thyroid

Thyroid vs Sunlight

I will start this post from an unusual question: what does have the Sun and thyroid disease in common? Seems like nothing, however there is something what we need from the sun otherwise we will be more prone to thyroid diseases. What is it? The answer is vitamin D3. When you expose your body to sun vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is naturally produced. Why is it so important and why it’s connected with thyroid disorders?

Vitamin D3 is actually a steroid hormone, not a vitamin, because our body can produce it itself, but needs a sun for that. Vitamin D3 is found mostly in fish-liver oils, irradiated milk, and all irradiated animal foodstuffs. D3 is important for calcium and phosphorus (helps the body use it from diet) metabolism, as well as good overall health or strong bones. D3 supports your muscles, brain and lungs functions.
Don’t lack the sun
What happens when you lacking sun? If you do not have enough sunshine, your body is not able to produce enough vitamin D3. There is a bigger risk of D3 deficiency for those who live in northern climates. For instance, for years I used to live in northern part of our beautiful globe and I didn’t have enough summer sun. In fact my D3 levels were around 20 while normally it should be between 60 to 80 ng/L!
 D3 deficiency may cause:
  • rickets in children osteomalacia in adults, although these are far from the only problems associated with a vitamin D deficiency…
  • cognitive disorders
  • skeletal diseases
  • metabolic disorders
  • cardiovascular disease
  • infections
  • autoimmune diseases
  • cancer
As I mentioned in my previous article (Thyroid gland – a powerful ‘butterfly), thyroid diseases may take a serious form of autoimmune diseases; Graves Basedow or Hashimoto. Autoimmune diseases as we read above may be caused by D3 deficiency, which means this may be one of the reason of sick thyroid. Only normal levels of D3 (at least 60) can provide optimal thyroid and immune system function. After I started pay attention to vit D3, even my mood changed. Do you know this feeling when you are super relaxed on the sunny beach? It is because of the sun (and D3) too! 🙂
Scientific facts
I read many interesting researches about vitamin D3 deficiency. One of them has been published by International Journal of Health Sciences. The scientists proved that patients with hypothyroidism suffered from hypovitaminosis D with hypocalcaemia. They also showed a link between each of serum vit D and calcium with thyroid hormones and that negative significant correlation with TSH levels, suggested that deficiency of serum vit D and calcium levels were significantly associated with degree and severity of the hypothyroidism which encourage the advisability of vit D supplementation. The conclusion of their research is that screening for vitamin D deficiency and serum calcium levels recommended for all hypothyroid patients.
Another author, Theodore C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D, in his thesis titled ‘Vitamin D Deficiency and Thyroid Disease‘ claims that:
Vitamin D is an important vitamin that not only regulates calcium, but also has many other beneficial actions. Not many endocrinologists realize this, but several articles published over 20 years ago showed that patients with hypothyroidism have low levels of vitamin D. Both vitamin D and thyroid hormone bind to similar receptors called steroid hormone receptors. A different gene in the Vitamin D receptor was shown to predispose people to autoimmune thyroid disease including Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
For these reasons, it is important for patients with thyroid problems to understand how the vitamin D system works.
As we see, if you suffer from hypothyroidism (or you think you may suffer from) you need not only check your thyroid hormones levels (which ones I wrote here) but also vitamin D3 levels in your blood. Maybe you need more sun + oral supplementation?
In may case it has been confirmed – after supplementation by oral D3 2000 IU (prescribed by doctor after I shown him my D3 blood tests which I had done in private lab by the way…) my levels grew to normal and I feel better. My advice; check your D3 levels by blood test, for instance doctor Izabella Wentz recommends test clled 25(OH)D, which is also called 25-hydroxyl vitamin D.
Help yourself
If you already know, your levels are too low, do not panic and stop reading on a shady websites telling that you may have a cancer, because nowadays everything may cause cancer, and this is sad true. What you can really do:
1) try to look for best D3 oral supplement (I recommend oil drops – 1 drop = 1000 IU, because I think oil drops are better absorbing by your body, however these closed in capsules are not bad too), you can also take natural cod liver oil.
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2) try to find foods rich in vit D3, however it will be much less effective than for example my favorite and the easiest way of ‘taking’ D3 – just enjoying the sun whenever you have a chance! 🙂 Do you agree? 🙂 Do you know other good sources of vit D3? Write a comment.

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Hope to see you soon,
B.
source: Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2013 Nov; 7(3): 267–275.

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