Vitamin D and Crohn's connection from a real medical doctor

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CrazyHarry
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   Posted 2/21/2010 9:32 PM (GMT -7)   
the possible link between vitamin D helping/curing/aiding/preventing crohns disease has come up a lot lately. this article will tell you what lab test your doc needs to order, what the optimum vitamin D range is, what the link between vitamin D and crohns may be, and how vitamin D works to counter crohns.

the gist is, if you’re vitamin D deficient, your immune system will not activate to do its job. And since vitamin D also modulates (balances) your immune response, it prevents an overreaction in the form of inflammation, which can lead to autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s disease. but please not, vitamin D alone is not a cure.

if this topic interests you, check out the following link

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/20/vitamin-d-fights-crohns-disease.aspx
Crazy Harry

---------------------------------------------
Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07


73monte
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Date Joined Mar 2007
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   Posted 2/22/2010 3:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Very interesting article. There seems to be a very important connection with Vitamin D. I think this question may have been asked in other posts on this topic, but the confusing part is, if Vitamin D actually boosts the immune system, why doesn't that promote the over activity that is constantly being suppressed with the medications currently in use? Seems like your meds and Vitamin D are fighting against each other. 
 
Tom.
My daughter was diagnosed Feb. 19/07, (13 yrs. old at time of diagnosis), with Crohn's of the Terminal Illium. Has used Prednisone and Pentasa. Started Imuran (02/09), had an abdominal abscess (12/08). 2cm of Stricture.


EMom
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Date Joined Aug 2007
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   Posted 2/22/2010 5:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Excellent article, CH! Thanks for posting it!  And because this conversation/question comes up here so often, here is the introduction from the article:
 
 
"Science has known for some time of the importance of vitamin D in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. I posted a study on this ten years ago.
 
In my view it is reprehensible and irresponsible not to measure the levels of vitamin D in patients with this disease. You need to measure the vitamin D level in your blood, as it is virtually impossible to simply know whether or not it is in the therapeutic levels of 55 to 65 ng/ml.
 
If you or someone you know has this disease, please beg them to get their vitamin D level monitored. Most adults need at least 5000 units per day, but some may actually require up to 50,000 units per day. There is just no way of knowing without measuring.
 
Also there is NO benefit, and likely some harm if you take too much. So simply popping loads of vitamin D pills is not the way to optimize your vitamin D. The only time you don’t need to measure your vitamin D levels is when you have nearly daily access to high quality sunshine."

Mom to 17 year old son diagnosed in June, 2007.
Omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, vit. C, calcium, vit. D3, a good multivitamin and SCD legal yogurt
Started The Maker's Diet in Sept. '07. Incorporate Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) recipes, too. Med-free.
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=17&m=984588
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=17&m=1533705
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=17&p=1&m=1262312


EMom
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 2/22/2010 5:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Also to clarify, and because there was confusion in a previous discussion thread, the science points to vitamin D3 specifically. smilewinkgrin

gypsyfp
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 336
   Posted 2/22/2010 11:07 AM (GMT -7)   
If you're not interested in pills, what are the foods that are strong in vitamin d3?
I've always eaten alot of good Asian food. Maybe it's part of the reason why my Crohn's has always been somewhat meh.
Diagnosed with typical Crohn's at 16.
Got lucky with Asacol for a year, then even luckier with ten years of relative remission.
Now abscesses and fistulas are having an "atypical" Crohn's party around my junk.
My HMO refused the Remicade and now I could be going on Lialda or sulfa? blah


CrohnieToo
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   Posted 2/22/2010 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   
And just which vitamn D level does the good doctor recommend be checked? There are at least two different vitamin D blood draws that I know about.

And, isn't Dr Mercola a rather "controversial" online doctor?
My computer says I need to upgrade my brain to be compatible with its new software.


EMom
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 2/22/2010 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
gypsyfp said...
If you're not interested in pills, what are the foods that are strong in vitamin d3?


D3 is called the sunshine vitamin. cool It is literally converted in our skin from sun exposure. It is recommended that we get 15-20 min. a day of sun exposure to keep adequate D3 levels. Unless you live near the equator, it is impossible to get enough sun exposure during the winter (angle of sun's rays, too much clothing, etc.). To make matters worse, due to indoor jobs, most people don't even get enough sun exposure during the warm months of the year.

There are not many natural sources of D3. I think fatty fish, like salmon, is one of the few. You can purchase foods that are supplemented with D3 (milk, orange juice), but check the label carefully, as some brands are still using the inferior D2. shakehead

BeeSting
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 392
   Posted 2/22/2010 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Cod liver oil.

