Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vitamin D and RA

Got vitamin D in you? If you don't know how much vitamin D you currently have in your body, you should ask your doctor to test you for your vitamin D level.  It isn't just a question of calcium absorption anymore, vitamin D has been linked to a lot more…a whole lot more.

Vitamin D, or rather the lack of vitamin D, has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis and a host of other autoimmune illnesses.  I wouldn't recommend that you just start taking vitamin D as the body does accumulate it and too much vitamin D can do damage to your kidneys. But having a lack of vitamin D isn't a good thing either.

Ironically it wasn't until I had a calcium and vitamin D test done that i discovered just how important vitamin D is to our bodies.  

I was shocked to learn that according to webmd,  vitamin D "not only promotes strong bone health but that low levels of vitamin D are linked to type 1 diabetes, bone pain, cancers of the breast, colon, prostrate, ovaries, esophagus and lymphatic system.  If you want to lower your blood pressure, vitamin D may be just what the doctor ordered. If you're trying to reduce your risk of diabetes, or lower your chances of heart attacks, rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis, then vitamin D should be at the front of the line in your daily supplement regimen."

Science Daily reported on a recent study linking rheumatoid arthritis to vitamin D deficiency. In this study, "women in states like Vermont, New Hampshire and southern Maine were more likely to report being diagnosed with RA. There's less sunlight in these areas, which results in a vitamin D deficiency."

In a study conducted in 2004, pub med.gov reported "Vitamin D intake is inversely associated with rheumatoid arthritis."  My first thought on this was, "Why didn't any of my rheumatologists test me earlier then 2010?" It took my endocrinologist to test me for a vitamin D deficiency.

Similarly, a new study published in Rheumatology International showed that vitamin D levels decreased significantly in ra patients with disease activity and the patients ability to function.

And if you are on long term pregnisone use...heads up...pregnisone can cause low levels of vitamin D also.

I am writing this blog in the hopes of helping anyone with ra. I am not a doctor and I never professed to be one, but I do have a lot of common sense and I am driven to live the highest quality of life I can with my ra.

If you haven't already been tested for your vitamin D levels and you have ra or suspect that you might have any autoimmune disorder, high blood pressure, diabetes, or cancer of any kind….please ask your doctor about being tested or at the very least, the importance of vitamin D in relation to your own personal health.  I figure it can't hurt. All it might do is help you realize that you need more vitamin D and who knows what that might help….potentially an awful lot from what I have read.