Promoting Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Tuesday, 21 December 2010
As you read this article, it is winter and those in Canada who are not in some way supplementing with vitamin D are suffering from the effects of the ever dwindling blood levels of vitamin D that occur at this time of the year. Some are starting to notice their moods and energy starting to wane. A visit to the doctor fails to reveal any underlying cause for this except a low blood level of vitamin D. That will be $51.70 please. Now you should know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of studies indicating a correlation between depression or what’s known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and vitamin D deficiency. Yet, Medicare will refuse to cover the cost of the lab test. Rather, why not pay hundreds of dollars for expensive prescription antidepressants that cause numerous side effects and are nearly impossible to quit without dangerous consequences?
Now that your doctor has established the fact that your blood level of vitamin D is low, he prescribes 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 and asks you to repeat your vitamin D blood tests again in 6 weeks. That’s $51.70 again please. Your blood levels of vitamin D have barely budged upwards, even with the high supplemental doses. So the doctor agrees to up your supplement dosage to 20,000 IU daily and asks you to check those vitamin D blood levels again in another 6 weeks. That’s $51.70 again please. So it goes.
What I am trying to illustrate is the fact that one cannot possibly tell how much vitamin D to supplement without doing a lab test. Further, it is impossible to assess the efficacy of that supplementation without doing a repeat blood test. Does the patient not absorb the vitamin D? Does he or she use it up in the body too rapidly? It’s impossible to tell without frequent and regular blood tests. And, each time you will pay $51.70. Medicare won’t cover and if you cannot afford the cost of the lab tests and you are unsure of how much to take to curb your seasonal depression problem, you are out of luck.