Why low vitamin d can make the immune system attack your thyroid

Vitamin D was thought, years ago, to be important just for the health and metabolism of bones. In recent years, it has been established that vitamin D has numerous functions in the human body and is viewed by many even has a hormone.

One of the most important functions of vitamin D is a regulatory function on the immune system. In essence, vitamin D has the ability to modify and regulate several immune functions. For instance, it has been shown to protect our normal, healthy organs from immune system attacks, meaning, that it is crucial for the immune system to recognize that our organs belong to us, and are not foreign. This explains why having vitamin D deficiency can make you become vulnerable to autoimmune attacks and production of antibodies by the immune system that can damage an organ of yours.

Research has shown that vitamin D deficiency is quite common among patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease. Even though the causes of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have to do with genetic and environmental factors, it is very likely that having low vitamin D deficiency will make you at a higher risk for developing Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. And if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, having a low vitamin D level can make the attack on your thyroid even worse.

There may be some link between the occurrence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and being overweight or obese, as excess weight is often associated with vitamin D deficiency. In normal circumstances, vitamin D is produced in sufficient amounts by the skin in response to some light exposure. Although, we do get vitamin D from foods such as milk, eggs, and fish. However, some people have difficulties producing Vitamin D in their skin and do not get enough vitamin D from foods. It cannot be emphasized enough that you should have your vitamin D level tested periodically to make sure you do not have vitamin D deficiency which can affect your bone, your inflammation status, your weight, and your immune system. Correcting any vitamin D deficiency with adequate vitamin D supplementation is of paramount importance to prevent autoimmunity, weight gain, and weight loss resistance. And if you have an autoimmune thyroid disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, is it also crucial to correct your vitamin D deficiency to help minimizing worsening of autoimmune attack on your thyroid and on other parts of your body.

2019-09-17T09:27:20-05:00By |Hashimoto's and Graves Disease, Vitamin D|

About the Author:

Dr. Ridha Arem is board certified in endocrinology, and metabolism. He is the author of over 40 peer reviewed articles in the fields of thyroid disease, endocrinology, and metabolism.