CrazyHarry
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Date Joined Mar 2006
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   Posted 2/22/2010 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
dr. mercola is a legit medical doctor, license and everything, and has been practicing since the 1980's in illinois. he may be seen as controversial by some because he promotes natural, holistic measures like probiotics and vitamins and healthy eating habits in conjunction to traditional western meds. but if you go against the grain, that is big pharma and call them out and say something like vitamin D can do wonders for you if your levels are too low, then yes, you are seen as controversial.


cod liver oil is high in vitamin A, which competes with vitamin D, so cod liver oil is not really the best source of vitamin D because of that. the latitude you at dictates if you can make vitamin D year round via the sun. once you get above like 30 degrees or more, you really only make vitamin D in the summer time so you need to supplement in the winter months. non pasteurized whole milk has vitamin D, but it has to be non pasteurized whole milk. butter made from this type of milk will have some too. some mushrooms have vitamin D. so do cold water fatty fish, like sardines and salmon, but they must be wild, not farm raised. eggs have some too. carlson labs makes a good supplement.
Crazy Harry

---------------------------------------------
Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07


Terry73
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 2/22/2010 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
So if i run around naked outside can i tell them i have Crohn's and my vit D is low and not get charged with indecent exposure?????


**** JK, interesting fact though I myself have a severe vitamin D deficiency take 2000 U a day but malabsorb so bad its still low at times and i live in Canada and having a snow storm so naked outside is def not an option lol
Offically diagnosed with Crohn's Oct 2009, been living with bowel problems since 1990
Current meds: Remicade Feb 2010, Immuran, rel-pax, Topomax, Corticosteriod Suppositories, lantus, humalog, 2000u vit d, calcium, multivit, omega 3, Vit B


CrazyHarry
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 2/22/2010 9:50 PM (GMT -7)   
i dont know how the laws work in canada, but at least in california, if you are caught naked outside for any reason you become a registered sex offender and go on the list with the pedophiles and rapists. so if i am at the beach, changing out of my wetsuit, and my towel drops, and a cop sees me and chooses to ticket and prosecute, i am now a registered sex offender. so be careful out there with the public nudity. it is probably best left to professionals anyway....
Crazy Harry

---------------------------------------------
Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07


njmom
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 2/22/2010 10:13 PM (GMT -7)   
ChronieToo, you are right, there ARE two different vitamin D blood draws.
 
The right one, used to detect vitamin D deficiency, is 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

The other test is 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. 

More details at: http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/vitamin_d/sample.html

 
 

EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 2/23/2010 5:43 AM (GMT -7)   
njmom said...
ChronieToo, you are right, there ARE two different vitamin D blood draws.


The right one, used to detect vitamin D deficiency, is 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

The other test is 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.



Both tests are explained in the article that CrazyHarry posted.

jujub
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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10392
   Posted 2/23/2010 6:37 AM (GMT -7)   
My reservation about this hypothesis has always been this:

In the past ten years, it's been found that a large majority of the people in the US are vitamin D deficient, yet only a small percentage have IBD. Just because two conditions are found together, it doesn't necessarily signify a causitive relationship. That reasoning is sort of like saying blondes generally sunburn more easily than brunettes, therefore being blonde must cause sunburn.

If vitamin D deficiency causes IBD, I would expect it to be much more prevalent than it is. So at the very least there have to be other factors at work.

Kittikatt
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 2/23/2010 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
The article says, "Most adults need at least 5000 units per day...". Is that 5,000 UI? I never understand the labeling on the D3 bottles and how much I should be taking.
Diagnosed in October, 2004 at age 32 (misdiagnosed with IBS in 2002)
38/F/SC
Current Rx's: Colazal (generic), Omeprazole (PRN), Librax, One-A-Day multivitamin, Probiotic, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Cranberry pills; Slow Fe (PRN) 
Secondary conditions: swelling ankles, extreme fatigue, mouth ulcers, joint pain
Previous/occasional Rx's: Prednisone, Flagyl, Levaquin, Xifaxan, Carafate
4/7/09: Gall bladder removal laproscopic surgery (gall stones)


gypsyfp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 336
   Posted 2/23/2010 12:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I have Crohn's, but I was diagnosed as a teenager living in Hawaii.
I was bad for months, but as soon as I was put on Asacol and could get myself to eat again, I was relatively fine.
And like anyone in Hawaii, I have always eaten ALOT of fish. My parents thought that the Asacol plus my diet of white rice, lean meats, and over cooked vegetables were the reasons my Crohn's went into remission, but maybe the sunshine had something to do with it. I remember being so cold from anemia that I would just lay out in the sun for an hour shivering in a sweater, even though it was 82 degrees!
I was in remission for 10 years and only recently got my first abscess in 2009 after I had been living in Nova Scotia, Canada for 3 years.
So you never really know, people.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a lot of different diseases.
A Canadian friend of mine has a family history of MS and so they all take vitamin D supplements daily.
If there's a possibility it might help, I say go for it. Besides, with the way it looks on this forum, I seem to be the only person in this joint who isn't taking supplements!
Diagnosed with typical Crohn's at 16.
Got lucky with Asacol for a year, then even luckier with ten years of relative remission.
Now abscesses and fistulas are having an "atypical" Crohn's party around my junk.
My HMO refused the Remicade and now I could be going on Lialda or sulfa? blah


