Vitamin D – Autoimmune Diseases

    • Anonymous
      January 9, 2007 at 6:33 pm

      Hi Everybody,

      I thought I would share some recent info that I’ve learned about having a vitamin D deficiency and also having autoimmune.

      I became aware of my vitamin D deficiency from some lab work that I had done a couple of years ago. I wasn’t even aware of vitamin D as a factor with autoimmune issues before this new doctor ran the test. These tests also revealed that I needed to increase my thyroid meds — I was in a “flare”. The doctor explained that perhaps because my vitamin D was so low was why I was having a “flare”.

      Since I didn’t know anything about vitamin D I started researching. I found a really good resource called [B]The Vitamin D Council[/B]. Besides having tons of information on their website, they also have a newsletter that you can subscribe to. Here’s a link to their website:


      This a link to The Vitamin D Council’s January 06 Newsletter. It’s a good reference for testing and how much D3 to take:


      I had some confusion about vitamin D’s involvement in autoimmune. I wanted to know if [U][B]having an autoimmune disease [/B][/U]caused the D deficiency or did [B][U]having the D deficiency[/U][/B] cause the autoimmune disease. I contacted Dr Michael Hollick — a vitamin D scientist listed on the The Vitamin D Council’s website as “…the world’s foremost authority on vitamin D.” I asked Dr Hollick my “chicken and egg” question” and he replied, [COLOR=”Red”]”[B]Both are probably correct….D deficiency alters the immune system and when the immune system is activated it uses more vitamin D.”[/B][/COLOR]

      So that means that folks with autoimmune diseases really need to keep their vitamin D levels at the higher end of the NEW recommended levels. I have been working for over a year to get my levels up. I’ve gotten them up to 45ng/ml — my target is 80ng/ml. I currently take 3000iu of D3 daily but I am very cautious about taking vitamin D so I have gotten the “25,hydroxy” blood test several times this year monitoring my D levels. When I know how much supplement I need to maintain my level, I probably won’t have as many blood tests to monitor it.

      I have had two of my (holistic) doctors — a cardiologist and internist — both recommend that I keep my levels high because of my autoimmune issues.

      Here’s a link to a great article that describes the “Benefits and Requirements of Vitamin D for Optimal Health”. There is a table in the article that describes the levels of vitamin D.


      ANYWAY — I thought I would share what I learned about vitamin D and autoimmune issues. Check out the information and if you decide to supplement be sure to check with your doctor and ask for a “25, hydroxy” blood test to benchmark what level you are currently at. There are different vitamin D tests, so be sure to ask for the right one.

      Please note that the doctors that are the most aware of this new information on vitamin D are the ones that are more nutritionally oriented — at least that’s been my experience.

      I hope this helps.

      Best wishes…

    • Anonymous
      January 9, 2007 at 9:17 pm

      You mentioned that you take 3000 IU’s of D3……where do you buy that form of D? Did your doctor recommend that form? I like the way you think…if we all got together, we might be able to get this crazy GBS figured out….

    • Anonymous
      January 9, 2007 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Carolyn,

      I buy my 1000mg D3 vitamin from Life Extension and no, my doctor didn’t recommend this form, it was suggested in the newsletter from The Vitamin D Council. Carlson’s Cod Liver oil is what my cardiologist suggested, but there’s the vitamin A consideration. I might switch to the cod liver oil at a later time – I took it years ago, so I’m not worried about taste etc. The pills are just so easy so I’m just going to stick with those for now. I would like my grandchildren to take the cod liver oil though. Kids are a lot more pickier now-a-days, so I’m not sure if they’d be “willing” to swallow / taste it.

      Here’s the link for Life Extension:

      I take the D3 with my evening meal along with about 3000mg of calcium (Bone Up). Also, you need to take D3 with some “fat” — so sometimes if I’m just having a salad for dinner, then I take my D3 with some cottage cheese. This is my winter regime. In the summer time, if I had been out in the sun I probably wouldn’t take any D3 supplement.

