Supplementing vitamin D3

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As we get ready for winter, which also means cold and flu season, it’s time to start boosting our immune systems! The best prevention of illness is a healthy immune system, which also helps you recover from illness faster. Due to my healthI find that supplementing vitamin D3 for autoimmune disorders has helped me feel my best during this season.

supplementing vitamin d3 for autoimmune disorders

What if you have an autoimmune disorder?

An autoimmune disorder is where the body has an abnormal immune response to substances or tissue in the body and begins to attack itself. Different conditions react to different substances and body parts, for instance, Hashimoto’s and Grave’s diseases attack the thyroid.

Basically, you are already at a disadvantage with a compromised immune system if you have an autoimmune condition. This means it’s super important for you to make sure you are building up your body during the winter months without overstimulating the immune system (as can happen with some immune boosting herbs). Good nutrition is the best way to start, but some of us need more than that for our bodies, especially during times of stress.

If you have an autoimmune disorder then you more than likely have a compromised gut (meaning that your digestive system isn’t functioning as well as it could, allowing particles into the bloodstream and/or not absorbing nutrients well). A great majority of our immune system is housed in our gut. It is not uncommon for a person with an autoimmune disorder to have trouble absorbing minerals and vitamins because of this reason.

A common vitamin that is often found to be low with people with autoimmune disorders is vitamin D.

Why we need Vitamin D

Vitamin D stimulates the immune system to get rid of waste in the body.

Vitamin D3 also helps to regulate something known as T cells (cells that build your long-term immunity). These T cells are important in helping build a strong immune system and they also help prevent inflammation. Inflammation is a major issue to contend with when dealing with an autoimmune disorder, whether it be your digestive system or your joints, like in arthritis.

Reducing inflammation is always a good thing but it is especially helpful for those individuals that suffer from aches and pains associated with the inflammation.

Depending on where you live, it can be difficult to get enough D3 in your system without the aid of a supplement, especially during the winter months. It is also becoming increasingly common to be lower in vitamin D3 because more and more people spend less time outdoors in the sun without using sunscreen.

Adding Vitamin D3 supplements

In the summer, I make sure to get outside for at least 30 minutes a day to soak up the sun. This means no sunscreen or sleeves so my skin soaks up the sunshine! Not only am I getting my daily dose of D3 but I think the fresh air and sunshine are great at reducing my stress levels and we all need that!

I also supplement Vitamin D3 as we live in a state with a long winter where we get none of this much-needed vitamin about 3-5 months out of the year.

Side note – one thing to be aware of when purchasing vitamin D3 is to get one that does not contain soybean oil as a filler. Nothing is more annoying than buying a new supplement only to discover it has ingredients in there you don’t want in your body.

Optimal vitamin D levels are being shown to help prevent autoimmune disorders as well. Studies are being conducted as to how much vitamin D is needed to help alter the outcome or prevent autoimmune disorders. Recently holistic professionals have recommended that levels between 50 and 75 are optimum, but these levels may be way too high, especially if other biomarkers aren’t in balance!

Before you begin supplementing with vitamin D3, it’s important to get your levels checked by a practitioner that knows how to keep your vitamins and minerals balanced. You don’t want to cause more problems than what you started with and throwing lots of supplements at your body isn’t always the best route.

The safest way to add Vitamin D is through your diet. Consuming foods that contain this fat-soluble vitamin are also going to contain the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to properly absorb and utilize it! Foods like fatty fish (tuna, salmon), fresh milk, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks are great food-based sources to include in your diet each week.

Jessica

Jessica

Jessica loves to learn and share about natural living, from whole foods to herbal remedies. With a desire to take care of her family through natural means, she has spent a lot of time researching and experimenting to find what fits best in her lifestyle. Struggling with her health for a few years after a miscarriage she tested positive for Hashimoto's and is currently working on healing through diet and natural supplements. Jessica started her blog Simply Healthy Home to share her family's journey to being healthy and happy.
Jessica
Jessica
Jessica
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13 Comments

  1. Laurie

    This is good to note and often ignored or barely touched on by mainstream healthcare professionals. I always bump up my D supplementation when the days get short and it’s too cold to expose much skin.

    • Jeanine

      Actually we give 2000 units daily to our elderly mostly women at the nursing home, helps with calcium absorption and prevention or slowing of osteoporosis thus reducing the risk of fractures.

  2. Skye Coddington

    I have been dealing with thyroid/adrenal/inflammation issues for awhile now, and I recently learned something kinda funky. I was experiencing extreme tenderness in/on my sternum whenever I pressed down, and it felt achy in general. After some research I found that that is a sign of vitamin D deficiency, and after a few days of supplementation the tenderness went away. It’s one of the ways I check to see if I need to start supplementing again.

    • Jessica

      That is good to know. I’ll have to pay attention to that since I suffer from those same issues. Thanks for sharing with us!

  3. Kelly @ The Nourishing Home

    Great article, Donielle! I’m sharing it on my FB fan page today. I use a sublingual D supplement nearly daily and it’s really made a huge impact in my overall wellness. Thanks for sharing this! Blessings to you and your family for a Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂 Kelly

  4. jeanne

    What about for children? Is it safe and how much? My 11 year old daughter has been battling psoriasis since she was 3. It gets terrible in the winter. Any thoughts?

    • Priscilla

      Jeanne, I’m sorry to read of the psoriasis, as a parent I know how frustrating that can be…not getting to the solution of what is causing the eczema. Also try Dead Sea Salt (can find online, free shipping, San Francisco Bath Salts or others)…add to a bath & have her soak for 20 minutes, place moisturizer on right after patting skin dry. Moisturizer…best if you use good ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, consider making your own..hard lotion bar. (http://healthimpactnews.com/2012/home-made-coconut-lotion-bars/ Check out (online) Soapers Choice for beeswax and shea butter. Our youngest will be 6 early in 2013, he battled eczema for probably more than 2 years…we saw his skin get completely better once we switched from pasteurized milk to raw milk. I’m amazed at how that change helped so much! Guernsey or Jersey cows are best quality, Holsteins provide quantity. Our oldest has had eczema issues for more than 15 years…he has moved into a new chapter of his life and no longer lives at home & doesn’t have access to raw milk.

  5. Lisa

    I am curious as to what supplements you would suggest. Thanks in advance

    • Donielle Baker

      I personally take 5000IUs of vitamin D3 per day, most days. I got it from my DO and also bought some from Dr. Eisenstien – http://www.shopnps.com/Pro-D/products/3/

      Most health food stores also carry vitamin D3 and you should also be able to find it on amazon.

  6. jENNIFER THOMAS

    This is great information, but where do i purchase the best of vitamin D. prefer organic or no fillers and all that.

    • Jessica

      Hi Jennifer.

      I really like this brand.

      http://www.pureformulas.com/vitamin-d3-liquid-225ml-by-pure-encapsulations.html#sthash.YoxJsFWD.dpbs

      Quoting from their website:

      “Pure Encapsulations is a science-based nutritional supplement manufacturer, who promises its customers that all products contain no artificial colors, fillers, coatings or any excipients that negatively affect the bioavailability of nutrients. On top of that promise, the formulas in every product made by the company do not contain any wheat, gluten, preservatives and hydrogenated oils. Pure Encapsulations vitamins and supplements are hypoallergenic.”

      I like the liquid because I take more than my kids do. The bottle lasts forever only using a few drops a day.

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