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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. Always up to something!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What are the MS Researchers Missing? Vitamin D and MS

I received my copy of MS Connection in the mail yesterday, a publication of the Connecticut chapter of the MS Society.  There were a couple of very interesting articles in this issue.  One described a massive international genetics study with a major breakthrough.  Scientists have now successfully confirmed 23 previously known genetic links and identified 29 new ones and strongly suspect 5 others. They confirmed that a number of autoimmune diseases share many similar genetic variants. And 2 genes linked to vitamin D were also implicated with research increasingly pointing to low vitamin D levels in patients as a risk factor for developing MS.
It probably cost a fortune for these scientists to figure out what many of us already knew. I can't count the number of people with MS that I have met who have close family members who also suffer from various autoimmune diseases.  My own father passed away due to complications from Crohn's disease.  Has my neurologist ever asked me about my family history? Has yours? Has your doctor ordered a test for your vitamin D levels?  Mine never did.
The second article really left me shaking my head.  "Study: Bone Health a Concern In Early MS".  Doctors at Oslo University Hospital have reported their findings to Neurology magazine.  So newly diagnosed patients with MS are showing low bone mass compared to a control group without MS.  What?  Most of us get diagnosed in early adult-hood. Might this suggest a Vitamin D deficiency, probably since birth?  Mine had not been checked until I visited a naturopath six years ago.  My D3 was a 6....off the charts low.  I take supplements, sun, calcium, exercise and eat a healthy diet and I'm still low normal.  And surprise -  I've just been diagnosed with osteopinea, a forerunner to osteoporosis. I'm not a scientist but my guess is that MS is genetically linked to other autoimmune diseases, including Crohn's, and that vitamin D (described by some as a hormone) has the ability to prevent the onset in at least some of us.  With this limited knowledge, would it be wise for all of our family members to have their vitamin D levels checked once a year, including the kids?   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Joy in our Lives

Our new little grandson was born this morning.  It seems like yesterday that I was bringing his daddy home from the hospital.  Of course it was almost 28 years ago to the day.  Blink.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Any Moment...change again

Change is change. Some good, some not so good. Some change is momentous. Some goes barely noticed. Autumn in Connecticut this year was going by barely noticed until a very big storm suddenly got our attention. There's a nicer way than shutting off the lights!
Change. My step-son started college in August. So far, so good. He seems happy, he's close enough to come home when he wants to. He's gaining the independence he's longed for. It's still out as far as his studies go. We're hoping he's doing well. We're semi-empty nesters and we've settled into our new status very nicely. I'm cooking too much but I have a freezer so nothing goes to waste. We're free to go to mid-week concerts or even farther if the mood strikes. Nice.
Change. We both got medical reports that weren't so great. We both have osteaopinea. My thyroid's a little wonky, my triglycerides a bit high, so is his sugar. Change. Not so good. We're getting older. 
Change. We became Gramma and Papa almost 2 years ago and we love it. But he's changing so quickly we can barely keep up. He crawled, he walked and now he runs like a little elf, practically clicking his heels together as he hops around. He talks in complete sentences and remembers what we played with the last time he visited. He's changing way too quickly but we can't slow him down, nor would we really want to.
Change will come soon for even him when his sibling arrives in March. Wondrous, miraculous change.
Our world will change again any moment now. My youngest child is about to become a father. That's when you really know time's flying. When your youngest birthling marries and reproduces, that's big. I'm holding my breath in anticipation of the birth of this baby. He's going through the greatest change a human can experience and survive....his entrance into our world. And I can't wait.