By Felicia, on April 12th, 2013
I live in the Pacific Northwest. I live in the land of rain and gray. While I love how green my surroundings are, the lack of sunshine can be a real downer. Now the direct correlation between the lack of sun and auto-immune diseases especially Multiple Sclerosis, is down right depressing.
“ MS is a chronic, unpredictable disease that attacks the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord, and is one of more than 100 autoimmune disorders. It can cause symptoms that range from mild numbness in the limbs to tremors, loss of balance and paralysis.” (1) Studies have shown that there is a definite link between the lack of natural vitamin D and auto-immune disorders. ”Nationwide, 100 people out of 100,000 will be diagnosed with MS. But in western Washington, the rate jumps to 150-200 people in every 100,000. In the southern states, the rate is just 50 out of 100,000.” (2)
Kind of freaking me out, what can I do now to prevent this from happening to me? Well, I can’t command the weather but I can give my body vitamin D. The varying vitamin D supplements are not all the same. In fact, you can overdose on vitamin D supplements but not natural vitamin D made from the sun.
”It is not possible to get toxicity from vitamin D if it all comes from the sun. Only supplements can potentially produce toxic levels. The only published toxicity however is from supplements of 40 000IU a day.
The right form of vitamin D to take is vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. This is the natural form that is made in the body in response to sunlight.” (3)
Due to these studies, those of us in cloudy, rainy climates should be taking vitamin D on a regular basis. MS is not a genetic disease (although is there is someone in your direct family who has MS, you might have a higher risk). The links between MS and vitamin D deficiency are too many to discount. If you have any of symptoms of MS or other auto-immune diseases, have you doctor check your vitamin D levels.
”… regarding multiple sclerosis and vitamin D is that when first diagnosed with MS, people should ask for a vitamin D level immediately. It is very common for this first level to be low, and often this is why the attack happened. Australian researchers are now calling for ‘Active detection of vitamin D insufficiency among people with MS and intervention to restore vitamin D status to adequate levels … as part of the clinical management of MS’.”(3)
Sources and Resources”