Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Lack of Vitamin D and autoimmune diseases

Lack of Vitamin D and autoimmune diseases

Since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and going through all of the questions that we tend to ask ourselves, if no other members of our families have been diagnosed with the same condition, such as:

* What has caused me to develop this?

* I thought my diet was reasonably healthy so why has my body developed autoimmune disease?

* Will I ever feel any better than this?

* I wonder if the odd currant bun will cause me problems - they don't appear to - so perhaps I can go on eating them as long as I only have them occasionally?

And so on and so forth ....

Then added to this the yearning of ordinary food and not having to worry about every tiny thing that goes into the mouth. And, in a sense, grieving for life that was, food that was - carefree - munching of cream cakes and chocolate bars!

The one thing that has changed for me, is the amount and the volumes of articles that I have read (and am still reading) firstly, to fully understand my condition and secondly, to try and improve it to the point when apart from my intake of anything other than gluten, I can feel whole, repaired, normal and healthy.

With this in mind - I go out of my way to make sure that I never eat any form of gluten - for I never want to feel as ill as I did at Christmas. Then I ate one small slice of 'gluten free' Christmas cake - it looked magnificent standing in snow white icing - decorated better than my Christmas tree ..... but oh - it made me so very ill - and since then - I am most particular about all of my food - every molecule of it - and knowingly, I will never eat gluten ever again!!!!!

There has been much research done of late regarding how a shortage of Vitamin D can be a trigger for the onset of autoimmune disease. Perhaps that is why I developed Coeliac Disease ... all those careful campaigns warning people to cover up - stay out of the sun - when if we holiday in Britain - how much sun do we really experience? Especially if we do not sunbathe - just like to walk, explore, garden. etc?

I read with interest Alice Roberts article in the Guardian Newspaper, which I thought was very informative as it explains how sunlight is used to convert Vitamin D in the body. For those who missed the article and would be interested here is the link:

A further article by Aberdeen University may also prove interesting:

5 Replies

Singing my song here!

North East England (where I currently reside) is at the same Latitude as Anchorage in Alaska. I bet they don't completely cover themselves in sunscreen in Anchorage. this far north we need a minimum of 10 minutes sun exposure WITHIUT sunscreen per day from April to October to establish good enough VIt D levels to get us through the winter. the further north you are the longer you need. All to do with the angle at which the suns rays hit the ground, physics and such stuff I believe. I see kids with rickets at least once per month in our endocrine clinics here and not all of them are asian in origin; if you have darker skin you need even MORE sun exposure to get good levels.


It may also be useful for reader to read other posts on the forum about Vitamin D here:


After reading jackieO's comment about Alaska I had a look at vitamin D and the Inuit population. They didn't sunbathe to get their vit D but got it from their traditional food, rickets are now seen because of the 'westernisation 'of their diets.

"Blubber from whales and seals contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.[11] Without the vitamin D, for example, the Inuit and other natives of the Arctic would likely suffer from rickets. There is evidence blubber and other fats in the arctic diet also provide the calories needed to replace the lack of carbohydrates found in the diets of cultures in the rest of the world.[12]"

In the UK we traditionally cooked in lard, a fat which is a good source of vitamin D, until about 40 years ago when some very dodgy 'science' convinced us that fat was a bad thing.


Hi Penel, Thanks for adding the extra link, which I found very interesting. There are many articles that uphold this particular theory that fat doesn't make body fat and that all of the obese situation of today is caused wholly by sugars and carbohydrates. This does make sense as modern sugars and carbs are highly processed and have been so messed with that our bodies probably do not recognise many of them as food.

The one thing I will say though is that the lard that was used to cook with when I was a child was different to the lard of today - you could buy lard without preservatives and additives - unprocessed lard. So, probably the nearest we have to natural fat today is butter and perhaps coconut oil - these are both naturally solid fats that soften in heat. Although we used lard through the early part of the last Century right up until the early 1970's - there were still cases of rickets. It was commonplace to see people with 'bandy' legs almost resembling those of a chimpanzee when they walk in an upright position. I think the Inuit, beside animal blubber probably ate offal in the form of liver to get large portions of their vitamin A and vitamin D.

In this country it took milk and cod liver oil given daily to help to irradicate rickets. I was given glasses of milk at home, hot milky drinks before bed and every child had both milk in school and daily spoonfuls of cod liver oil and little bottles of orange juice for Vitamin C .. I remember it well. At the same time children played outside far more often than is usual today. I think hours and hours of homework both after school, weekends and holidays haven't helped the children of today to get good doses of sunshine Vitamin D.

Here is a Health Report on Vitamin D - I would recommend everyone to take a good look at it and check out all of the diagrams - it really brings it home as to how we can potentially develop all kinds of ailments, including autoimmune disease because of lack of this Vitamin. Surprisingly one of the things listed as developing is obesity:


Besides adding the Public Health Review:

Here is a further article that contains a list of conditions that are caused or made worse by vitamin D deficiencies:


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