Question about vitamin D: Just a "curiosity... - LUPUS UK


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Question about vitamin D

November90 profile image

Just a "curiosity question", really! I've read something about associations between low vitamin D levels and lupus and I don't quite understand whether low vitamin D can be a cause of lupus or a consequence? The reason for my personal interest is that 3 years ago I had very low vitamin D levels (apparently the lowest the nurse had ever seen!!!) and I'm wondering if this could have been an early sign... or symptom... or cause of lupus. The nurse was convinced that I must be housebound and/or very dark-skinned, whereas I'm actually blonde and had just been in Spain for 3 weeks! Once I started taking a mega dose supplement (20,000 units three times a week) it got back to normal and I never had problems with it again...

5 Replies

I was prescribed vitamin D by my previous GP - levels were low , mainly due to advice to avoid too much sun 😀 Thanks to our amazing government I now have to buy these over the counter , but am happy to do so so long as my symptoms stay under control.

Low vitamin d is also correlated with higher incidences of cancer, MS, and a variety of other autoimmune issues.

Correlation is not the same as causation but it might be a good excuse for people to do a bit more research for themselves.

Low vitamin D is associated with many autoimmune disorders and noone really knows if it is cause or effect. However, a study in Finland where they have a very high rate of Type 1 diabetes (which is autoimmune) where they supplemented newborns with vit D resulted in a much lower rate of Type 1 diabetes developing in teenagers. So that suggests that it may be part of the cause of the immune system going wrong. Low vit D is more common as you get further away from the equator and so are some a/i disorders.

Hi - I wasn't feeeling well, I already been diagnosed with mild SLE some years ago, was on medication for it and suddenly began struggling with symptoms again. I mentioned it to the rheumatologist, described the symptoms and she said straight away it sounded like low vit D levels. Blood test and sure enough levels were down.

I then had to take a 24 hour urine sample at home. They gave me a large plastic container with a very convenient plastic bag to put it in to take back the next day on the bus, in the days when I went everywhere by bus. After that sample I had to to hospital over a period of time for vit D capsules not available, so they told me, outside the hospital. Once the high doses were done I was prescribed vit D supplements which I have to take for the rest of my life.

I just don't make vitamin D any more and as far as I know its down to systemic Lupus. No good me walking or sitting in the sun it doesnt do anything for me, as as long as I take the supplement I'm ok.

Paul_Howard profile image

Hi November90,

There has been quite a lot of research into vitamin D levels and autoimmune disease because vit D plays an important role in modulating the immune system. Low levels of vitamin D are often reported in people with lupus and it is therefore recommended that rheumatologists screen for this and provide supplements if needed.

It isn't clear whether vitamin D levels can have role in the development of conditions like lupus or whether they may be a symptom. In many people with lupus vitamin D levels are likely to be of concern because of the need to protect against sun exposure.

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