Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Importance of Vitamin D

What better time to talk about the importance of Vitamin D than in the middle of winter? So, my next couple posts are going to be about Vitamin D (deficiency, benefits, dosage, sources, etc.).

A large source of Vitamin D in humans comes from the UV rays especially UVB from the sun. In fact, you can meet the daily requirement of Vitamin D by giving your skin 15 minutes of sun exposure every day. Easy enough for those of you who are living in Florida or Arizona. But for all the rest of us who are stuck in the typical winter climate, we only have a 6-8 month window where we actually have a chance to get 15 minutes of sun per day. I don't think the sun even came out the entire month of January this year in Chicago! With this lack of sun, comes a Vitamin D deficiency.

We all know about the importance of Vitamin D and calcium with keeping our bones healthy and strong. However, more and more studies and research are coming out showing the importance of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been thought to be linked to depression, anxiety, mental disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders such as MS, chronic pain, many cancers, fibromyalgia, asthma, and many other health related issues. In fact, there is a much greater prevalence of many of these in the northern states compared to the southern states. Just look at this eye-opening map of MS prevalence in the US (the darker the shade, the greater the prevalence of MS)...

Figure 1: Prevalence map of MS (cases/100,000) in the USA

PM Rothwell, D Charlton. High incidence and prevalence of multiple sclerosis in south east Scotland: evidence of a genetic predisposition. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1998 64: 730-735.
IAF van der Mei et al. Regional variation in multiple sclerosis prevalence in Australia and its association with ambient ultraviolet radiation. Neuroepidemiology 2001 20: 168-174.

Pretty crazy, huh?

So, how many of you just feel blah during the winter months? Well, it is more common than you think and could definitely be due to a simple vitamin D deficiency. There is even something called SAD, seasonal affective disorder, which is a general depressed feeling which is more common during the winter. The good news is that even if you can't get enough sun light during the winter months, there is a way to get enough Vitamin D. Here is a good article that was published in the Chicago Sun-Times about some ways to help beat SAD.

Next time, I will review the recommended daily doses of Vitamin D compared to what you actually should be getting as well as giving you the proper test to know if you are Vitamin D deficient.

I am off to Mexico in 3 days...strictly for the benefits of Vitamin D research, of course!

Live Well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Our New Office!

I am super excited to announce that we have moved into our new office! It is our 3rd and hopefully final move in just over a year. For those of you who don't know, we had a fire that destroyed our original building in November of 2007. We scrambled over night and were seeing patients in a different office the morning after the fire. It was a make shift office that we had to use for over a month while we renovated another office. In January of 2008, we moved again into the renovated office. The office was temporary, so another doctor in our practice took the opportunity to build out new office space in a nearby medical building. It was a very long process, but she did an amazing job and as of this past Monday, February 2, we are officially in our brand new office. Thanks Dr. Renee!

Our new website is not complete yet, but you can see some pictures and information at I think you will really like the new office and will find it very welcoming and representative of the type of care and treatment you have come to expect. It will not only be a place where you enjoy coming, but it is a facility where you feel comfortable referring friends and family. I hope to see you there soon!

If you have never been to a chiropractor and want to know what to expect with your first visit, view this previous post. If you want to schedule an appointment, you can call our office at 847.888.3131.

Live Well.