Let's Talk Vitamin D And It's Importance in Psoriasis Management
Last updated: May 2023
Vitamin D is a nutrient you need for good health. It helps your body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks for strong bones. Your body needs vitamin D for other functions too. Your muscles need it to move, and your nerves need it to carry messages between your brain and your body.1
Your immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Personally, I have been taking 50,000 units of vitamin D for over 20 years now. I began this particularly treatment journey after being diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency.
My journey with a Vitamin D deficiency
It was around 20 year ago, I was experiencing intense pain. My body ached like somebody had beaten me with a baseball bat. Of course, my joints were swollen and my skin was on fire - but this pain felt different.
What I thought was a new type of intense flare, turned out to be a Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D plays a significant role in the health of our immune system. It was during this whole endeavor that I was told that it can be pretty common to have a Vitamin D deficiency when living with an autoimmune condition, including during the onset of a psoriatic flare. Crazy, right?
What did my symptoms look like? How did it impact my psoriasis?
I needed to get my physical health on track in these days. It was during this time when my mental health was struggling too. The only logical explanation I could fathom was I had quite a busy schedule and found myself lacking physical activity. I was always exhausted, and shortness of breath had become my sidekick.
I put on extra weight. My doctor kindly suggested weight loss programs.
I remember even my fingernails throbbing. Being very frustrated as yet another symptom showed itself, I began to lose the functionality of my fingers and hands. Frequent episodes of them going numb made it difficult for me to do things on my worst days.
Testing for vitamin deficiencies...
My neck was now killing me - I thought it was due to overworking. I was spending a lot of time in front of the computer and my quality of sleep was lacking. It turned out that all of these were symptoms of having low levels of Vitamin D in my body.
I decided to contact a new physician. After another series of tests and a full panel of blood, we discovered I have a severe Vitamin D2 deficiency at the dangerously low level of 10. Normal levels can be from 70 to 100.
Once my doctor sat through my complaints and grumbles, he suggested I take some oral supplements to recover my needed level of Vitamin D. Another important thing that he suggested was to spend some quality time in the sun.
The role Vitamin D plays in my psoriatic life...
In teens and adults, vitamin D deficiency causes osteomalacia, a disorder that causes bone pain and muscle weakness.1 That's the last thing we need when living with psoriatic arthritis.
An increase in Vitamin D supplements and more time outside - has not only lightened the burden of these painful symptoms but improved my quality of life.
Vitamin D supplements, like psoriatic disease, will be a part of my life, forever and I'm thankful. These vitamins have improved my symptoms. I encourage you to ask your doctor about your vitamin levels - and stay on top of them. The quality of your life depends on the volume of your voice.
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?