I just returned from what I consider to be a bad news Lyme doctor appointment. I'll preface this by saying that I'm really glad I found this new doctor--he is very thorough and ran a bunch of blood tests when I first met him last month. I wish I had done this much sooner, as my results were pretty sucky.
I was just over the line on being positive for an autoimmune disease (he mentioned Lupus), though the doctor assured me that these results are very common in Lyme, so I shouldn't jump to any conclusions.
I also tested positive for Rheumatoid Arthritis. It depends on what kind of doctor you talk to--a RA specialist would diagnose me as positive and that would be that. Lyme doctor says that this, too, is part of Lyme and also shows up in tests.
The one he was most concerned about at the moment is one I think we should all look out for: vitamin deficiencies.
Apparently, I have a severe Vitamin D deficiency. Normal level numbers fall between 30 and 100, with the average falling in the higher end of the scale. I scored a measly 12.
I insisted that I see the light of day, and I eat plenty of very healthy foods rich in Vitamin D. I also take a prenatal every day and I (ashamedly) eat cheese like it's my job. There's no reason I should be lacking. He told me that it's more common than you'd think in pregnancy, but it could also be from the amount of heavy metals in my body (specifically lead). Healthy people have the filtration systems to flush all of the metals and everyday toxins out. Lymies tend to shut down, which leads to toxicity, which leads to the body not being able to process the good things we take in either (?) I add the question mark, because I'm still processing this info, and I'm not sure what to make of it.
I never discussed metals and detoxing in detail with my previous LLMD. Now I realize that this is a crucial part of getting the body back in balance.
So here's the deal: ask your doctor to run some simple vitamin tests. I was under the impression that OBs did that anyway, and that might be the case, but this is the first I've even thought about this vitamin issue. It's super important for you, and even more for your baby.
As soon as I got in the door, I hit up my old friend Google and nearly had a panic attack when I read what can happen to a baby when the mother has a Vitamin D deficiency (Rickets, fractures, mental retardation, Autism, abnormal and delayed growth, Diabetes, just to name a few.) Here's more info if you'd like to read about it (this link doesn't talk about Lyme--it's pretty generic. I couldn't find articles on Lyme, Vitamin D, and pregnancy).
To treat this, my doctor put me on a Vitamin D supplement (5,000 IU a day of XYMOGEN's Liquid D3). A normal, healthy person dose is 1,000 IU, but he jacked it up, and I'm fine with that.* Apparently the liquid vitamin is suspended in sunflower oil because it helps the body absorb it better. Random, but I love that this stuff is manufactured in Orlando, Florida (my hometown).I like to think that they sucked up and bottled up some of the sunshine state's finest rays. Who wouldn't feel better knowing they were gulping down some liquid sunshine in a glass? I guess I don't care what it is as long as it works...
We have our big high risk doctor ultrasound tomorrow morning at nine. I'm interested in what he has to say about vitamin deficiencies. I imagine that if there is a growth problem it will show up as they examine the fetus. Fingers crossed for a healthy exam. Fingers crossed again that this baby isn't shy and will show us its parts. We're dying to find out what we're having!
*Note: Please talk to your doctor about your own supplements and doses. I'm just sharing my own experience, and I'm not qualified to tell anyone else what to take.
I am a mother and writer with Chronic Lyme, on the road to acceptance and recovery. I was bitten in 1996, diagnosed 2008. I am living proof that it is possible to live meaningfully and have happy, healthy children while battling this terrible disease.