How Vitamin D Affects Thyroid Conditions

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Vitamin D is well-known for its importance in managing calcium in the gut, bones, and blood and disease resistance. However, many studies now show vitamin D levels affect may be a contributing factor in many other health issues too.

Researchers now believe it plays a crucial role in how cells communicate. Clinical studies link abnormal vitamin D levels to colon, prostate, and breast cancer as well as heart disease, weight gain, and thyroid conditions.

Vitamin D Production

Vitamin D is unique compared to other vitamins, because it is nearly impossible to get what you need from food. Instead, your body produces it naturally in the skin when you’re exposed to natural or artificial UVB light.

Once your body produces vitamin D or you take it as a supplement, it’s sent to the liver. The liver transforms vitamin D into 25(OH)D and sends it various areas of the body and activates it. Once activated, it is ready to perform its duties.

Autoimmune Conditions

Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system treats a person’s healthy tissues and cells as a threat. When this happens, their body produces an immune response and attacks. This response can cause damage, inflammation, and chronic pain in many parts of the body.

Vitamin D deficiencies may reduce the body’s ability to fight infection and may link to or cause autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Grave’s Disease.

Clinical Studies

Several 2014 studies presented at the annual meeting of the Thyroid Association are of special interest. Researchers from Nanjing, China evaluated 34 patients with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and 32 with Grave’s Disease against 52 healthy patients. Researchers measured many thyroid-related factors including vitamin D3.

Vitamin D is actually a group of compounds classified vitamin D1, D2, and D3. Vitamin D3 is the naturally occurring form of the vitamin, and the most biologically active.

Researchers found patients with autoimmune thyroid disease had significantly lower vitamin D3 levels than the healthy controls. Patients with high thyroid peroxidase antibodies the body produces in thyroid autoimmune disease also had lower vitamin D levels. This suggests vitamin D insufficiency could link to or cause autoimmune thyroid disease.

Brazilian researchers studied 54 Hashimoto’s patients, compared to 54 healthy controls. They also found vitamin D deficiency in 63.2% of the patients. Those with low vitamin D levels also had higher thyroid-stimulating hormone levels and a larger thyroid.

Lack of Vitamin D

Normally, the skin produces sufficient vitamin D when exposed to adequate UV light. However, the risks of skin cancer or melanoma now mean many people use sunscreen and cover their bodies. We also spend more time indoors for work and entertainment.

Since more clinical tests show a link between vitamin D and thyroid function, many physicians now recommend vitamin D testing as part of thyroid evaluation and care. Nonetheless, functional practitioners and doctors following the medical model may treat you differently based on your results.

Medical Model vs Functional Model

The medical model recommends 400 International Units per day of vitamin D. They also define a sufficient serum 25(OH)D level as over 50 nmol/L as it “covers the needs of 97.5% of the population”. The test used to measure vitamin D levels in the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.

The medical model usually recommends supplementation to increase low vitamin D levels. However, the functional approach to care recognizes multiple reasons may cause low vitamin D levels. Consequently, recommending supplements before looking at overall health and other possible issues can be ineffective and counterproductive.

Supplements don’t always correct low vitamin D levels, because they do not address underlying problems. The vitamin D receptor in some autoimmune patients cannot activate due to variations in their DNA sequence. Consequently, they need higher than normal blood levels of vitamin D to avoid vitamin D insufficiency.

Vitamin D is fat soluble, and some patients with thyroid issues like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have low stomach acid and poor fat absorption. Autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease also make the immune system work overtime, which depletes the body’s stores of vitamin D. Therefore, addressing gut and digestive issues and modulating the immune system are of primary importance before considering vitamin D supplementation.

A highly qualified functional practitioner will look at your gut and digestive health and if they’re satisfied, they may order a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test for your vitamin D levels.

Your practitioner may recommend supplementation to reach between 60 and 80 nmol/L. This is still well below the 125 nmol/L threshold where a patient might experience adverse effects. After several months, they’ll retest. If their serum level rose to an acceptable level, the doctor will adjust vitamin D intake so serum levels stay between 50 and 60 nmol/L.

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Vitamin D insufficiency is just one factor that can contribute to thyroid problems, so self-supplementation is not recommended as it can be ineffective if underlying problems remain. Discuss your thyroid issues with a functional practitioner to develop an effective treatment protocol.

