- The autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis does not always have to be the result of leaky gut syndrome or viral infections and hormonal changes. It is not uncommon for chronic thyroid inflammation to be due to a pronounced vitamin D deficiency, in which the body lacks the important vitamin D. It will therefore be essential for all those affected to have their vitamin D content determined in order to be able to take countermeasures if necessary.
What is special about vitamin D?
Vitamin D3, which basically requires vitamin D in order to be able to exist in its form at all, is actually not a vitamin in the conventional sense. Because this sun vitamin is correctly a pro-hormone, which forms the precursor to a hormone.
The special feature of vitamin D is that although we do not have it in our body, it can be formed by our organism itself through metabolism. However, this doesn’t happen just like that, but according to a strict timetable, if you will.
- In the first step, provitamin 7, dehydrocholesterol, is formed from the fat molecule cholesterol in the liver.
- In the second step, this provitamin is transported into our skin cells and stored there.
- Now it needs direct sunlight on our skin to create vitamin D3. So photosynthesis takes place.
- In the next step and when our skin is heated by the sun, vitamin D3, which is not heat-resistant, is converted again. It now becomes cholecalciferol, its own precursor.
- Finally, the early stage vitamin D3 is transported back to the liver, where it is converted into free calcidiol and stored.
Note: The more calcidiol that can be enriched in our body in this way, the easier it is to detect vitamin D3 in the blood. In addition, our body’s vitamin D store is much larger.
However, the conversion process of vitamin D3 is only finally complete when the calcidiol is transported into the kidneys. Only there does it become calcitriol, the actual vitamin D3 hormone. However, this only happens when necessary, i.e. when there is not enough of this pro-hormone in our body.
What are the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency?
In recent decades, research has repeatedly dealt with the effects of vitamin D and thus vitamin D3 on the human organism. It has long been proven that it is required for almost all types of tissue, organs and metabolism. It has a positive effect in all areas. Conversely, a vitamin D3 deficiency can never be good, as can be seen from the following symptoms and secondary diseases:
- Pain, mainly in knees and back
- sleep disorders
- Muscle weakness and frequent muscle cramps
- Persistent fatigue
- skin problems
- hair loss
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Frequent infections
- difficulty concentrating
In addition to these symptoms, it has now been proven that long-term and serious diseases can quickly be derived from a vitamin D deficiency:
- Autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- heart failure
- high blood pressure
- Depression or at least severe mood swings
- mental illnesses such as dementia, psychoses and personality disorders
- Diseases of the skeleton and nerve cells, such as osteoporosis, tetany or epilepsy
In addition, a lack of vitamin D can make us more likely to suffer from chronic inflammation, as well as colds and infections.
Can Vitamin D Help Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
according to dr Berndt Rieger, who has been committed to the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis for years, reports on his website that basically every Hashimoto’s patient has extremely low levels of vitamin D in the blood.
He believes that the sole administration of high-dose D in the form of dietary supplements is sufficient for many patients to provide a healing boost and free the patients from the disease. According to his experience, the TPO antibodies should decrease when taking vitamin D, the condition should improve significantly and the shape of the thyroid gland should normalize in the ultrasound.
The biochemist and molecular biotechnologist Martin Auerswald does not only see a small problem in a vitamin D deficiency, but is also of the opinion that a lack of vitamin D is a cause for the development of the autoimmune disease Hashimoto ‘s thyroiditis.
The reason for this is that autoimmune diseases originate in the gut. Inflammation and poorly reproducing intestinal cells due to a lack of growth factors such as vitamin D cause leaky gut and ultimately lead to autoimmune diseases.
On the one hand, vitamin D has strong anti-inflammatory properties and, on the other hand, it is an important growth factor for intestinal cells and ensures that intestinal cells can regrow in larger numbers than they die off.
Vitamin D also ensures that regulatory T cells and M2 macrophages, which as immune cells are able to suppress inflammation, become active and can grow better.
All very good reasons to take a closer look at your personal vitamin D levels.
How can a vitamin D deficiency be compensated?
You can basically only compensate for a possible lack of vitamin D by supplying your body with vitamin D through food and exposure to the sun. But only a few foods contain this vitamin. For example, mackerel, salmon, herring and egg yolk are good sources of vitamin D. But you can only get 2 to 4 micrograms of vitamin D with it.
The other way would be to stay outdoors and in the sun if possible. You should know that even with a cloudy sky, a lot of vitamin D can be absorbed through the skin, because the UV radiation is initially crucial.
As an alternative to these two natural ways, there is also the option of using appropriate vitamin preparations as dietary supplements to prevent vitamin D deficiency.
Besides, there is no need to worry about overdosing. This is practically impossible to do naturally. However, if you use vitamin supplements, you should definitely consult your doctor and let him determine the dosage.
How Much Vitamin D Should You Take Daily?
In Germany, there is currently a recommended upper limit of 800 IU/day (20 µg) for people between the ages of 10 and 70. However, this maximum limit is set very low and often does not lead to the desired results.
In the USA, the maximum daily dose of vitamin D is 4000 IU (100 µg) per day. This dosage, taken daily for months, increases the vitamin D concentration in the blood as desired and alleviates the symptoms mentioned.
When is a vitamin D deficiency present?
An optimal vitamin D level is 25-OH vitamin D levels between 30 – 50 µg/l. The following table provides a precise overview of the supply:
< 5 severe vitamin D deficiency 5 – 10 severe vitamin D deficiency 10 – 20 Vitamin D deficiency 20 – 30 lower normal range 30 – 50 optimal vitamin D level 50 – 70 upper norm, only achievable by substitution 70 – 150 overdosed substitution > 150 Vitamin-D-Intoxikation Classification of the vitamin D supply for 25-OH vitamin D in µg/l
Note: A visit to the solarium can be an alternative if there are not that many hours of sunshine that you could use, especially in the cold season. However, this is only sufficient if the entire spectrum of ultraviolet light is available on the sunbed. However, if there is only UV-A radiation, vitamin D3 synthesis cannot be triggered.
Vitamin D is probably the most important vitamin that the body needs to function properly. In addition to various other effects on our human organism, a lack of vitamin D is definitely one of the main reasons why someone develops an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Therefore, you should always make sure that the vitamin D content in your blood never drops too far and instead replenish the sun hormone regularly.