Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sunshine On My Shoulder Makes Me Happy


I've been feeling dog rough recently and found out why.

I am vitamin D deficient. Now Vit D is actually not a vitamin but more a steroid type hormone which the medical authorities from all over the world are beginning to sit up and notice links to many auto immune diseases and cancers which are associated with Vit D deficiency.

Vit Ds main purpose is to help your body make or transport calcium to your bones and teeth, but more importantly it plays a crucial role in the bodies immune system.
Diseases such as M.S Diabetes R.A Colon and Breast cancer have all been linked to people who have a Vit D3 deficiency. And alarmingly as much as 75% of the western population are deficient in this vital steroid type hormone.

So, how did that happen?

First of all you need to understand how we get this Vitamin.
Its not something that can be obtained from food,  some oily fish has a little and egg yolks but the amount you need to remain healthy can not be absorbed from diet alone.

Vit D comes as D2 and D3 and its the D3 thats important.
D3 can only be made by exposing your skin to sunlight or UVB rays. Its that simple.

You can of course take supplements but there is a huge debate as to how much D3 we should be taking.

20 minutes in mid day sun in summer creates approx 20,000 IUs of D3 and yet the medical authorities suggest taking no more than 400UI as a supplement  day.

If nature designed our bodies to create so much of this vitamin in so little time in the sun, it goes to show just how important it is to our health and how 400 UI is clearly no where near enough to keep us healthy and indeed alive!

There are some authorities that say 10,000 IUs a day should be taken to maintain good health.
That said, please do NOT go out and buy bottles of D3 and take a hand full.

Taking too much can create toxicity unless you have been tested to show you are indeed deficient.
So ALWAYS get a D3 serum blood level test by your doctor before taking supplements.

As human beings we're not physically designed to be cooped up in offices, shops, houses and warehouses all day.

Nature designed us to live out in the fields, hunting and gathering. And going to a sunny location for 2 weeks in a year does not make up for the rest of the year when we see very little natural sunlight.

Then, if you add to that the scare tactics brought about with skin cancer and the cosmetic companies that push sun screens into make up and sun lotions to prevent "premature ageing" it's little wonder we are now facing a massive epidemic of vitamin D deficiency across the world, but more so in northern hemispheres.

Cosmetic companies make millions of dollars on selling anti ageing cosmetics and promote their products by adding sun filters which are also added to sunglasses, foundations, lipsticks, eyeshadows, facial and body moisturisers, hand creams and sun screens all marketed with threats of skin cancer and premature ageing.

In addition,  there has been in increase in skin cancer over the last 15 years and I was one of those victims having been diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma stage two, 6 years ago.

My skin cancer showed itself in the form of what was once a very sexy beauty spot next to my belly button!
But over the years it grow bigger and darker and began to take on the form of something not quite so beautiful at all.

The edges became irregular and it had 2 shades of brown pigment in it instead of 1 brown perfectly round mole.

When it started itching I knew there was something wrong and the only reason it got to stage two was because the specialist at the hospital sent me home after the first consultation telling me:
"Only 1 in 1 million moles are malignant"


I went back 9 months later and insisted they did a biopsy and sure enough it was MM the only form of skin cancer that spreads to secondary locations and eventually kills.

Being a fair skinned, red head who hammered the sun beds in her twenties,  I knew I was a prime candidate for MM.
In fact I think its fair to say I knew I had it before my doctor did.
My only concern was had I caught it in time.

So, that was then and thank God, I have not had any secondary cancers or additional moles but I will always be considered high risk in terms of any form of cancer now.
Thats just the way it works,  but at least I am out of that 5 year "high risk" period were if cancer had spread to other parts of my body it would reveal itself in the 5 years following my diagnoses.

So, I have been on both sides of the fence.
Too much sun = Skin cancer.
Too little sun = Vit D deficiency = Increased risk of certain cancers and auto immune diseases.

My blood serum levels of Vit D are 21.
The normal range are between 30 - 50.
Many authorities are advising to have levels of around 80 to remain healthy.

So what are the symptoms of Vit D deficiency?

Joint aches and pains, muscle weakness and pain, fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, frequent colds and viruses to mention a few.

I believe I have been deficient for many years due to the fact earlier health issues have had me more or less house bound for 10 years and since the MM diagnoses I stopped all sun bed use too which would of been the only source of vit D I would of been getting.

I also have systemic candida which in itself causes up to 50 various symptoms and is caused by your immune system being weakened by the over use of anti biotics, too much stress, a diet with high sugar intake and the use of steroid drugs.

With the exception of steroids, I fit the profile perfectly and now believe candida developed in me at the same time my vit D deficiency fell below normal levels, around 5 years ago.

