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Damned if you do....

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Allan Report 7 Oct 2019 10:57

… and damned if you don't.

For years now, one of the primary health warnings in Australia is regarding melanoma.

We've been exhorted to 'slip, slop, slap' i.e. slip on a long sleeved shirt, slap on the sunscreen and slip on a hat.

I've taken the message further and have tried to avoid being out in the sun at all, particularly since retirement.

I've now been diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency :-|

The remedy?

Get out in the sun more often :-S

I'm not alone, this is now a growing problem in Oz.

Off in the next couple of days for a bone density check.

You just can't win :-(


Dermot Report 7 Oct 2019 12:21

The lifetime risk of death is 100%.


PatinCyprus Report 7 Oct 2019 12:51

Allan you could have an inherited problem absorbing Vit D.

Our daughter went to 3 GPs in UK complaining she was unwell but they didn't help her, symptoms too vague. She knew she wasn't well and needed help.

A friend told her to use a nutritionist so she did. She was asked to do a DNA test and if possible for us to do it as well as her parents.

It proved her dairy and gluten problems which she already knew about. The other problem was shown in OH's and my DNA. Both of us have problems absorbing Vit. D and she's inherited this gene from both of us making it very hard to absorb any Vit. D at all.

She went back to her GP's practice and got a blood test re Vit. D. A few days later she got a phone call to come in ASAP as she required medication immediately. Virtually no Vit. D in her. She now takes supplements everyday and is fine.

Her job is largely outside - civil engineer working on roads so she was outside a lot at the time of her problem. I know it's UK but she should have absorbed enough to keep her well.

Interesting what DNA throws up. :-D


supercrutch Report 7 Oct 2019 13:11

I don't absorb Vit D or B due to bowel disease so take supplements. I spend as much time in what passes for sun in the UK as I can. Diet rich in vitamins and minerals (I should be attracted to any magnets in my personal space)

Hope you get sorted.


Allan Report 7 Oct 2019 13:18

Pat, that's interesting, although OH was also diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency a few months ago.

I was advised to include plenty of dairy in my diet, which I had been avoiding due to cholesterol problems as well as my diabetes.

Dermot, we are all born to die :-0


PatinCyprus Report 7 Oct 2019 13:40

My diet is mainly salad/veg. with meat and cheese as I am intolerant of carbs.. Have dairy as it's low carb. Cook with butter but no sandwiches. OH has a good general diet.

OH and myself had blood tests recently. One of us has high cholesterol - it's not me as mine is low :-0

I start the day with home made muesli with about an ounce of porridge oats or in cold weather make porridge - porridge oats reduce cholesterol.


SuffolkVera Report 7 Oct 2019 14:43

I had a similar problem to your daughter Pat but didn’t have to go down the DNA route. At the end of one of my annual reviews of my medication my GP asked how my health was generally. I told him I often felt a bit off colour and I was always tired expecting him to say it was my age. Instead he sent me for various blood tests. I saw him on a Monday morning, had the blood tests Monday afternoon and had a phone call Tuesday morning from the surgery asking me to go back in straightaway. The GP put me on 40,000 units a day for a couple of weeks. Now I take 2000 units a day as a maintenance dose.

When I said that I generally have a good diet and I am outdoors quite a bit, he pointed out that it wasn’t the Caribbean, East Anglian sun doesn't have much strength and older bodies don’t absorb vit. D so well.

I can’t say I have noticed a huge difference. I still feel tired a lot of the time so it probably is my age :-D


SylviaInCanada Report 7 Oct 2019 17:02

It's almost automatic here now for people to be be told to take Vit D at 500 or 1000 mg doses once a day. The advice is also to try to be out in the sun without any protection for 5-10 mins maximum before 10 am or after 4 or 5 pm ....... ie, outside the "danger" period when protection must be used.

I was upped from 500 mg to 100mg a day about 3 years ago.

Still feel tired a lot of the time ......... but like Vera, I think it's my age!


Allan Report 7 Oct 2019 22:13

I suppose that in my own case the situation hasn't been helped by my having to change GP's

My new GP is a lot younger than my previous one and that as well as doing my six-monthly blood sugars and cholesterol checks, must have decided to be 'thorough' and so ordered a battery of further tests, including prostate thyroid and the vitamin d test.

If this continues, I shall have to seek out my old GP and totally change the Practice that I currently use


SylviaInCanada Report 8 Oct 2019 00:36

I've just had an appointment with my GP ........... a resident doing his training at the university.

Same as you, Allan ............. decided to be thorough

Have you had a bone scan? Not for 20 years

Have you had a CT scan of your chest? No

Have you had a tetanus injection recently? Never had one

Have you had the poo test recently? Not for 2 years

Have you had a gastroscopy recently? Not for 2 years.


guess I'm being referred for all of them!!!

It's all to the good, though ............. I trust they'll all come back negative!


Allan Report 8 Oct 2019 00:48

My prostate results were not the best, but just within the limits :-(

All this is following from a phone call that I had from my brother a couple on months ago (which I haven't told my GP about) after he had a colonoscopy. Apparently, some polyps were found, which, whilst no cancerous themselves, could be a precursor for that beastie.

he had been told that it was possibly a hereditary thing and he was asking me if I had copies of family death certificates.

There, on our maternal grandmother's certificate, the cause of death was 'cancer of the colon'

I'll bet that he's sorry that he asked :-D


SylviaInCanada Report 8 Oct 2019 01:40

Allan ................

that is in OH's family :-(

His paternal grandmother died of colon cancer in mid-1920s (though that term is not used on the death certificate)

His father died of colon cancer ca 1987

He had colon cancer in 2005, 18 inches of colon removed, no further treatment, but continual follow-up since then with polyps removed ca every other time.

