So supposedly most peoples vit D is low because we wear sunscreen etc. I asked on of the MSologists at a meeting the other day if I should have my levels checked and I think he said to just take it but it was loud and I couldn't hear exactly the dosages.
I do take it. When my attack began (end of May this year), my D level was pretty low: 25. The nurse practitioner I saw at the time had me take 50,000 IU weekly for three months.
After that, my neuro said to take 2,000 IU daily. Not that we should consider her word the gospel truth, trust me. But I think most doctors recommend 1,000-2,000 IU daily.
I did my research and came across the study showing that people who took an average of 14,000 IU daily had much fewer relapses than those who took 1,000 IU daily. Of the 14,000 IU group (who didn't take 14,000 every single day... it was complicated... but that was the average amount) 16% of them had relapses that year. On the other hand 41% of the 1,000 IU group had relapses.
It's one study, but for me it made me think that a. taking higher amounts of D might help me, and b. it probably will not hurt me.
I read other information (now I cannot remember where) that people with MS may be somewhat resistant to Vitamin D, that it may take a higher daily dose to raise the level in the body.
Right now I am taking 8,000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily. I don't know why I settled on 8,000. I am planning to ask the MS specialist his opinion on this when I see him in a few weeks. I want to get my D level checked, as well. I would prefer to take the 50,000 IU pill once a week. It's cheaper!
It's a good idea to have your blood checked for vitamin D levels as a baseline and to follow along on how well your supplement is working to bring the level into a normal range.
It's also a good idea because you CAN take too much vitamin D (I don't think it is technically a vitamin but I assume it will continue to be called that unless someone decides it deserves a fate similar to the planet Pluto). A,D,E, and K are essential fat soluable vitamins. ESEENTIAL means we use them every day. FAT SOLUABLE means they are absorbed in the intestines (from the fats we eat) and stored in the liver until needed so we don't have to ingest them every day.
Water soluable vitamins are the ones that pass through if we ingest more than we need each day. It is possible to have fat soluable vitamin stores build to toxic levels.
Personally, I was low on first testing. My doctor prescribed 50,000 units weekly for 12 weeks and then 2,000 units of OTC D3 daily. Second testing showed improvement but still low so I increased to 2,000 OTC units of D3 twice a day (I've heard it is better to take smaller doses at increased frequency.) Next testing was rising nicely so we went back down to 2,000 units D3 daily. My most recent testing showed a dip. Even though it was still in the midrange of normal I went back to the twice daily dose and will stick with that for a while now.
I've found an economical OTC D3 and a warehouse. Somehow I love that little red capsule. Sounds crazy but it looks cute to me amongst a bunch of boring white ones.
My MSologist indicated it would be a good idea for my daughter and granddaughters to take a more modest D3 supplement dose as a potential protective measure for continued good health. He and most every source I have consulted recommend D3 rather than D2 when you take an oral supplement. Anyone preferring plant only supplements might want to stick to D2 though. D3 comes from animal sources. Either way, get blood levels done to make sure your supplement is working well but not TOO well :-)
I just had my Vit D rechecked while I'm here in the hospital anyway. The last time they checked in during my last relapse in January, it was 4 and told me to take 3000 per day. They checked it again during this current relapse and the neuro resident said it is now 19 and she prescribed the 50,000 doser once a week for 8 weeks. She said they want to see Vit D numbers above 60 in MS patients so if the 8 week course gets mine up there then the recommendation is to continue with 1000 per day.
You all are right on point about keeping the D levels a bit above what would be considered the normal range. It is interesting that our D levels fluctuate and wonder if this is more related to MS than other possible health factors.
And, my neuro said that D3 is preferable to just D vitamins but she didn't explain why.
Just a PSA, get our B12 checked to if you haven't already or get an updated test if you haven't had one in a while. I haven't had mine checked in 2 years and it was a shock to see I've dropped back under 200 again.
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