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Vitamin D and RA

Yesterday was week ten at the wound clinic. I am beginning to see the changes. The jagged wound had gone from nine inches to seven inches. There is still too much drainage. I will have my negative pressure machine at least another week.

Nutrition is important when a person has a wound. I am taking a protein drink daily to help my healing. Nutrition is also important for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D may be deficient in those with RA.

Vitamin D                                                              

Vitamin D was once an undervalued nutrient. Now it is considered important, even vital, to many body functions. It is similar in structure to a steroid. Vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium. It is involved in the dynamics of muscle movement, communication between nerves and in fighting inflammation.  

  • Deficiencies are common in those who have RA, diabetes mellitus type one and multiple sclerosis.19   Deficiencies may cause worsening pain, depression, fatigue, osteoporosis, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, can reduce calcium absorption and impair vitamin D absorption.
  • Hydroxychloquine (Plaquenil) and immunosuppressants are also linked to malabsorption of vitamin D.
  • RA may affect the body’s ability to absorb vitamin D from the foods we eat. Doctors frequently order a blood test that determines your body’s level of vitamin D and will frequently suggest a supplement.
  • Vitamin D levels will be improved with up to 30 minutes a day of sunshine without sunscreen. Vitamin D may be found in salmon, fish liver oils, fortified milk, and eggs. Usually those with RA will need more vitamin D than will be gained by foods and extra sunshine. A supplement will be helpful. Check with your doctor.

Excerpt from My Rheumatoid Arthritis Manual

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