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Autoimmune Disease and Vitamin Supplements

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Old 07-11-2017, 10:59 AM   #1
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Wendy792 HB User
Question Autoimmune Disease and Vitamin Supplements

I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto's and I'm waiting on the results of a bunch more autoimmune disorders as my doctors feel there may be another culprit lingering that causing some other debilitating symptoms.

So, the idea that my immune system has gone rouge and has started attacking my healthy cells, is disturbing. And there seems to be so much conflicting information online about it. Conflicting information as to the cause, treatment and management of such conditions.

My first and most burning question is "Are vitamins that help "boost" your immune system good or bad when you have an autoimmune disorder?" Some say we need to suppress the immune system so it doesn't cause more damage and others say that helping our immune system along with high doses of Vitamin C and D will help trigger it to work normally again in some cases.

What is everyone's thoughts on this? And is there any good ACCURATE information on autoimmune disorders and how to manage them in general?

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Old 07-11-2017, 12:15 PM   #2
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Harri3t HB UserHarri3t HB UserHarri3t HB UserHarri3t HB UserHarri3t HB UserHarri3t HB UserHarri3t HB UserHarri3t HB User
Re: Autoimmune Disease and Vitamin Supplements

There is lots of info out there but little in the way of hard facts about exact causes and empirically proven treatments. I have seen many sites with something to sell pushing products based on anecdotal evidence and little else. I am more of a hard facts person that likes to see proof so read this with that in mind . Some of the hard facts of Hashi's point strongly to both genetic and sex linked factors since women with thyroid disease far outnumber afflicted men. Having a close relative with an autoimmune disease increases risk as does having any autoimmune disease increase the risk of developing others. I know of no vitamins that will overcome the effects of genetics or one's gender.

There is some evidence that Vitamin D levels are deficient in Hashi's and hypothyroidism though there is debate about that being a cause or an effect. I would ask for Vit D levels to be tested if that hasn't already been done. There are also some small studies that show benefits in decreasing hashi antibodies with low dose selenium but I would not start any supplement regimen without talking to the doctor first. While some supplements may not hurt like water soluble Vit.C, fat soluble Vitamins like D can be harmful if taken in excess.

I have read in a few places where iodine supplements are suggested for hashi's and hypothyroidism and still others that say iodine can make Hashi's symptoms worse. Again best bet is to speak with your doctor on his/her views.

Some, though not all people, have reported benefits from gluten free diets. The thinking there being gluten intolerance may be another autoimmune response though not necessarily related. Remember that one autoimmune disease presents a slightly higher risk of developing others.But that said, a gluten free diet may be something you want to try.

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Old 07-15-2017, 04:43 AM   #3
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VicLF HB User
Re: Autoimmune Disease and Vitamin Supplements

Hi Wendy

I prefer natural "meds" with little to no side effects, so when I was first diagnosed, I did a lot of research. The previous reply was kinda spot on. There is so much information and there are many companies trying to sell their products, that the information all seems skewed.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with AI conditions. Some research shows that this might be a precursor for it actually. I found out I was deficient about 2 years before seeing a rheumatologist. There is no harm is asking for your doc to test your blood for vitamin/mineral deficiencies.

I tend to stick to supplements that are helpful to pretty much everyone, like fish oil and a multi-vitamin. The major issue with AI is that it is basically where your immune system is over-reacting, so you don't really want to take anything to boost it. Most of the meds prescribed for AI suppress the immune system to some extent, that is how they work. I also have learned in recent years, as with the prior poster, so many things are genetic. We have a predisposition to a lot of things to which we have no control. I think we just have to do the best with the hand we were dealt. Nothing wrong with trying different diets and supplements that are safe and won't counteract with your meds. Good luck to you!!

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Old 07-15-2017, 06:01 AM   #4
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Re: Autoimmune Disease and Vitamin Supplements

If you eat a healthy diet, there should be no reason to supplement anything. The only way to find out if you need these vitamins and supplements is to have a full blood panel looking for deficiencies.
I have MS which is autoimmune. My first year with MS, I spent 100$ a month on supplements and vitamins because people told me they would help. I almost killed myself taking too much of too many things... my blood work was a mess and I got very sick.
I started getting my levels checked twice a year and have never been deficient in anything. Now, I take extra calcium because of my age, a hair and nails vitamin because I like what it does for my hair and nails..and eat a healthy diet of mostly fish/ green leafy vegetables and fruit. Talk to your doctor about getting your blood work done and dont put yourself on any regimen until you know what your body needs.
RRMS- dx 05

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