A Look at the News
As we come to the close of 2013, I spent some time cursing through the headlines, while I was poking around I found a headline on vitamin D. No surprise there, as I was on the vitamin D councils website. Hahaha Just the same this particular headline caught my attention because it pertained to thyroid health.
Study: Link between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune thyroid disease – Posted on December 21, 2013 Vitamin D Council
Over the years I have mentioned the growing connection with auto-immune illnesses and vitamin D deficiency. Each year I encounter more clients especially women over 50 who have unexplained pain, elevated cholesterol, fatigue and water retention. Their primary care provider orders the standard lab tests, and finds little to warrant the patient’s complaints. The current standard of care and the Obamacare fiasco limit what labs an allopathic provider may order. This is often times the case with vitamin D and thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO).
According to the vitamin D council, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and Crohn’s disease, with studies finding a higher prevalence of these diseases in those who are deficient in vitamin D. However, to date, the link between vitamin D and autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) has been less clear.
To me it made sense that if a growing list of auto-immune illnesses were already linked to low vitamin D, so would (AITD)Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Recently, researchers out of University of Ulsan College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, showed the relationship between AITD and autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s, where the body mistakenly sees the thyroid and the hormones it produces as threats. Some signs and symptoms on the surface are not any different from the garden-variety hypothyroid dysfunction; they include fatigue, weight gain, difficulty concentrating, drowsiness and muscle soreness.
These symptoms also are the same for low vitamin D, progesterone, non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), and adrenal fatigue.
In the present study, researchers looked at vitamin D levels, and how they correlated with the presence of the antibody TPO-Ab. Presence of TPO-Ab signals that the body has or has had an attack on the thyroid gland. Many doctors believe AITD is rare, and then once they find it do not have an effective treatment protocol until they throid has been significantly damaged.
What the researchers found is people who were deficient in vitamin D, (21.2% severely vitamin D deficient) more likely to have positive TPO-Ab tests. The researchers calculated those severely deficient in vitamin D had twice as high the risk of developing AITD.
So in a nutshell – have your TPO and vitamin D levels checked if you have thyroid disease to be sure you are not developing an auto-immune disease. If you have an auto-immune disease, have them checked and take appropriate nutrients and bio-identical thyroid through an integrative provider and compounding pharmacist.
How much is too much?
I routinely receive looks of dismay, when I show clients how much vitamin D is recommended in the research literature for a given health challenge. Some individuals like myself, have to take higher doses than others, but the average recommendation from an allopathic model is 400iu – 1000iu, these respectively are too low to be of value to a breast cancer, auto-Immune, osteoporosis or heart condition client with lab values of 30ng/dl or less. Although most people take vitamin D supplements without any problems, it is possible to take too much. Vitamin D toxicity, usually happens if you take 40,000 IU per day for several months or longer, or take a very large one-time dose.
When your D levels are too high, this may cause high levels of calcium to develop in your blood. High blood calcium is a condition called hypercalcemia.
The symptoms of hypercalcemia include:
- feeling sick or being sick
- poor appetite or loss of appetite
- feeling very thirsty
- passing urine often
- constipation or diarrhea
- abdominal pain
- muscle weakness or pain
- feeling confused
- feeling tired
In some rare diseases, you may be at risk of hypercalcemia even if you have low vitamin D levels and don’t take much vitamin D. These diseases include primary hyperparathyroidism, and sarcoidosis.
To Your Good Health and A Blessed New Year.