A Healthy Dose of Vitamin D for Autoimmune Disease

During my first appointment with my specialist, he recommended I start taking Vitamin D for my autoimmune disease along with my other medications. I didn’t really know what it was for, I just did what I was instructed to do.

I’ve talked about all the different medications and treatments I’ve used to manage my myasthenia gravis like prednisone, mestinon and IVIg. Now I want to dig in to some vitamins and supplements that may be beneficial for autoimmune diseases.

The Link between Vitamin D and Autoimmune Diseases

Vitamin D is most known for bone health. You’ve seen those milk commercials claiming that drinking milk will give you strong bones because they fortify it with Vitamin D. But Vitamin D also plays a part in mood regulation, brain health and sleep quality.

That’s not all. There has been a lot of buzz recently championing Vitamin D for autoimmune diseases. Did you know that a shared characteristic among many autoimmune patients is a Vitamin D deficiency? Inflammation, (a common symptom in all chronic illnesses) is reduced with adequate levels of vitamin D.

How does Vitamin D Affect the Immune System

Vitamin D plays a role in regulatory T cells. T cells are the “killers” of the immune system. They decide whether to attack and promote inflammation in the body

T cells need Vitamin D to activate and if levels aren’t adequate the cells will not be able to react and fight off serious infections in the body.

In 2016, there was a case study done where a patient with myasthenia gravis actually went into remission after a high dose of Vitamin D. I have no clue what follow on trials have been conducted but if it’s as simple as a high dose of vitamin d to manage my autoimmune disease sign me up!

Ways to Get More Vitamin D

I gave you all this information and now you’re like wow! I gotta get more Vitamin D for my autoimmune disease. But how?

  1. Sunshine. Our bodies are designed to process Vitamin D from natural sunlight. No shock that we’re deficient. We spend less time outdoors than prior generations.
  2. Try to get 20 to 60 minutes of sun on your skin per day, depending on your skin tone and latitude. The more skin exposed, the more Vitamin D your body will naturally produce. (Don’t forget the sunscreen)
  3. Food. Adding foods high in vitamin D to your diet is another way to attack. Some good foods full of vitamin D are salmon (my personal fav), mackerel, tuna, sardines, and egg yolks.
  4. Supplements. I also take Vitamin D supplements for my autoimmune disease. There are two forms, D2 and D3. I don’t have all the details as far as which is better but my specialist told me D3 is more effective in raising vitamin D levels. I take my supplement in a gel form 5000ui/ daily. But talk with your doctor about appropriate dosage for you.

Please note that I am in no way saying that Vitamin D deficiency causes autoimmune diseases. I’m simply stating there’s a correlation and there are ways to address it.

Are you familiar with the link between Vitamin D and autoimmune diseases? Have you talked to you Dr about it? What’s your preferred method of upping your Vitamin D dosage? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Morg
Morg

Morgan Greene is a Maryland chronic illness and holistic wellness lifestyle blogger. After years of struggling with her autoimmune disease diagnosis, Myasthenia Gravis, she decided to combine two of her favorite things…writing and informing others

IsWasWillBe.com was created to have unfiltered discussions about having a chronic illness. It has since become a place to inspire and create a sense of community among women with autoimmune diseases. Morgan loves trying new things and sharing with other spoonies how to live an ill life on their terms.

When she’s not blogging she is probably reading a book, drinking a Coke Slurpee or listening to music.

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