Vitamin D and Endometriosis Plus 1 Chart You Must See

vitamin d and endometriosis

Vitamin D has been investigated heavily in the health and medical literature. It is important for immune function and cardiovascular health, for one. Having adequate levels of Vitamin D3 may help predispose one to health and less diseases. Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition that also appears to benefit from adequate levels of the vitamin.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be medical advice or to be used to diagnose or treat a medical condition. Please seek qualified care for medical advice. Thanks.

vitamin d and endometriosis
SOURCE https://www.clinicaleducation.org/wp-content/uploads/Disease_Prevention_chart_uk1.pdf

First off, here is the chart. Let’s review it together. As the serum 25(OH)D ng/ml increases (that’s your Vitamin D3 level which can be found via a simple blood serum test) the disease incidence prevention also increases. For example, if your vitamin D is very low, you are more prone to Rickets. Even if you have moderate Vitamin D levels, you are still susceptible to various diseases, including cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular incidents (men) and falls (women). Let’s throw in auto-immune conditions and endometriosis in the mix as well and imagine that they are in the same range as cancer. Having a vitamin D level near 60 or greater appears to be protective of disease incidence.

Have you checked your vitamin D levels lately??

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An Overview of Vitamin D Levels in Society

Vitamins are essential nutrients that serve as catalysts for many necessary reactions in the body. They typically work synergistically, meaning they work together, to help all of your bodily function behave optimally as they were created.

In the West (and possibly elsewhere) it seems common to find vitamin d deficiency in the population.

Given that light from the sun helps to form vitamin D(3) in the body, and given the more sedentary “inside culture” that our generation practices, there is less opportunity to generate vitamin d adequately as there was for our ancestral relatives.

Furthermore, certain foods which contain higher levels of vitamin D, such as egg yolks, wild caught salmon, fish eggs, and cod liver oil may help boost ones vitamin D levels when eaten regularly. Many foods commonly found at the grocery store also contain vitamin D fortification (such as milk, cereals, etc.). Though, this fortification usually entails vitamin D2 which isn’t as helpful as D3 for the body.

However, these foods may be in accessible for the population for various reasons, or simply not eaten regularly due to preference or even allergies. And, fortification may not be enough to help one get to a high enough level of vitamin D to have a positive health impact. (Fortification standards were developed in the 1930s and were largely for the treatment of rickets, which as you can see in the chart is an exceptionally low threshold for vitamin d deficiency).

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Further, sometimes people have a lot of GI issues and their guts are damaged. This can lead to impairment of the cells in their gut to convert and produce nutrients in the body.

It is also less commonly known that people who have autoimmune condition or other chronic health conditions such as endometriosis can actually use up nutrients more quickly and require much larger doses just to keep up with the body’s inflammatory issues. Vitamins and minerals in many cases help squelch the inflammatory fire by acting like water to the flames; however, in cases where the inflammation continues long-term, the body needs more and more to keep up.

So, it’s very common for someone to have a need for high vitamin D and endometriosis at the same time.

Other things, such as the flu or even a bad cold can use up Vitamin D stores. This is also because Vitamin D is an immune regulator and it is a vital piece of the immune system response and regulation.

We will touch on all of these points later on in this post.

As you can see, there are many reasons why someone might be deficient in vitamin D and why it’s so common in our modern era.

Just a recap of common reasons for vitamin d deficiency:

  • Lack of adequate sunlight exposure
  • Not enough foods eaten containing high levels of vitamin d (By lack of education, choice, or issues with access such as geographic location or cost prohibition).
  • Degradation of nutrients in foods (pollutants, poor soil quality, etc.)
  • Gut issues impacting the absorbability of vitamin d
  • Ongoing chronic health issues requiring high levels of vitamin d
  • Short term acute health issues requiring additional support with vitamin d

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The Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is needed for calcium and phosphorus absorption and is essential for health bones, teeth and normal growth. The body produces D3 from cholesterol with the help of sunlight, though many ancestrally prized foods contained high amounts of D3 including eggs, liver, eggs, seafood (especially wild caught salmon), organ meats and cod liver oil.

Vitamin D is also critical for a functioning immune system. Later on this post, we will look at the connection between Vitamin D and endometriosis, health and healing potential.

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The Best Vitamin D Sources

Some of the best sources of vitamin D as mentioned earlier are as follows:

  • Fatty fish such as wild caught salmon
  • Sardines
  • Cod liver oil (I have a favorite brand I will recommend in another post, that I take as a part of a protocol to assist my vitamin D and vitamin A levels)
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms
  • Organ meats such as liver
  • A quality supplemental vitamin D (I prefer liposomal D with vitamin co-factors such as vitamin A and K as well as Omega-3).

How Much Vitamin D is Enough

While some will urge caution when trying to top off your vitamin D levels, there is little reason to fear. Ancestrally, our predecessors consumed a whole LOT more vitamin D than modern man today does, as he and she spent copious amounts of time in the sunshine and consumed egg yolks, salmon from the stream and organ meat from the hunt. Disease was not caused by excess vitamin D and levels had a way of reducing over the winter months or during food scarcity.

