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Statistics Canada found a whopping 40% of Canadians are vitamin D deficient in the winter months.
Vitamin D, or calcitriol is unique among vitamins as it acts more like a hormone. It regulates calcium in the blood and plays an important role in bone health. It also helps to keep the immune system balanced.
Vitamin D is made in our skin when exposed to sunlight. During a Canadian summer, exposing your arms and legs to the sun (without sunscreen) for 10-15 minutes provides adequate vitamin D.
Unfortunately, vitamin D is not abundant in plant-based foods.
There are two commonly available forms of vitamin D supplements. D2 and D3. D3, cholecalciferol is three times as effective and is generally recommended.
Combining vitamin D supplementation with calcium has been shown to reduce the risk of fragility fractures.
Vitamin D is important for maintaining bone health of mother and baby. Research also suggests this vitamin helps to prevent gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, bacterial vaginosis, preterm labour, and low birth weight.
Vitamin D helps to regulate two hormones which play a role in alertness, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. It also helps to prevent the loss of serotonin and supports the production of dopamine. Two neurotransmitters that are essential for mood regulation.
In addition, research has suggested there might be a connection between the severity of schizophrenia symptoms and vitamin D levels.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Observational studies suggest vitamin D may play a role in the prevention of MS. Further research has found that vitamin D plays a role in reducing T helper cells and Th-17 cells, which can decrease inflammation and potentially prevent disease progression. Vitamin D may also play a role in remyelination, thereby supporting the repair of the nervous system.
Vitamin D may play a role in the prevention of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.
Research has found vitamin D may increase insulin production in the pancreas and the expression of the insulin receptor. It may also improve the movement of glucose into the cells by decreasing inflammation. What does this mean? Vitamin D may allow the body to use its own insulin more effectively, decreasing blood glucose and preventing long term complications.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Up to 50% of patients with IBD may be deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D status may also be linked to the severity of the condition. Why? Vitamin D may play a role in decreasing TNF⍺, decreases inflammation.
Yes. Too much vitamin D can increase calcium in the blood. This can cause calcification, or hardening of the heart, kidney or lungs. Other symptoms of too much vitamin D can include confusion, depression, headaches, constipation, nausea, and feelings of thirst.
Based on your health history, our naturopathic doctors may recommend blood testing to identify your vitamin D level. Testing allows for a more personalized treatment protocol. This may include a vitamin D injection, supplement or lifestyle recommendations.
Our naturopathic doctors are also trained to offer genetic analysis through PureGenomics. This software allows our naturopathic doctors to look at your genetic variations related to cognitive health, weight management and your body’s unique usage of vitamins and minerals, including the GC gene.
Some phases of life are more challenging than others. This could be because of an intensive workload, final exam season, a family crisis, life transition or recovering from an injury. The increased mental, physical or emotional fatigue can leave your body feeling like it needs a little additional support.
Make time to relax. This could be extra sleep, reducing your day-to-day commitments, or even a Netflix binge. Try to set aside at least one hour a day to do whatever feels right for you.
Say no, or ask for support as needed. Do you need alone time? Or some help with groceries? Be honest with your friends and family on how they can best support you.
Meditation. The research is in! Meditation can increase resilience, decrease burnout, improve emotional regulation, and decrease stress.
Exercise. Exercise has been shown to improve cognition, memory and mental health. This is partially due to its ability to increase dopamine.
Nature time. Time spent in natural settings has been found to decrease anxiety, anger, depression, and decrease blood pressure.
Eat a healthy diet. Aim for a diet which is 80% whole, unprocessed foods. Neurogenesis, the formation of new brain cells, is partially regulated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Early studies show BDNF is increased by eating carenoid-rich fruits and vegetables. Neurogenesis is decreased by diets high in fat and sugar.
Myers’ Cocktail IV
Tailored diet plans
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is caused by the gradual enlargement of the prostate gland. By the age of 70 nearly all men will have some prostate enlargement. About half of those over 75 will experience symptoms.
The prostate is a gland located in the pelvis. It wraps around the urethra, which transports urine or semen to the outside of the body. It secretes a portion of semen during ejaculation. The symptoms of BPH are caused by the growing prostate placing pressure on the urethra.
Symptoms can include:
Even though BPH is a growth, it is not cancerous, it will not spread, or metastasize to other tissues. Further, it does not increase the risk of prostate cancer. For most men, BPH only causes irritating urinary symptoms. However, in some instances, BPH can lead to kidney problems, bladder enlargement or urinary tract infections.
What causes BPH?
It is thought that increased levels of a hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) may cause the prostate to grow. DHT is created from testosterone by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. DHT has a much stronger stimulatory effect than testosterone on prostate tissue.
How can naturopathic medicine provide support?
Naturopathic medicine focuses on treating the person, not the diagnosis. As a result, treatment varies based on the patient’s individual symptoms and illness severity. It can also include addressing other health concerns that may worsen symptoms, such as constipation, stress or poor sleep quality.
General Lifestyle Counseling: