Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Vitamin D Study Worth Ignoring and Good News at MDPrevent

It seems like everyone wants in on the Vitamin D hoopla. A study published in Mongolia (not sure if it's Outer Mongolia-the place many often refer to as a wasteland) shows that children who increase their Vitamin D levels suffer fewer cold symptoms. The only problem is that it only works with children who are Vitamin D deficient due to lack of sun during their winter (maybe it is Outer Mongolia).

There is no one, including me, that will argue that the body needs Vitamin D and without an ample supply your body will not function properly. And by not function, that includes an immune system incapable of warding off even the simple and ubiquitous cold virus. But the real debate is what defines a clinical relevant deficiency and what's the best way to treat it. I vote sun, wild Salmon, and almond milk in that order over supplements. Nevertheless, while the question of deficiency still begs an answer, with all the studies now underway, I hope the question won't stay unanswered for long. For the moment, I encourage patients to consciously raise their levels if it is below 30.

On another note, it's turned out to be an unexpectedly busy summer. Without warning, MDPrevent is suddenly inundated with patients wanting access to our medical care, particularly our weight loss and diabetes education services. Word of mouth has generated excitement about our drug-free, fully paid for by Medicare approach to successful weight loss. Even doctors such as cardiologists and endocrinologists we've never met are now referring patients to us because they are witnessing first-hand the weight loss success their other patients are enjoying.  It's both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. It's actually getting tough to schedule new patients.

Why is it working? What have we discovered that seems to elude others? The answer is simple. Teamwork. Our program combines the skills of a physician, a registered dietitian, and a clinical psychologist. Each of us works in unison to guide, encourage, and cheer each patient on. The result is that patients are steadily losing weight, lowering cholesterol, and starting to enjoy their former selves again.

For those of you who have referred friends, relatives, and neighbors, we say thank you. I suspect so do the people you referred.

Finally, someone asked me the other day if I enjoy what I do. I said of course because what can be more gratifying than seeing people turn their lives around and feel in control again for the first time in many years!  It really does feel good to do good!

I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day weekend.


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