MS and Vitamin D: What You Need to Know
Last updated: April 2023
If you have seen an MS specialist recently, the topic of vitamin D might have come up. You may have had your vitamin D levels tested and then been prescribed it as a supplement. Vitamin D levels in MS patients have become such a big topic that the National MS Society has issued official guidelines to doctors with testing and prescribing recommendations.1 So what’s the deal with vitamin D?
Some vitamin D basics
- Most people probably know that vitamin D is good for strong bones and that it can help increase bone strength.2
- Vitamin D is actually a hormone, which is essentially a type of messenger that takes information and instructions from one cell to another.3
- Vitamin D does much more than help bones though; it is also valuable to the immune system in helping fight viruses or bacteria. Some research has suggested Vitamin D may help reduce the risk of developing MS or the risk of relapses.4,8
- While there are many people that are vitamin D deficient, it is possible to take in too much vitamin D, so you should be tested and monitored when taking any supplements.7
So how can vitamin D affect you, someone with MS? Well, as mentioned, some research suggests vitamin D may help to fight it. I think it can be worth discussing it with your MS specialist if you haven’t already. For a person who is deficient in vitamin D, adding a vitamin D supplement can be an easy and low-cost way to potentially help with that. But talk to your doctor to see how they think it may affect your MS.4
My experience with vitamin D
Like many people with MS, when tested a few years back, my vitamin D levels were very low. I now take an over-the-counter vitamin D supplement in an amount recommended by my doctor. Do I know if it’s working? I guess I don’t. I am better off now than when I started it, but that could also be the Tysabri I get each month. From what I’ve read, I do think it can be beneficial though (and as with any article like this, I have plenty of references below for you to check out for yourself, should you be so inclined).
Remember, you can have too much vitamin D, so always discuss with your doctor before adding any supplements.
Thanks so much for reading and always feel free to share! As always, would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!
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