Consequences of long-term Vitamin D Deficiency

Finding a Vitamin D source

Finding a Vitamin D source

In a recent post on Daily Strength’s Rheumatoid Arthritis group, a support group I frequently visit, someone posted the question, “What do we know about Vitamin D and RA?”. Many responded that they had been tested and had low levels of Vitamin D. One person in particular stated, “My doctor was saying the Vitamin D issue with me is beyond getting sunshine or eating fish. I’m prescribed 60,000 IU every other day when the recommended daily amount is 400-800 IU a day. There’s clearly something blocking the absorption of this vitamin. Other RA sufferers may have this trouble metabolizing it or absorbing it as well.”

“According to a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 75 percent of Americans do not get enough Vitamin D. Researchers have found that the deficiency may negatively impact immune function and cardiovascular health and increase cancer risk. Now, a University of Missouri nutritional sciences researcher has found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with inflammation, a negative response of the immune system, in healthy women.”-Science Daily

“What are the consequences of long-term vitamin D deficiency? The answer to this question has become increasingly clear in the past few years. Actually, the first evidence in support of sun exposure as a source of vitamin D was published in 1941 by Apperly, who showed in the journal Cancer Research that cancers of various types were much less frequent in populations that lived closer to the equator. Since then, additional research has shown that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for breast cancer, prostate cancer, and numerous autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type-1 diabetes. The most convincing study ever published on this topic was authored by Hypponen and colleagues in the November 2001 issue of The Lancet. In this remarkable study, the investigators administered 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day to more than 10,000 infants, who were supposed to receive the vitamin D supplement every day for the first entire year of life. Thereafter, the risk of developing type-1 diabetes was calculated and a dose-response relationship was established. The results showed a positive dose-response relationship: the more regularly vitamin D was consumed, the greater the protection afforded against the development of type-1 diabetes. Children who were given vitamin D supplements on a regular basis had their risk of type-1 diabetes reduced by an amazing 88 percent! No adverse effects were noted.”-Nutritional Wellness

For Rheumatoid Arthritis, an inflammatory condition, people often produce too much tnf, a cytokine. Biologics like Enbrel work by blocking tnf protein. Enbrel blocks the action of tnf. According to Science Daily, Vitamin D also plays a role in tnf.

“Increased concentrations of serum TNF-α, an inflammatory marker, were found in women who had insufficient vitamin D levels. This study is the first to find an inverse relationship between vitamin D levels and concentrations of TNF-α in a healthy, non-diseased population. This may explain the vitamin’s role in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory diseases, including heart disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.”

Need more proof? Three clinical trials have documented an anti-inflammatory benefit of vitamin D supplementation, suggesting that vitamin D may be used as part of a comprehensive approach for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory disorders.5,6 In one of the studies, a modest dose of vitamin D reduced blood levels of C-reactive protein by 23 percent, which is remarkable considering that CRP is considered one of the most sensitive markers for predicting the risk of cardiovascular disease.”-Nutritional Wellness

If you’d like to read more about Vitamin D3’s role on Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis and more………(LINK)

The Truth about Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is a rare autoimmune disease that many people have never heard of. But if you were a fan of Bernie Mac, then you may know he died of a lung disorder.

Actor Bernie Mac, 50, Dies from Sarcoidosis

Actor Bernie Mac, 50, Dies from Sarcoidosis

Although Sarcoidosis is usually not fatal, award-winning journalist, reporter, anchor and producer, Diane Rutherford knows first hand how for some people, Sarcoidosis becomes a serious disease. Her father died three years ago. Diane has used her position to promote awareness.

“An inflammatory disease, which can affect many parts of the body, sarcoidosis has no known cause or cure. According to the National Institutes of Health, the mysterious inflammation produces tiny lumps of cells called granulomas, which resemble grains of sand. If these grains multiply and merge, they can create groups of lumps. If numerous lumps form in an organ, they can affect that part of the body. That’s when symptoms crop up. Because the illness can involve a variety of age groups, multiple organs and a myriad of symptoms, sarcoid is sometimes initially mistaken for other diseases.”

I first became aware of Sarcoidosis when I was pouring over information about Rheumatoid Arthritis, which I have. I became specifically intrigued with Sarcoid Arthritis and wondered if I had been misdiagnosed which happens often. As with many diseases, sometimes it takes years to know for sure what illness you are suffering from since diseases often overlap in symptoms.

Diane has done a wonderful job educating the public on Sarcoidosis. She has three Youtube videos where she explains the details of this disease.

 

Although Sarcoidosis is usually not fatal and often heals naturally, “a lot of patients do have symptoms that can last months or even years if the granulomas spread and cause scarring in the organs.”

Prednisone is often prescribed for autoimmune diseases, including Sarcoidosis. Though it’s an anti-inflammatory, it’s also a steroid which can cause horrible side effects. Hypertension, Bone loss, Diabetes and Cataracts are some of those side effects, just to name a few. Prednisone does not cure autoimmune diseases, but can help alleviate symptoms.

This is one of those times that I can’t help but mention Serracor-NK. I wonder if Serracor-NK could help people with Sarcoidosis. It only seems logical that it could, since Serracor-NK not only helps with inflammatory diseases, but also with Pulmonary Fibrosis, a condition that scars the lungs. With Prednisone as an unappealing option of treatment for Sarcoidosis, it seems the logical step would be to give Serracor-NK a try.

What traditional medications have I tried?

Just to get the ball rolling, I figured I would mention the medications I have tried so far.

I was on prednisone for a year and methotrexate even longer. These drugs helped me to function again. I admit though, I never let my doctor prescribe more than 10mg of prednisone. I didn’t have insurance when RA first began and the doctor at that time gave me an endless supply. So every day I took 10mg. When I finally saw a rheumatologist four months later, he wanted me OFF the prednisone. He was worried about my health, said it lead to diabetes. At the time I was more worried about functioning, and less worried about long term health. So my doctor and I agreed that I would start methotrexate and wean off. Needless to say, it took an entire year to wean off just 10mg because every time I lessened it, even just 1mg, my fingers would swell up like sausages again, and I’d have trouble walking. Even my nose developed a lump! The methotrexate did in fact make me more functional, but my body was continually deteriorating, developing nodules, and my fingers were ever so slowly turning outward.

Not to go into details, but I had a surgery which took me off of methotrexate and when I went back on mtx, it stopped working as well as it had, which wasn’t that great to begin with. I didn’t want to raise the dose because I had somewhat bad side effects from it. I guess the side effects weren’t worse than the norm, but maybe they were. I always felt like I “flared” the day after mtx, meaning I’d be more swollen, and my hair was always falling out more than I was comfortable with. This was a daily reminder that I was sick. So the whole thing made me dread my weekends (mtx day) and I always felt very depressed.
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