Archive for May, 2009

Low Vitamin D

I have “Low Vitamin D” (that’s what physicians call it).  Who knew?  So low that I have to take a prescription pill (more on that later) for 12 weeks – one capsule a week – before getting re-tested and perhaps going on over-the-counter supplements.  My reading was “10” (nanograms per milliliter) and I’m told that the level should be over 32.

Well, it turns out that I’m not the only one.  You too, could have Low Vitamin D.  One recent article reports that “low vitamin D levels among adults are fast becoming a growing epidemic and could spell trouble for the future health of the nation…”  If you think that statement a bit dramatic, try this title on for size:  “Low Vitamin D Levels Pose Large Threat to Health; Overall 26 Percent Increased Risk of Death”.  Yikes!

Low Vitamin D seems to be the cause de jour for everything from osteomalacia and osteoporosis to cancer, heart disease, chronic, diffuse pain, depression and other health problems.  Given the dire predictions in the articles referenced above, and the anecdotal evidence of my physician, who tells me that only 5 out of 100 patients in her practice have “normal” levels of vitamin D, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more about this in the so-called mainstream media.  Or have I missed it.

p.s. I can’t end this post without relaying my insurance story for the prescribed vitamin D.  My prescription was for 12 weeks (12 pills), called in to my pharmacy of choice – Pharmaca. (I highly recommend the pharmacists at the Oakland branch.)  When I go to pick up the pills, I am told that my insurance only covers one month at a time – I will have to go back each month to refill the prescription.  No can do.  I’m leaving in two days for Canada for the summer.  My co-pay for the one-month’s worth of pills (4) is $10.  If I used my insurance to pay for the 12 pills a month at a time, it would cost me $30.  Instead, I paid $18.21 for the 12 pills without applying my insurance to the purchase.  For this I pay $507 per month?


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