“I’m walking on sunshine!” Vitamin D and autoimmunity.

The Autoimmune disease series.

Hello sunshine!

When you go outdoors in the summertime, eat certain foods or take a supplement you should be stocking up on your body’s stores of this vital vitamin.

If you wear suntan lotion, do an indoors job, or don’t get out much, have poor digestion or don’t supplement – you could be increasing your risk of developing (or exacerbating) autoimmune disease symptoms along with other diseases.  Also remember that the darker your skin, the harder it will be for you to absorb the vitamin D from sunlight.

Some symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:

  • muscle/joint pain and weakness.
  • bone pain.
  • tiredness or fatigue.
  • depression.

Vitamin D has a role in regulating our immune system:

“has been shown to be involved in the prevention of certain pathological immune reactions leading to various autoimmune disorders (Type 1 diabetes, colitis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and graft rejection) and asthma (and other atopic diseases)”

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/776915_7

The question is once you have an autoimmune condition, can you use vitamin D to get better?

In an Australian Study on Lupus patients, they decided that yes, indeed you can improve your symptoms by bringing your levels up to normal:

In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) low vitamin D status is associated with higher disease activity and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), while over time, an increase in serum vitamin D levels correlates with reduced SLE activity.

http://lupus.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000064.abstract

I don’t suggest that you immediately go and buy yourself a supplement.  I do suggest that you absolutely make the best of the sunshine when it is there in your life.  It is the very best form of Vitamin D for your body.  Yet I do suggest that you get yourself tested; and while you are at it also test for:

  • B12
  • Ferritin
  • Alkaline Phosphatase

Too much Vitamin D can also be detrimental, (although relatively hard to do).

The following chart shows suggested levels:

vitamin d levels

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/21/how-to-get-your-vitamin-d-to-healthy-ranges.aspx

If you choose to supplement, use Vitamin D3(rather than 2) it is much better utilised.

I recently had an elderly gentleman contact me after I suggested that he get his levels checked and his levels were shockingly low.

So get tested and get your elderly relatives checked and then please let me know.  What are your levels?

Gemma x

 

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