Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago will miss the first Senate session and President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) because of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Santiago said she was advised by her doctors to undergo a blood test for Vitamin D.
The test showed that the senator only has 17 units of Vitamin D. The normal level for Vitamin D is 30 to 80 units.
“I want to share this information with the millions of Filipinos suffering from chronic fatigue, because in our country, Vitamin D deficiency is often overlooked,” Santiago said in a statement issued on Saturday.
Santiago also noted that her Vitamin D deficiency could also have triggered her hypertension, as declared at the 2012 annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics.
The 2012 European study also examined the causal relationship between Vitamin D status and high cholesterol, which Santiago also suffers from.
Santiago, over the years, has gone on medical leave from her jobs as immigration commissioner and as senator, because of chronic fatigue.
Earlier, the senator was also diagnosed with a chronic bone marrow disorder resulting in low red blood cell and hemoglobin count.
Hemoglobin is a protein that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. With low hemoglobin count, the blood cannot carry an adequate supply of oxygen, causing fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and heart palpitations.
The senator has also suffered from hypertension and mild stroke several times because of debilitating tiredness and stress.
NEIL A. ALCOBER