      Also, I take Coopers Complete Multivitamin (w/ Iron). It also has 1000mg of D3 in it. And I take Jarrow (brand) Bone Up for my calcium. It also has some D3 in it.

      Since I take so many supplements and each one can have some of same ingredients, I decided to create a Excel spreadsheet with columns for “brand”, “purpose”, “ingredients”, “description”, “amount”, etc. I typed in all the ingredients and the amount I would be taking based on my dose — then I sorted the document by the “Ingredient” column. This way I can keep a close eye on how much of any one vitamin I’m taking. For example, I want to be careful on how much vitamin A I’m taking. Too much vitamin A can be toxic. I’m just very cautious about my supplements — I treat them like they’re medicine.

      Also, when I go to the doctor I just print a copy of my supplement document. It’s come in very handy. Anyway, this is what’s working for me.

      Be sure to consider getting the blood test before you supplement – you need the benchmark to measure against.

      Best wishes… hugs and all the positive energy I can pass on through these keys! And yes, I agree that a team accomplishes more — so lets all agree to share what we learn.


    • Anonymous
      January 10, 2007 at 7:47 pm

      If you want to take a pill that you don’t want to “burp” it, such as fish liver oil, then keep then in the freezer. By the time they “unfreeze”, they will be past your stomach. A wholistic doctor taught me that.

    • Anonymous
      January 10, 2007 at 8:07 pm

      Wow great info ! I agree with good vitamin supplementation.

    • Anonymous
      January 15, 2007 at 5:45 pm

      Is there any reason that you are taking a multi with IRON? Depending upon your age, you may or may not want iron. If you are post menopausal, then iron is not a good idea. Did you know that bacteria “eat” iron? BAck in the olden days when people were sick and eventually got better, it may have been that the bacteria had eaten all of the bacteria!
      Are you taking Magnesium with your calcium? They need to go together in order to be absorbed and used properly. I took calcium without magnesium and my muscedls in my neck and shoulder tightened up so much that my front tooth overlapped. I took magnesium and it moved back. Interesting…huh?

    • Anonymous
      January 15, 2007 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Carolyn,

      RE: Taking a multi w/ iron

      I’m not post menopausal so I still have a cycle to consider. But the most significant reason for the iron supplementation is because I also have a ferritin level — mine’s at “30” and needs to be closer to “70”. Ferritin is your “iron store” — it’s where your body goes to get more iron when it needs it. (… at least that’s how I think of it.) You can have low ferritin and not be anemic.

      When I became hypothyroid (Hashimotos) one of my earliest symptoms was an unexplained anxiety. I went nearly 10yrs undiagnosed and therefore untreated for my thyroid issues. It wasn’t until I started partcipating in a thyroid forum did I learn about low ferritin levels being associated with anxiety, fatigue, and also making thyroid meds less effective.

      Here’s a study that explains:


      I went back and looked at some lab work that I had done at about the time my anxiety (thyroid) problems started — my ferritn level was “11”. And even subsequent tests after that my level never got above “20”. It’s taken me a number of years to get my ferritin level to “40” — and I even take a prescription iron supplement too.

      Taking the iron has really made a big difference in my fatigue symptoms. Fatigue is a symptom in hashimotos as well as Sjogren’s — so I was appreciative of the benefit.

      RE: Magnesium

      Yes… I do take magnesium. I’ve just recently upped my intake and I can notice a difference — particularly with my digestion. I have mitral valve prolapse (MVP) and it’s a necessary nutrient. I hope I see some muscle tension relief benefit too — I get that tight neck muscle aches too. And I also have had some teeth shifting in front! It sure would be cool if they went back because I increased my magnesium.

      Thanks for the input Carolyn — I really enjoy hearing / learning from other’s nutritional experiences.

      Best wishes…

    • Anonymous
      January 18, 2007 at 10:09 am

      We are supplementing the whole family in this northern latitude (9 miles from Canada). We found a 5000 gel cap and take every other day. Good idea to take with some fat. It’s easy to take the cap apart and sprinkle the powder over a piece of toast with some soy marg. You don’t even taste it. Personally, I have a problem taking something made from the liver of any animal.