PCOS and Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency affects upwards of 90% of women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.  Did you know that Vitamin D is actually a hormone within the body?  Don’t worry; I did not either! I believe this is why being deficient can cause such an uproar within our bodies. Vitamin D3 is fat-soluble vitamin and dissolves within the intestinal tract and also helps our bodies absorb calcium.  When I was tested and learned that I was deficient I immediately started taking supplement to increase my levels and instantly noticed a change within my body.  I also notice fairly quickly if I miss a dose; we were on vacation for three days and I forgot to pack my vitamin D and thought it wasn’t a big deal until day three when I became to feel tired all the time again.  As soon as we were home and restarted taking my proper dose, my body adjusted within days and I felt better once again. There are constant studies evaluating hypothesis of Vitamin and a direct link to PCOS; however, there needs to be more before anyone can target the direct link, if there is one.

Once I started reaching more into this I was shocked to find out all the horrible symptoms being deficient in Vitamin D can cause on top of our PCOS symptoms.  These include:

·         Insulin Resistance

·         Depression

·         Certain Cancers

·         Cardiovascular Disease

·         Periodontal Disease

·         Sluggishness and constant tired feeling

·         Asthma

·         Chronic Kidney Disease

·         Muscle Weakness

·         Hair Loss

·         Ovary Function

·         Pregnancy

Even with all of these issues that being deficient can cause, many doctors over look testing for Vitamin D levels.  This is a very important lab to demand to be completed. The most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. Once you know your levels you can raise them up within four weeks’ time taking the proper dose of the vitamin D3 supplement. Most doctors, depending on your levels will suggest taking up to 5000 units daily.  The best time of day to take vitamin D3 is with your dinner, as the fat in your food will help the body absorb. Other doctors might put you on 50,000 units once a week for twelve weeks; however, even with this it is important to start a daily dose as soon as your twelve weeks is over to keep the levels within normal range and steady.  I personally chose to take 5000 units daily and 10000 units every third day for four weeks, then continued with 5000 units daily.  This decision came from a long discussion between myself and my doctor and what we felt was best for my treatment to raise my levels quickly and safely. A good healthy optimal normal range of vitamin d is between 25NG/ML and 80NG/ML.

Other ways to increase your vitamin D levels is to eat foods rich with Vitamin D.  Salmon and egg yolks are a good starting source of vitamin D, both of which will also give you a good dose of omega 3. You can also soak up about 15 minutes of sun daily. Now this one is tricky because you can to be out without sun block during this time; however, people with Vitamin D deficiency the risk of skin cancer is higher, so be careful out there in the sun.

Remember to ALWAYS consult your doctor being starting any supplement; you do not want to take Vitamins if your body is not lacking them.

Some resources for more information on Vitamin D Deficiency are:

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26255991

http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/vitamin-d-deficiency?page=1

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25918586

Please also head over to Jen's review website for another great in dept article on Vitamin D  https://www.jenreviews.com/vitamin-d/