Rheumatoid Arthritis and Vitamin D

Managing vitamin D levels

When vitamin D levels are normal, RA symptoms and pain and overall health are improved. The National Institutes of Health recommends a dietary allowance of 600 international units (IUs) per day of vitamin D. People who are deficient need more and may benefit from taking 1-2,000 IUs per day.

Patients who have been diagnosed with severe deficiency, or who have certain health conditions, may take a 50,000 IUs prescribed dose, over a longer period of time, i.e., twice a week. Too much vitamin D can cause toxicity, resulting in serious health issues.

According to the Vitamin D Council, patients are most likely to develop toxicity if they take more than 40,000 international units of vitamin D everyday for more than three months. Talk to your doctor before taking any high doses of vitamin D.

The sun is your best source for vitamin D but you shouldn’t sit in the sun for longer than 30 minutes per day without adequate protection, such as sun creams and screens. You can also acquire vitamin D from the foods you eat. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, fish liver oils, vitamin D fortified milk and eggs are good vitamin D sources.

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