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Obesity And Overweight: Five Diseases And Health Conditions

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

A health care professional can readily tell if you are obese, overweight, or healthy by simply measuring your Body Mass Index, or BMI, in short. It effectively determines your weight in proportion to your height and the further it goes outside the scope of the standard range, the greater your odds are of developing a host of critical health issues from obesity and overweight.

Accomplishing and sustaining a healthy weight is something that cannot be achieved overnight and might turn out to be a challenging task for obese and overweight individuals in the long-term. Ensuring a healthy weight through appropriate means or at least preventing yourself from gaining more weight can help overweight people reduce the likelihood of developing specific medical conditions.

Obesity is on the verge of becoming a national epidemic in the USA and is associated with several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The grave medical condition is responsible for an astounding 18% mortality rate in the age group of 40 to 85 among American population, as observed by a health research study carried out in 2013, questioning the deeply-rooted, prevailing notion of the medical and scientific community that a mere 5 in every 100 deaths in the country are related to obesity. The new finding essentially suggests that it is as fatal as cigarette smoking, when it comes to the discussion of public health hazards, as the particular way of nicotine consumption can be linked to 20 in every 100 deaths in the USA and is acknowledged as the major preventable cause of mortality in the country.

Almost 2 in every 5 American adults were diagnosed with obesity in 2015-16, which is a significant increase from 34% in 2007-08, and its impact became more profound with a steep increase from 5.7% to 7.7% during that time. While not a single state reported an obesity rate of over 15% in 1985, as many as 5 of them registered rates higher than 35% for the year 2016.

Obesity and overweight are often associated with emotional health issues like depression. People who are either obese or overweight may also experience weight bias as well as face the stigma of the medical care services providers and others, which, in turn, can result in guilt, feeling of rejection, or shame, further worsening the prevailing problems concerning one’s mental well-being.

The major diseases and health complications caused by obesity and overweight are illustrated below in brief.

I. TYPE 2 DIABETES

When the blood glucose concentration becomes abnormally high on a permanent basis, the particular medical condition is termed as type 2 diabetes. About 4 in every 5 individuals with the said form of diabetes are known to be either obese or overweight. High blood sugar levels can manifest a large number of medical conditions, such as stroke, heart conditions, eye issues, neuropathic damage, eye problems, and other health issues.

Allowing yourself to engage in periodic physical activities and reducing 5% to 7% of your weight may prevent or postpone type 2 diabetes onset in the event you belong to the risk group for the particular disease.

II. HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

When the blood passes through the blood vessels in your body with significantly more force, the particular medical condition is known as hypertension, or more commonly, high blood pressure. It can cause an alarmingly great level of damage to your blood vessels, strain your heart, and help increase the odds of stroke, kidney disease, heart attack, and even death.

III. HEART DISEASE

The umbrella term heart disease is routinely used to indicate a wide and diverse gamut of medical conditions that can affect the overall well-being of the organ. If you are diagnosed with heart disease, you are at a greater risk of having heart failure, sudden cardiac death, angina, heart attack, or a heart rhythm that is not considered normal. Elevated fat levels in your bloodstream, high blood sugar concentrations, and high blood pressure may increase the odds of heart disease. Blood lipids or blood fats necessarily refer to triglycerides, High-Density Lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol, and Low-Density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol. Reducing 5% to 10% of your body mass is likely to help you mitigate the risks of developing heart disease and can help improve your blood flow, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

IV. STROKE

If there is a blockage or an incidence of blood vessel rupture in your neck or brain, it causes the blood supply in your brain to restrain all on a sudden, and the particular medical condition is known as stroke. A stroke can cause reversible or irreversible damage to your brain, resulting in partial or complete paralysis and thus, making you incapable of speaking or initiating body movements. To suffice, hypertension is recognized as being the vital cause of strokes.

V. SLEEP APNEA

Sleep apnea is a medical condition when an individual does not breathe frequently and is pretty much common in a large number of people around the globe. One may also cease breathing altogether for small intervals. If the said sleeping disorder continues to remain undiagnosed and untreated, it may increase the odds of other critical health issues, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

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