An important read from the National Academy of Hypothyroidism regarding how Vitamin D deficiency can lead to developing Hashimotos Thyroiditis. http://nahypothyroidism.org/vitamin-d-deficiency-linked-to-hashimotos-thyroiditis/
Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Hashimoto’s ThyroiditisPosted on
April 28, 2013 by Kent Holtorf M.D.
Recent research on the relationship between vitamin-D deficiency and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis might give you good reason to spend more time in the sun. Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating our immune system. Research has established a direct association between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Type 1 Diabetes. Now, researchers in Turkey have compelling evidence that a deficiency in vitamin D might lead to the development of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.
Does low vitamin D trigger Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?
In a cross-sectional study of 540 people, researchers looked at levels of vitamin D 25-hydroxy, as well as anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) and anti-thyroglobulin (anti-TG). They found that patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis had lower levels of vitamin D 25-hydroxy compared to patients with stable hypothyroidism and those in a healthy control group. The vitamin D 25-hydroxy test is the most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in the body.
Researchers also found that levels of vitamin D 25-hydroxy were directly related to the size of the thyroid. Patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis often experience swelling in the thyroid, known as a goiter. The study also showed that levels of anti-TPO and anti-TG were directly related to levels vitamin D 25-hydroxy. The lower the vitamin D 25-hydroxy levels, the higher the anti-thyroid antibodies.
The results of the study suggest that there might be a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and development of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is also possible that there is a relation between the severity of vitamin D deficiency and progression of thyroid damage.
Study reveals low vitamin D in children with Hashimoto’s disease
In a second, unrelated study, researchers investigated vitamin D levels in children with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and found a significantly higher rate of vitamin D deficiency was found in children with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, at 73.1%, compared to healthy children, at 17.6%. As in the study above, children with lower levels of vitamin D 25-hydroxy were also shown to have higher levels of anti-TPO. From the results of the study, researchers concluded that vitamin D deficiency might play a role in the autoimmune process in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in children.
Am I getting enough vitamin D?
For a number of reasons, many people aren’t getting enough vitamin D to stay healthy. Chronic stress, pesticides, and plastics can reduce vitamin D levels in your body. And while we all hear that we can get vitamin D from sunshine, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sunshine produces both UVA and UBV rays. While UVB rays can help your body produce vitamin D, UVA rays break down vitamin D. Wearing sunscreen also appears to block vitamin D-producing rays.
The only real way to know if your vitamin D levels are optimal is to have a blood test, which your doctor can order. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are often vague, and can include tiredness and general aches and pains. But some people have no symptoms at all.
How can I get more vitamin D?
Again, sunshine can help our bodies produce vitamin D, but the process isn’t optimal. Vitamin D can also be obtained through foods such as cod liver oil, fatty fish, beef liver, oysters, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified cereals, dairy and soy products.
But the best way to get enough vitamin D is to take supplements. We find that supplements containing 5,000 to 15,000 IU taken daily can make a big difference and bring your vitamin D to an optimal level. We find that patients get the most benefit when their levels are above 80 ng/mL.
If you think you may be deficient in vitamin D, talk with your doctor. Vitamin D has been found to reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes, improve immunity, reduce bone loss, and more. So get outside and soak up some vitamin D!