His sister ignored advice and symptoms, had colon cancer followed by chemo in 2012/13, followed by spread to brain and death in January 2014.

As a result, our daughter and sis-i-l's 3 all have had to start having colonoscopies at age 40-45, with regular follow-ups after that 3 or so years after unless they show symptoms.

Not a thing to ignore!

Sis-i-l has left a sample of her DNA with some researcher at the Cancer Clinic here, but no-one really seems interested in looking at the hereditary possibility.


PatinCyprus Report 8 Oct 2019 07:32

Doing nothing about colon cancer and keeping quiet about it due to embarassment are killers.

Years ago now OH's step mother was horrified to find her 30 year old son had colon cancer. He had an op. lucky for him it was found early. Distressed she went to talk to her eldest sister (she was youngest of ten). She was told by her sister that both their parents had died of colon cancer. She started talking to other siblings to find -

eldest brother died of it, another brother was in treatment and was to die of it, a nephew had already died of it, another nephew had had treatment for it - all keeping it quiet.

She went to her doctor who sent her straight away for a check up - she had colon cancer, had operation and was cured, ten years later it reappeared again so another op. She died aged 89 not of colon cancer. Her children and grandchildren all have annual check ups now.


Allan Report 8 Oct 2019 08:44

Sylvia, Pat, I certainly didn't mean to trivialise the effects of colon cancer and I do apologise if that is how my posts came through.

I do undertake all the free screening tests which the Government provides, and so far they have all been negative.

I just have a problem with the medical profession treating ageing as a disease.

Yes, as we grow older, then more disease processes occur, but aging itself is a natural process.

Both my brother (74) and myself (71) have outlived our parents.

My mother died in 1972, just eleven days after her 55th birthday. My father died in 1983 aged 68.

My biggest problem has been a mental one, many of my family deaths have occurred in the November of various years, and that month weighs heavily on my mind.


SylviaInCanada Report 8 Oct 2019 17:57

Allan ...........

I didn't think you were trivializing colon cancer.

I was more intrigued by the family inheritance trait, as we had not heard of any other familial transmission.

And now Pat tells us of another one.

What OH and I find really intriguing about this cancer and its inheritance, especially in view of the fact that one of my degrees was in Genetics, is that it is inherited by both male and female. Most genetically inherited cancers are restricted to one sex or the other.


SylviaInCanada Report 8 Oct 2019 18:01

I was interrupted while typing that last post by a call ............. I mentioned a CT scan in my post about my doctor's visit yesterday.

This was the follow-up (fast work!!) from the BC Lung Check Program at the Cancer Clinic. Interview over the phone to see if I was suitable, now a 2 hour interview in person (with questionnaire to be filled out before) in November, CT scan the next day, then follow up for 5 years!

I tried to get out of the follow-up on the basis that I'll turn 80 in January. Didn't work!!


Allan Report 8 Oct 2019 22:02

I'm not sure whether my brother's GP told him to contact me, or my nephew (brother's son) who is a GP in Albany, but someone obviously thinks that there may be a family connection.

Both OH and myself seem to be seeing our respective doctors rather more frequently these days.

OH had a mammogram recently and then had to go for an ultrasound as she has 'dense' breast tissue. The ultrasound showed up some cysts.

And as a result of the Vit D deficiency I'm off sometime this week to have a bone density test carried out.


SylviaInCanada Report 8 Oct 2019 23:54

Allan ..............

I've been through the referral that your OH is going through several times in the 17 years between my 2 mastectomies. I also had "dense" breasts, but they are thorough with the testing.

I'm waiting to hear about my bone density test.

It seems to me that WE identified the family link, various doctors and specialists have expressed interest, but not the researchers into the possible genetics of it .......... OH has been trying to give a DNA sample to someone at the BC Cancer Clinic since his sister died in 2014.

Apparently the researchers know there is a hereditary link but say it is such a complex problem that it is hard to know where to start, and they have no funding to even begin the research.

What they need is a multi-millionaire to have it, and then donate several millions to form a Research Centre.

Luckily our family doctors and the specialists treating both OH and his sister were interested, so we were warned to give our children the heads-up to start early testing, and their family doctors have followed up by referring them for early colonoscopies at 40-45 to get a base line for them. Luckily, all seem to be clear.

My daughter also told her family doctor about my breast cancers, and he's sent her for early mammogram screening. She also had to do a follow-up earlier this year as a cyst was found, they will be following her for that.

She said the follow-up at the Mammogram Clinic was much more comfortable than the one at the Screening Clinic, which left her in pain for several days ............. if she's lucky, she'll never have to go back to the Screening Clinic. Once referred from the Screening Clinic in BC, women always go to the Mammogram Clinic, but she's in another province and I don't know what their system is.

The breast cancer concern doesn't affect sis-i-l's children.

One of the questions I was asked this morning in the phone call from the Lung Research programme was if any one close to me, going as far as grandparents and half-siblings, had ever had lung cancer ................ so they seem to be thinking along the possible lines of inheritance for that cancer


Allan Report 9 Oct 2019 11:20

Test done, and now have a couple of days before the results are in. No doubt I will receive a call from the Surgery to make a 'non-urgent appointment' to see my GP

Well, I hope that it is a 'non-urgent appointment' :-)


PatinCyprus Report 9 Oct 2019 11:56

Well done Allan, seeing OH's step mother so distressed because of her family's silence made me realise how important it was to talk to relatives about health problems.

We've got the new one they have found. :-0

Due to Irish Americans having their DNA analysed it's been found that the Irish are more prone to problems with gluten and celiac disease. Note daughter in previous post and son now showing signs of problems with gluten.

My gt grandmother was Irish, OH's gt gt grandmother Irish. My nephews and their children are not having problems.