Now, I am not saying everyone should start using sun beds and lying in the sun all summer with no sun screen on, but neither should we be avoiding the sun like vampires either.
It's NOT natural and it WILL and HAS caused serious world wide health issues for millions of people.

The truth is, we still don't know just how big or serious the last 10 years of avoiding the sun has affected millions of people around the world.

So, like most things in life, everything in moderation is the key.

For me, its complicated.

Taking Vit D makes me ill and this is apparently normal.

I feel tired, weak, my joints ache and I feel sickly too and these are all symptoms of my body adjusting to having vitamin D back in my system.

The aches and pains come from the fact my bones are demineralised after years of very little calcium being absorbed and as Vit D goes about pushing calcium back into my bones and joints they swell a little and ache and this can and does extend to the muscles too.

Currently, I have had to stop all vit D and lying in the sun as I became so poorly last week,  it was causing issues with plans I have in my life.
I couldn't work and I am planning on going away for a couple of weeks soon and I would like to be feeling "OK" at least.

When I come home, I intend to go back to lying in the sun 30 minutes a day with no make up on and bare arms and taking 2000 IUs of D3 DESPITE having had Malignant Melanoma because continuing to have a lack of Vit D has a bigger risk to my health.

Its a catch 22 scenario.. cant win either way.

Here are a few links to websites all about vitamin D and the symptoms:

I can not stress the importance of having your levels checked with your doctor BEFORE you start taking D3 supplements. I am not a doctor nor do I claim anything I write here to be professional advise. It is only my experience and opinion based on such.

http://vitamins.lovetoknow.com/Vitamin_D_Deficiency_Symptoms

http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-d-deficiency

http://www.squidoo.com/vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

News Just in....

Well, here I am.. it's not the first blog I have written.. I think the last was one associated with There.com which as it happens is it itself something to "blog about" today.

There.com was established in 2003. http://www.there.com/info/index.php

It was a virtual world with its own in world economy which had a real value. (That means you could buy and sell it for real money) and its registered users could create content for others users to buy. This could range from clothing to vehicles etc.

I discovered "There" in 2003 after spending 18 months in The Sims Online, created by EA Games. It was the first time I discovered you could actually make money from "playing games" and dabbled in the virtual real estate, buying and selling houses. I later moved onto Pawn Brokering, buying peoples unwanted virtual goods and selling them in the built in auction for profit. I even built my first little website called There Pawn Brokers, google it.. I bet it still exists! ( Going to check.. ) Yep lol here it is!

http://www.freewebs.com/elizarose/index.htm

Back then I didn't have Photoshop much less the know how to use it. Times have changed indeed.

There.com was officially closed in March 2010

http://www.virtualworldsnews.com/2010/03/therecom-shutting-down-on-march-9th11.html

And to this very day, I miss it. I didn't log very much after I discovered Second life but ironically I had been logging in a fair bit quite recently.

There has a real sense of community something that Second Life in my opinion never managed to achieve in the same "whole world" way.

Anyway, I could ramble on about good times and happy memories but more important is how the economy is having an impact on virtual goods sales whether that be in a virtual world or from a website.

I have many work associates that have reported major profit losses, some of them being prolific companies.

Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life release announcements about a healthy economy yet people around me are worrying over major sales and traffic dips including me.

Its complicated enough trying to work out the economy in the real world but when a large percentage of your income comes from within a virtual world which has its own issues and changes, its impossible to make any projections about the future.

What does surprise me is how there has been no new virtual worlds opened in over 6 years now.
Sure we have the mini Second Life spin offs that came about when Linden Labs released the client open source but I don't count them. I mean big companies with a budget and investors.. Second Life is still the only platform of its kind and many people have sworn as soon as something else comes along which offers the same opportunities they will pack up their virtual bags and start afresh.

The fact is, many of the reasons people are pissed off with Linden Labs is "because" they have a monopoly in this niche market.

I recall the days when British Telecom were the only telephone provider and they took no prisoners when it came to late payments. They could charge what they wanted ( and did ) and would disconnect you in the blink of an eye if you were to fall behind in your bill payments.

These days they tend to be a lot more "customer friendly" and why? Well because they know they have competition. They piss a customer off and chances are that customer will go to another company never to return.

After being with Second Life and Linden Labs by default for over 6 years paying monthly and annual fees, my account recently got into debt of a grand total of $9.60 for 10 days. I had lost my credit card and had it stopped by the bank and forgot to update my payment info on my account.

I got an email from Linden Labs saying:

"Don't worry! You have 30 days before we delete your account and belongings"
(erm, that would be my entire source of income by the way!)

But after 10 days and no notice at all, I tried to log in to be informed my account had been made in active.

I updated my payment details, made the payment of $9.60 and I was allowed access again.. but they clearly wasn't taking any chances!

I would be very interesting to see what changes would occur if Second Life suddenly had some healthy competition.