While it is recommended to track your vitamin D levels before and during supplementation, I couldn’t find any indication of a vitamin D level that was too high in the literature. By looking at the chart at the top of the post, higher levels were indicative of less incidence of disease. Most functional practitioners will help you aim for levels between 60-80 nm/ml in a blood serum test.

For those with chronic illness, if you have really low levels, a practitioner may recommend supplementing with 5,000 IU 1-2x/day. Several years ago when I first had my vitamin D levels properly assessed, they were so low I was taking 10,000 IU daily for a few months until I came into a more helpful range.

How to Test and Monitor Your Vitamin D Levels

If you are working with a practitioner, make sure they are assessing your blood levels from a functional range. The conventional range may be utilized by the less informed.

If you are not working with a practitioner or couldn’t find one who was helpful, you can easily run your own labs through a site such as this one. (I am not affiliated with this lab, but have used them myself and been happy with the process).

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Vitamin D and Disease Progression

So far, this post has covered some of the basics about the importance of Vitamin D as well as how to ensure your levels are in a good range.

Next, we’ll look a bit deeper into what the research shows about the importance of vitamin d and endometriosis, what can happen with endometriosis vitamin deficiency, and even endometriosis and vitamin b12 deficiency.

The Importance of Vitamin D and Endometriosis or Chronic Inflammatory Conditions

What is the connection between vitamin d and endometriosis?

Let’s look deeper.

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Endometriosis and Vitamin D Deficiency

There is a clear connection in the research literature between endometriosis and low vitamin D levels.

Top Benefits of Adequate Vitamin D Levels for Endometriosis

  • Since vitamin D receptors are present in the endometrium (where endometriosis lesions largely appear) researchers have found that when the vitamin D receptor is used up with vitamin D, it acts as a therapy for already established lesion, helps reduce the capacity of lesions to stick to collagen and reduces inflammation.
  • Another study found that progesterone and vitamin D3 helped to prohibit endometrial cancer.
  • Another study found vitamin D3 to help reduce endometrial lesions.
  • It helps play a role in ovarian function, progesterone production (and other hormones), and may play a role in PCOS treatment.

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Vitamin B12 and Endometriosis

Women with endometriosis typically also have a vitamin 12 deficiency (or, even a B-complex deficiency). Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to low levels of iron which can lead to anemia. On top of that, women with endometriosis may also have heavy periods meaning iron can also leave the body in high numbers that way as well.

These are just two pathways that can lead to a host of symptoms, not limited to brain fog and intense fatigue symptoms.

Low levels of vitamin b12 can also lead to the development of endometriosis (see the cycle there?) as well as impair the nervous system and lead to symptoms of PMS.

While you’re getting your vitamin D levels checked, make sure to also get your B12 and possibly other B-vitamin levels checked.

Sometimes, you can simply eat more foods with high levels of B12 to improve your numbers, sometimes you need help with supplements for a period of time, and sometimes neither of these things will correct the root cause. In some cases, for example , a compromised gut can hinder vitamin B12 production.

While the connection between vitamin d and endometriosis are important, a host of other vitamins and minerals need to be adequate to support a healthy body and help halt awful symptoms of endometriosis.

Supplements to Avoid with Endometriosis

Vitamin D is often recommended as a supplement to help treat endometriosis. Several other supplements were recommended in the complementary therapeutic treatment of endometriosis:

  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • magnesium
  • omega 3
  • propolis
  • quercetin
  • curcumin
  • N-acetylcysteine
  • probiotics
  • resveratrol
  • alpha lipoic acid
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E
  • selenium and
  • epigallocatechin-3-gallate

Are there any supplements to avoid with endometriosis? Each person’s body chemistry and root cause of imbalance differentiate from others. Before starting on supplements like these, it’s important to remember that dosage matters as well as quality of the supplement. Plus, your body may have slightly different needs than someone else, so getting proper baseline testing to assess your body’s current metabolic state is important.

Test. Don’t guess.

This is where working with an integrative care specialist can make a difference as they may be licensed to sell quality supplements that you otherwise might have difficulty finding via the internet. Also, many offer deals that are actually less expensive that the same supplements sold on places like Amazon.

If you have allergies or sensitivities, also be careful not to use supplements with lots of fillers, dairy or gluten for example.

And, some probiotics cause inflammation and some may cause a histamine response while some help to alleviate inflammation and some do not cause histamine provoking strands. Either do your own research or find someone who is knowledgeable about these things.

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Conclusion

Vitamin d deficiency is a common problem in the Western hemisphere, and probably beyond. Adequate levels of vitamin d have been associated with a decrease in disease incidence. Endometriosis patients typically have lower vitamin d levels when compared to a healthy population, and benefit from increased levels in order to reduce inflammation, support the immune system, inhibit present lesions and help prevent future lesion formation in the endometrium.

Making sure to test and know your levels will help with the proper treatment protocol, and enjoying a nutritious diet will help to fortify your levels. If someone decides to supplement, make sure to choose a quality supplement with the right co-factors.

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