Zanne
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 2/23/2010 3:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I just had my annual physical today. My GP asked if I was still taking my vit D, which I am and is RXed by another doctor. Be then began a short discussion on how this is the new buzz thing in medicine and how if she sees someone who's vit D level is normal, she wonders what is up with them, because everyone is deficient and she hardly ever has a patient who has a normal level.

So while I won't be stopping my Vit D any time soon, I think the vast majority of the people in the world have a deficiency. I don't think it is a cause of CD. Taking a good extra dose might help our CD, but I don't think that a deficiency caused my CD.
Suzanne

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


Blossom
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 2/27/2010 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Vitamin D may not have anything to do with causing Crohn's, however, it's known that Crohn's patients are typically Vitamin D deficient. I never imagined that I'd be low in anything (except iron), but sure enough when my GI doc had my D level checked, I was quite low. He initially had me take 1000 IUs per day of D3, then increased it to 2000 IUs as my levels weren't increasing quickly enough. Since my levels have been increasing towards normal, my overall body aches have decreased substantially, and my energy levels have greatly improved.

Note---while D3 levels of 30 and above are good, my primary care doc says that optimum is 40 and above as that level helps prevent osteoporosis. And osteoporosis is another thing that Crohnnies commonly have.
54 year old female;
 
Have had Crohn's of terminal ileum for 10 years.   Small bowel resection (my first) on 7-30-09.  Monthly B12 shots.
 
On Humira since Dec. 2008.  Allergic/hypersensitivity to Pentasa, Entocort, and 6-MP.  


MoobyDoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 2/27/2010 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Great info everyone. Thanks.
We just received the results yesterday, from my daughter's bloodwork, so funny timing to this topic...
She is at 40 would puts her in the desirable range of 300-100 ng/ML per the lab results. But, EMOM, according to your post then, my child's D level would be in"therapeutic" levels at 55 - 65 ng/ML.  (Yes, our Doc did the right test...glad to read that info here too thanks.) I was assuming since the lab result listed the "normal" range at 30- 100, then my daughter being at 40 was a good thing. But now according to the info you posted, she is low.  So I'm confused. Is the lab's range incorrect?  Should I supplement more than I am? How much?  (I did check with the Doc on the "how much" question, by the way. I will probably not hear from him until Monday or Tuesday, but I am going to go out on a limb here and GUESS his dose recommendations will be very very conservative.)
 
In the meantime, I will read the article from mercola, altho I think I already have. I believe it still left me stumped as to how much D3 is an appropriate dose for a 60 lb. 9-yr old child.  Off to re-read it.  Thanks for the link, Crazy Harry.

  • BeeSting
    Regular Member


    Date Joined Nov 2008
    Total Posts : 392
       Posted 2/27/2010 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   
    Crazy Harry, thanks a lot for your post about vitamin D, and the Dr. Mercolas link. I have used vitamin D for years now, as I have learned that this vitamin is of great benefit for Crohns disease, for fatique and for a lot of so called auto immune diseases.

    I have read small trials that has been done, some of them have been official and written about in serious medical journals.

    Oh, and, the capsules I am taking is not containing any vitamin A,

    so I am able to increase my dose to up to double of the dose that is suggested. The dose that is suggested is 2 capsules each day, and these contains in all 5 micrograms, so I am taking 4 capsules, 10 micrograms each day.

    It's even important to reduce the intake of omega 6 cause omega 6 is known to increase inflammation. Omega 6: in both grains and meat. Eating fat fish (salmon, cod) will help to increase omega 3.

    If you live in an area that has less sunshine in wintertime, you could use solariums to get more of vitamin D. The solariums have to be of good quality suns, and it's of extreme importance that they are having UVB beams, and not only UVA. UVB are those increasing the vitamin D. Avoid getting red though, and don't overdo the tanning .....;-)

    Jestjoan
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    Date Joined Feb 2010
    Total Posts : 27
       Posted 2/28/2010 5:33 PM (GMT -7)   

    MoobyDoo
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    Date Joined Sep 2009
    Total Posts : 212
       Posted 2/28/2010 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
    Thanks for that link. Based on that, I'm going to keep giving her 4000 IU/daily.

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