I keep reading posts here to get vitamin D levels checked. I was moderately deficient in July, given a prescription of 50000 IU once a week for three months, which sounded huge to me. Apparently, that's normal protocol if you're low. After 3 months my level got to 31 and I was told to take 5000 IU daily. I woke up today and thought maybe joint pain and excess Vitamin D were related. I found they are, which could account for some of the worse pain. Also, I found bone pain was related to excess Vitamin D. I have that too sometimes. Since July, at the advice of my GP I have radically changed my diet. I've lost about 16 pounds. I drinks lots of almond milk, eat vegetables as one should and have a very good diet now. I was thinking that the daily 5000 IU might be too much now. Apparently the RDA is well under 1000, and that counts food and supplements. I don't have a definitive diagnosis yet, but RA seems quite probable. I have all the symptoms. I'm wondering what your experiences are and what you know about Vitamin D.
What role does vitamin D have and how much is too much? - NRAS
Do check whether you are being prescribed D2 or D3, as there's a difference in potency. And the measurement unit for vit D can really trip you up - well it has me as teeny writing make it easy to mistake IU for Ug.
The base line for RDA is 4OO but 1000 is acceptable for us according to many sources. I am prescribed more as I can't retain it, so have 100,000 every two weeks at the moment. I can feel it if I drop too low as I start feeling rubbish.
I don't know. Good question, but apparently people with RA tend to be deficient. I get a lot in my diet, then have a multivitamin and the 5000 on top of that. After my prescription for 3 months of 50,000 a week my value went from 15 to 31, which is on the lower end of normal. Thinking maybe the higher end of normal me be better.
Ironically I responded to a Vit D question yesterday.
I had to take 3000IUS of Vit D3 a day when I was initially diagnosed, as my count was rather low. I asked the Prof Rheumatologist at the time a number of questions, here are his answers to my queries:
1 - there is a tendency for those with RA to be low in Vit D
2 - count should be a minimum of 50
3 - ideally those with RA should keep there count between 75 - 100
4 - if you are on a 'high' dose then don't take your day's dose all in one go, space out over the day to maximize uptake
5 - and this one is from me - avoid caffeinated beverages around the time you take your vits as caffeine reduces the uptake in the gut
In my case I had blood tests every couple of months to make sure I hit the right levels and was not exceeding dosage.
I would find it impossible to get enough Vit D through my diet + from sunshine. This would involve me eating oily fish everyday and lying in the sun till I burnt.
You are right when you say the recommended dose is much lower but as for me I am no longer 'joe bloggs' but I am 'joe RA bloggs'. Which means I must supplement.
When last checked I was normal. I had been deficient. Took a prescription for 3 months and that fixed it. My GP told me to take the 5000IU a day, which I thought might be too much. Though she might be trying to get me into a high range of normal. Or maybe I need that much. Consensus here seems to be that 5000 isn't excessive.
Actually new research on vit.D and RA are hypothysing there is a cortisol resistence in RA which shows up as high cortisol levels that still do not stop the inflammation ( which it normally does). In studies with mice it has been shown that vit. D actually decreases this resistence giving the cortisol a chance to decrease inflammation. Low vit.D levels in RA are well documented, so there may really be a connextion here. Anyways more vitD should decrease your pain not increase it. Simba