Vitamin D is well-known for its importance in managing calcium in the gut, Merritt Island Wildlife Removal bones, and blood and disease resistance. But many studies now show vitamin D levels influence may be a contributing factor in a number of other health issues also.
Researchers today believe it plays a crucial role in how cells communicate. Clinical studies link abnormal vitamin D levels to colon cancer, prostate, and breast cancer as well as heart disease, weight gain, and thyroid conditions.
Vitamin D Production
Vitamin D is unique compared to other vitamins, since it is almost impossible to get what you need from food. Instead, your body produces it naturally in the skin when you are exposed to natural or artificial UVB light.
Once your body produces vitamin D or you take it as a supplement, it’s sent to the liver. The liver transforms vitamin D to 25(OH)D and sends it various regions of the body and activates it. Once activated, it’s ready to perform its duties.
Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system treats a person’s healthy tissues and cells as a threat. When this occurs, their body produces an immune response and attacks. This response can lead to damage, inflammation, and chronic pain in many parts of the body.
Vitamin D deficiencies may lower the body’s ability to resist infection and may link to cause autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Grave’s Disease.
Several 2014 studies presented at the yearly meeting of the Thyroid Association are of special interest. Researchers measured many thyroid-related aspects including vitamin D3.
Vitamin D is actually a group of chemicals classified vitamin D1, D2, and D3. Vitamin D3 is the naturally occurring form of the vitamin and also the most biologically active.
Researchers found patients with autoimmune thyroid disorder had significantly lower vitamin D3 levels compared to healthy controls. Patients with high thyroid peroxidase antibodies the body produces in thyroid autoimmune disease also had lower vitamin D levels. This suggests vitamin D insufficiency could link to cause autoimmune thyroid disorder.
Lack of Vitamin D
Typically, the skin produces sufficient vitamin D when exposed to sufficient UV light. However, the risks of skin cancer or melanoma now mean many individuals use sunscreen and cover their bodies. We also spend more time inside for work and entertainment.
Since more clinical tests show a connection between vitamin D and thyroid function, many doctors now recommend vitamin D testing as part of thyroid evaluation and attention. Nonetheless, operational professionals and doctors following the medical model may treat you differently based on your results.
Medical Model vs Functional Model
They also define a sufficient serum 25(OH)D level as over 50 nmol/L since it “covers the requirements of 97.5 percent of the population”. The test used to measure vitamin D levels in the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.
The medical version usually recommends supplementation to boost low vitamin D levels. However, the practical approach to care recognizes multiple reasons might cause low vitamin D levels. Consequently, recommending supplements prior to taking a look at overall health and other potential issues can be ineffective and counterproductive.
Supplements do not always correct low vitamin D levels, because they don’t address underlying problems. The vitamin D receptor in some autoimmune patients can’t activate due to variations in their DNA sequence. Consequently, they need higher than normal blood levels of vitamin D to avoid vitamin D insufficiency.
Autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease also make the immune system work overtime, which depletes the body’s stores of vitamin D. Therefore, addressing gut and digestive issues and modulating the immune system are of main significance prior to considering vitamin D supplementation.
A highly qualified functional practitioner will look over your gut and digestive health and if they’re satisfied, they may order a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test for your vitamin D levels.
Your practitioner may recommend supplementation to reach between 60 and 80 nmol/L. This remains well below the 125 nmol/L threshold where a patient might experience adverse effects. After several months, they will retest. If their serum level climbed to an acceptable level, the doctor will fix vitamin D intake so serum levels stay between 50 and 60 nmol/L.
Vitamin D insufficiency is just one factor that can contribute to thyroid issues, so self-supplementation is not recommended as it can be ineffective if underlying problems remain. Discuss your thyroid issues with a practical practitioner to develop an effective treatment protocol.