Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Osteoporosis, 'unavailable' vitamin D supplements and the 'perils' of sunlight

A friend here in the UK saw his NHS doctor recently for the first time since his osteoporosis diagnosis.

The doctor prescribed him a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement but when asked about testing his current vitamin D levels, he said that this was 'not allowed'. He said that 'it takes very large amounts of vitamin D to increase it if you test low, and the drugs aren't available in this country. The view is that we can't treat it, so therefore we shouldn't test it'. (I suggest vitamin D preparations ARE available, but it seems that the NHS has done a good job of brainwashing its doctors into believing that if something isn't on the list of items prescribable on the NHS then it doesn't exist at all).

My friend was appalled at this, and suggested that if he found out his vitamin D levels were poor, he could take remedial action himself (such as sourcing vitamin D via a private doctor, or via the internet). He could also make an effort to get out in the sun a lot more, since sunlight is a far more efficient (and
natural) provider of vitamin D than any pills. He was astounded when the doctor replied that using sunlight as a source of vitamin D would be unwise because of the risk of skin cancer! He made no distinction at all between getting healthy, desirable levels of exposure to the sun and getting sunburnt. Yet another example of some pretty effective brainwashing by the sunlight-causes-skin-cancer brigade.

Most worrying of course is that I suspect this doctor is far from unusual in his views. My friend has enough nous to go and research his condition and, if necessary, access his own medications or natural supplements. What happens to all the millions of other people who believe their doctors have all the answers and follow what they say without question?

The NHS thinks it is protecting patients from harm by not acknowledging that medications or supplements can be sourced from outside the NHS, and by effectively telling them that all sunlight is dangerous. What it is actually doing is preventing patients from getting the most effective treatment, and creating a much bigger drain on NHS resources in the long term.

The sooner the NHS wakes up to the importance of giving doctors proper training in nutrition and environmental medicine the better. I'm not holding my breath though.

1 comment:

Nigel Kinbrum BSc(Hons)Eng said...

I've had serum Vitamin D tests on the NHS.

RE Osteoporosis: It's worth adding Magnesium 300-500mg/day and Vitamin K2 15mg/day to the Calcium & D3. My lumbar spine density went from -2SD in 2003 to normal in 2006.

Nige.