from the natural sun. Between the sunscreen, women’s makeup with SPF, and other creams and lotions, vitamin D from natural sunlight is near impossible to be absorbed at the levels needed to boost the immune system. These sunscreens are important, but this fact is why supplementation is absolutely necessary.
- Vitamin D3 Supplements: Daily supplementation of is recommended. I recommend, and many studies recommend, a minimum of 10,000 IUs per day, provided you are working with your doctor to monitor your vitamin D3 levels. Your vitamin D level, diagnosed by a simple blood test, should ideally be a minimum of 90 and a maximum of 120. Ask your doctor for a test next time you are at your annual exam. Most traditional doctors say you should be at 20 or 30. This is not enough!
- Some Foods: A very small amount of vitamin D comes from food. Vitamin D can be found in eggs, raw milk, fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel), caviar, mushrooms, and cod liver oil. Some foods such as milk and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D, as well.
Vitamin D for Colds and Flu
Research shows that vitamin D protects against acute respiratory infections including colds and the flu. Vitamin D is an important factor in immune system health. Research demonstrates that people who have low vitamin D levels may have an increased risk of developing influenza.
Get outside as much as possible to sit in the sunlight but make sure not to get sunburned. Keep in mind that sunscreen can block your body’s ability to make vitamin D. Take a quality . Be sure to have a doctor check your vitamin D3 levels so that you take the correct dosage to get you to your optimal level.
Hormonal Side Effects of a Tubal Ligation
Hi Dr. Hotze. I had my tubes tied a few months ago, and now I feel just awful. My doctor told me this surgery wouldn’t have any bad side effects, but now I am so exhausted all the time, I have bad headaches, mood swings and I don’t feel like myself anymore. Could the surgery have caused these symptoms?
The simple answer is “yes.” Having a tubal ligation is one of the most common procedures done by women to prevent pregnancy. Your doctor may have told you that you wouldn’t feel any differently afterwards. However, unfortunately many women in fact feel very different – often much worse. This procedure affects your hormone production and balance and can have devastating effects on your health.
Having your tubes tied involves surgery to cut or block the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy. Each month an egg is released from an ovary and travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus, and this procedure stops the egg from reaching the uterus. The tubes are either burned shut, clamped off with a small clip or ring, or coils are placed in the tubes.
The issue is that the blood supply to your ovaries is affected after this procedure, and ovarian function can be altered. Since the blood supply to the ovaries is damaged during the surgery, it can cause a rapid decline of estrogen and progesterone, which are made by the ovaries. Depending upon the extent of the damage, blood supply to the ovaries may be slightly reduced or could be completely cut off. Therefore, it is not uncommon for women to experience symptoms of hormone deficiency, imbalance, and premature menopause.
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- poor sleep
- irregular periods
- mood swings
- trouble sleeping
- loss of libido
- brain fog
- weight gain
The natural solution is to restore your hormones back to optimal levels with that are identical to those made by your body to help resolve your symptoms and bring your body back into balance. Please don’t lose hope – you can get back to feeling like your old self again.
Keep Your Questions Coming
I hope these suggestions are helpful to you and to others who are dealing with these common problems. Keep your questions coming! Send me a private message on Hotze Health & Wellness Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HotzeHWC/. Don’t forget to mention Katy Christian Magazine in the subject line. And remember, there’s no such thing as a dumb question.
To learn more about the Hotze Health & Wellness Center and schedule a Free Wellness Consultation, call us at 281-698-8698 or visit hotzehwc.com.