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General Practice 2023

What is treatment with high doses of vitamin D for?

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What is treatment with high doses of vitamin D for?
What is treatment with high doses of vitamin D for?

Treatment with overdoses of vitamin D has been used to treat autoimmune diseases, which occur when the immune system reacts against the body itself, causing problems such as multiple sclerosis, vitiligo, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus erythematosus, arthritis rheumatoid and type 1 diabetes.

In this treatment, very high doses of vitamin D are given daily to the patient.

However, it is important to always keep in mind that the main source of vitamin D is its production by the body itself through daily exposure of the skin to the sun.For this, it is recommended to sunbathe for at least 15 minutes a day, with as much skin exposed to the sun, without sunscreen. Wearing light clothes can be a good strategy to facilitate the production of Vit D by the skin that spends more time in contact with the sun's rays.

See more tips on How to effectively sunbathe to produce Vitamin D.

How treatment works

In Brazil, treatment with overdoses of vitamin D is led by physician Cícero Galli Coimbra and is aimed at patients with autoimmune diseases such as vitiligo, multiple sclerosis, lupus, Crohn's disease, Guillain Barré syndrome, myasthenia gravis and rheumatoid arthritis.

During follow-up, the patient takes high doses of this vitamin, between about 10,000 to 60,000 IU per day. After a few months, new blood tests are carried out to assess the levels of vitamin D in the blood and adjust the dose given in the treatment, which often must continue for the rest of life.

In addition to supplementation with this vitamin, the patient is also instructed to drink at least 2.5 to 3 liters of water a day, and to eliminate the consumption of milk and dairy products, attitudes necessary to avoid a large increase in calcium in the blood, which would have side effects such as kidney malfunction. This care is necessary because vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium in the intestine, and therefore the diet should be low in calcium during treatment.

Why the treatment works

Treatment with vitamin D can work because this vitamin acts like a hormone, regulating the functioning of various cells in the body, such as the cells of the intestine, kidneys, thyroid and immune system.

With the increase in vitamin D, it is intended that the immune system starts to work better, no longer fighting the body's own cells, interrupting the progression of the autoimmune disease and promoting the well-being of the patient, who manifests fewer symptoms.

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