Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Two medical rants

Rant #1)
There's a new study out linking Proton Pump Inhibitor use to Hospital Acquired Pneumonia. This has been one of my pet peeves for a long time. Almost every patient in the hospitals (around here anyway) are put on an acid reducer- probably to prevent stomach damage from NSAID's. But one of my professors pointed out that stomach acid is an important part of our defense system- killing germs that enter the digestive system. So when a patient is in the hospital, and presumably exposed to a variety of dangerous germs, it's a bad time to be lowering their immunity. Ever since she pointed that out to me it's been one of my pet peeves. Hopefully this, and other studies will sway doctors to be more restrictive in their PPI prescriptions. Say no to prophylactic proton pump inhibitors- unless you are taking an NSAID at the same time.

Rant #2)
The "sun damage" message is clouding out (pun intended) a more important one: the importance of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is soooo underrated. We need to get more. Sunlight is more important, in my opinion, than the risk of sun damage- especially with the ability to identify skin cancer in the early stages. I'm convinced that lack of sun was a major contributor to my depression this last pregnancy. Obviously there is already a proven link between sunlight and depression for a substantial portion of our population, in the form of SAD. And it's just now getting the attention it deserves as an immune system booster. Some say even more important than Vitamin C!

The UV Advantage is a good source of information on this subject. Did you know that Vitamin D only comes from UVB rays- which are the "harmful" rays that are blocked by sunscreen and only available at a certain angle- the powerful 10:00-2:00 rays that we're told to avoid!! UVB is not in tanning beds! And it is blocked by glass so you can't get the benefits of Vitamin D from sitting inside a window. If you can't get outdoors enough or you live in the North, I recommend a full spectrum lightbulb- available through crunchy hippy websites. :)
Some more facts:
  • It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body willself-regulate and only generate what it needs.
  • If it hurts to press firmly on your sternum, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.
  • Vitamin D is “activated” in your body by your kidneys and liver before it can be used. Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair your body’s ability to activate circulating vitamin D.

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