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I have just started following the Overcoming MS regime and was wondering where/how do you get your blood levels of Vit D tested? - through your GP? I've just started taking 5000iu as recommended in the book, but I think this might not be enough as I live in northern England where sunlight is scarce to say the least. Thanks

Liz
Hi Liz, I'm in northern England too! I got mine checked at my GPs - she said sometimes the lab question the need for vitamin D tests (it's an expensive test) but she put in a note with it to say I needed the test because vitamin D levels can affects the chance of relapses in MS. Might be worth printing a copy of a paper on vitamin D levels in MS to take with you when you ask for the test
Thanks Catriona - I'll see if I can persuade my GP to get it tested then. We've had a nice bit of rare sunshine here in Cumbria today, so I've been sitting outside with my legs/arms exposed - (not a pretty sight). I'm used to covering with several layers on most days - will have to get myself a pair of shorts and let my lardy legs see a bit of sunshine more often!

Liz
Hi Liz

I asked my GP for a vitamin D test last week. After months of arguing with NHS doctors to persuade them I needed an MRI in the first place, I arrived expecting to have to argue my case again. She did ask who had recommended the test before she agreed (my Nutritionist plus a whole body of research), saying that the NHS don’t routinely test vit D levels in MS patients, so I don’t know whether it helped to say that a professional had advised it, or whether she would have done it anyway. Catriona’s suggestion of taking some literature with you, is a good one. I had some just in case my GP wasn’t aware of the research, but I don’t think she would have admitted to this anyway (and she did give a very vague response when I politely enquired)!

I also read on another recent forum post that it might be best not to mention that you are already supplementing with vitamin D, as they may then not see the test as relevant.

Anyway, hopefully you won’t have any problems with your GP agreeing to the test.

I also live in Cumbria, so am painfully aware of the lack of sunshine here! 8-)
Meant to reply again but forgot - thanks for reminding me :) A large group of European universites and medical institutes are doing a big trial on vitamin D supplementation starting this year - and they're published a paper about it: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022510X11002164. Without a login ID, all you can see is the abstract (a summary of the paper), but even that gives a pretty good argument to show GPs if they're reluctant to provide access to a vit D test.
Hello everyone,

I hope you got your vitamin D test OK, Liz.

I went along to my GP this morning to ask for a test, and she agreed straight away. I explained the situation and took along George's book to show the recommended level, but I think she would have ordered the test without seeing the book.

I think GP's are more aware of vitamin D deficiencies in general nowadays. In this area (south Birmingham, UK) they are issuing free vitamins A, C and D to all under 5's as there has been a rise in the incidence of rickets in youngsters recently.

Irene
Thanks for your replies everyone. My GP has been singularly unhelpful about my up-until-now undiagnosed condition, and has only begun to take me seriously very recently, as my symptoms have got much worse over the past eighteen months. I have no diagnosis of anything, but I'm due to see a neurologist on Wednesday (day after tomorrow). I'm feeling very nervous about it and hoping that I'll get some sort of explanation for my increasingly debilitating symptoms. MS is my best bet - I have to bet on something as I need a plan to put into action rather than do nothing but stand by and watch my health go down the plug hole. I have noticed an small improvement in my symptoms since starting the diet and lifestyle plan so I'm feeling a little more positive than I was a few weeks ago. If I do get a diagnosis, I'll definitely go armed with the Vit D research, and the book, up until then I suppose I'll just have to be patient.

P.S For anyone else who is struggling to stay positive, another book I'm finding very helpful is 'How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body' by David Hamilton.
Good luck with your appointment tomorrow, Liz. I have found that the medical profession will not give a diagnosis unless they are absolutely sure about it. The words 'MS' weren't mentioned to me until after an MRI scan 5 years after initial symptoms, although looking back, it must have been obvious to them.

This site is the best for support and information, even if you haven't got MS. I quickly cottoned on to the fact that diets recommended for MS were very similar to those recommended for lots of other problems - heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and I'm increasingly coming across similar ideas for other neurological diseases like Parkinson's and ME.
Irene
Hi all,

I appreciate this reply is coming a bit late in the day (several months after the inital posting!), but just wanted to let you know of a UK lab (in Birmingham) who do blood spot tests for Vit D levels by post. Costs £20. The people there are really helpful - I've had levels checked by them, and so has my father. You get the results back within a few days of sending them the sample.

The link is here:

http://www.vitamindtest.org.uk/

My GP did do a test for me when I asked, but it seemed to cause some confusion within the surgery (was an "usual request"), and took a month for them to get the results back...

Hope that helps!

Best wishes to everyone for the festive season!

L

:)
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