During this time of year, it’s common to see many articles from dermatologists and other healthcare professionals, informing people to avoid the “deadly” rays of the sun. They will warn people to minimize their exposure to the sun, and tell them to make sure they lather themselves with plenty of sun tan lotion when they are in the sun. Although you do need to protect yourself if you plan on being in the sun for a long period of time, telling people to do their best to avoid the sun and to always put on sun block has contributed to the widespread deficiency in Vitamin D.
This has contributed to many health issues, and also has played a role in the increase in autoimmune thyroid conditions (as well as other autoimmune conditions). The reason for this is because Vitamin D plays a huge role in immunity. As a result, if you’re like many people and either do everything you can to avoid the sun, or always put on sun tan lotion when you’re exposed to the sun, then there is an excellent chance you’re deficient in Vitamin D, and in turn probably have a compromised immune system.
Of course this doesn’t mean that all autoimmune thyroid disorders are caused by a deficiency in Vitamin D. In most cases there are other causes, but one still can’t overlook the importance of Vitamin D. This is especially true for those people who have Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. While everyone should receive a Vitamin D test to determine whether or not they are Vitamin D deficient, anyone with an autoimmune thyroid disorder needs to prioritize this, and address such a deficiency immediately.
Many medical doctors are realizing this deficiency, and while they still are recommending to their patients to avoid the sun and/or wear sun block, at the same time they are more open to drawing a blood test to detect such a deficiency. Then for those patients who are deficient, they will recommend Vitamin D supplementation to corect this problem.
You can also obtain a Vitamin D test on your own, without visiting a medical doctor. If you go to the website www.DirectLabs.com, you can order a Vitamin D Test (the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test), and just about any other blood test you’d like. The only thing you need to be aware of is that you can’t rely on the reference ranges, as most reference ranges of labs state that a range above 30 ng/mL is fine, but it really should be higher than this, as it should be more in the range of 50–100 ng/mL
When it comes to correcting a Vitamin D deficiency, in most cases, supplementation with Vitamin D3 is necessary. Although you should still attempt to get at least 15 to 20 minutes of sun exposure daily, if you have a moderate to severe Vitamin D deficiency you will need to do more than getting daily sun exposure. You will need to supplement with at least 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily, and there is an excellent chance the dosage will need to be much higher than this (5,000 IU or greater) for the first few months of supplementation.
The quality of the Vitamin D supplement you take is important. I personally take a liquid supplement from the company Biotics called Bio-D Mulsion Forte. One drop provides 2,000 IU of Vitamin D, and while my Vitamin D levels are sufficient I still take one drop daily to help maintain these levels, and I also try to get at least 20 minutes of sun exposure daily (without sun block of course).
There of course are times when you SHOULD put on sun block. However, most of the products sold on the market have toxic chemicals, and so you will want to visit your local health food store in order to get a more natural sun tan lotion.
As for when you should use sun tan lotion, if you are planning to be in the sun for a prolonged period of time, then it’s wise to put some on. So for example, if you plan a trip to the amusement park or beach with your family and will be in the sun for hours, then use sun block, put on a cap, and dress appropriately.
In summary, many people are Vitamin D deficient, and a big reason for this is due to their avoidance of the sun. So if you’re deficient in Vitamin D, you will want to make sure to supplement with Vitamin D3 in order to bring your levels back to normal. From this point on it’s still a good idea to supplement daily, but at the same time try to get at least 15 to 20 minutes of daily sun exposure. Doing this will help maintain your Vitamin D levels, which will help a great deal with immunity and can prevent future conditions from developing. For more information on Vitamin D visit the website www.vitamindcouncil.org