vitamin C and the immune system

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 1/3/2010 7:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm new here but I have been follow some of the forums here for the last month.
My PCP did an arthritis test on me and said it was Lupus. My rheumy appt is not til March 26th.
My mother and I have been reading up on this disease and she wants to go with me to that appt.
Here's my question, if vitamin C  is used to BOOST your immune system is it a good idea to be doing that?
I mean it seems to me that my immune system is harming things in my body that I don't want it to. So giving it power doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
Are there any other vitamins that I should be taking right now, or should I just wait til I see the dr?
Thanx, Msfroggi

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 1/3/2010 1:26 PM (GMT -6)   
A common misconception about auto immune diseases is that your immune system is weak.  In fact, it is misdirected.  The last thing you want to do is amp up the immune response until your immune system has normalized which might not happen for many of us.  Taking immune system boosters is not a good idea and talk to your doctor before taking any mega doses of anything.  If these treatments worked we would have done away with lupus and other AI diseases long ago. 
Think about auto immune response as a gun with a miscalibrated gun sight.  The gun works fine but it just misses the target and hits something else.
The vitamin C treatment was promoted by a very famous chemist, Dr Linus Pauling who won nobel prizes for chemistry and peace, and has gone in and out of favor.  Dr Pauling died in the early 90s.
Here is an article on the subject and you can judge for yourself.  Despite any validity of Dr Pauling's claims for cancer and heart disease I would not take high doses of anything to boost the immune response until there is definite scientific evidence that it works.
MCTD (lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis).  Diagnosed 2005.  Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, Barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005.  Recovered and now active in skiing, tai, chi, hiking, golf.  Meds: prednisone 2.5mg, imuran 25mg, amlodipine, benazapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide and various supplements and vitamins.
Remain optimistic and you can overcome the odds.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 1/3/2010 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Well said, Bill. For what it's worth, I agree.

I'm glad to hear you have someone supporting you and wanting to learn with you. It's great to have someone with you for these appointments which can be overwhelming. Write down any symptoms you want to report or questions you want to ask. Sometimes, we forget when finally get there! Best wishes to you. Keep us updated on your progress. Judy

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 1/4/2010 7:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank-you, Bill.
Like I said this is all new to me. I've noticed that over the last year I guess I have been having symptoms but didn't know what was going on. I went to my PCP b/c "I just didn't feel good". And that's hard to explain to the people that I work with. My PCP is trying to get my appt moved up some so I can start on some kind of meds. My husband has been great thru this too! At first he noticed that I was going to "take a nap" more and more.
I will keep you posted. I'm glad I found this site, I was beginning to think that all that I am going thru was in my head. But to see others that have the same thing is very comforting to me. Thank-you

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2818
   Posted 1/5/2010 9:59 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi miss froggy, welcome to the group! You got some good advice from the others. Also I would wait until you see your rheummy before coming to any real conclusions. Lupus is extremely difficult to dx's and some of us here have been 20 years and 20 doctors and still don't have answers. Mostly they treat the symptoms. I'm not saying you do or don't have it just that you should try to keep your mind open to all possibilities. I have been DX'd with so many things and spent hours learning about them just to find out after months of learning that it wasn't what I have at all. There are so many differen A/I diseases out there. The good news is most of them are treated with the same things. You are right we all have either said its' in our head or had someone say it to us. Re: vitamins I am on a few different ones. Many of us are on B. Many take shots of vitamin B. Some of the diseases cause us not to be able to absorb vitamins the way we are supposed to. I take B plus pottasium, I also take citacal. The doctors will keep up on you blood work. Unfortunately there are side effects to some of the meds we have to take. Steroids can be a life saver but they can also just destroy your bones among other things. Just hang in there take one day at a time. and keep coming back here you will always find someone who knows what you are going through. Sounds like you have a good support team at home. You are very lucky.

Looking forward to getting to know you

hugs carol


systemic sclerosis sine scleroderma,sleep apnea,Megaloblastic anemia
what ever that is.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 1/6/2010 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanx, Carol.
I have read enough to know that I will have to go thru some more test to determine my illness. UGH! And I'm not looking forward to that.
So I'm game just to find out and get on the right meds. I twisted my back and had to go to the ER, so now I'm at home with a pulled muscle. What fun! I will keep ya'll posted.
Thanx again,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1470
   Posted 1/22/2010 3:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I was just put on Integra plus which is an iron supplement, Folic Acid, and 210 mg of Vitamin C. I was told that it helps prevent colds...that you needed Vitamin C in your diet. I am a little hesitant to take this because of my fear of aggravating my lupus even more than it is. I have googled this and have yet to find anything saying do not take Vit C if you have lupus. I am actually finding the opposite, that it cn help relive Lupus symtpoms. Can anyone show me anything different?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 1/22/2010 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I would suggest vitamin D and calcium. A lot of us here have vitamin d deficiency. I am one of those. I can't have sun because I am very sun sensitive. I really hope that your appointment gets moved up. Make sure you are seeing a lupus specialist and not just any old rheumy.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sj√∂gren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, exema
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Tramadol, Singulair, Skelaxin, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Prilosec, lasix, Evoxac, Celebrex, Darvocet when things get too bad, prednisone again, various vitamin/mineral supplements, cozar
"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." T. E. Lawrence

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