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vitamin D3 helping my LPR symptoms

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  • vitamin D3 helping my LPR symptoms

    I live in the Pacific Northwest, where I've been increasingly upset over the years about the fact that I literally spend 6+ months per year in search of a ray of sunshine. Cloudy, overcast, rainy, no sun to be found for weeks on end, no joke.

    I've heard that this is the capital for Multiple Sclerosis and other ailments, such as SAD (seasonal affective disorder). When I poked around on the internet abou these matters, I discovered that the sun is what helps us make vitamin D, and that folks in this part of the world are often deficient in vitamin D, and that recommendations for vitamin D supplementation have been on the rise. I think the FDA increased their upper limits to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3, but there is some talk more recently that 5,000 IU may even be fine.

    Anyhow, I decided to try Carlson sublingual vitamin D3 drops, 1,000 IU. Within a couple days I noticed I did not have any LPR symptoms when drinking lattes. That was around 3 weeks ago. Since then I've experimented with coffee consumption. I've had a minimum of 2 double-shot lattes per day, sometimes 3. Sometimes even black coffee from Starbucks, which I have not set foot in for years, and have not had a cup of actual coffee for years either.

    I can unequivocally state that Vitamin D3 is like a miracle drug for me, in terms of ameliorating LPR symptoms.

    I've consumed more coffee products in the past 3 weeks than any other 3 week period in my life, and I feel totally fine.

    One key observation is that my belches suddenly seem normal much of the time, which has not been the case for many years. I sense that the upper part of my esophagus is behaving more like a sphincter in controlling the exit of air during a belch - it's a more normal sounding belch. The past few years, my belches have just been like open, air shoots out, then UES shuts. But now, it's like a more normal belch sound and feel. Very hard for me to be adequately descriptive in the improvement I've seen in my belches.

    So any how, my guess is that the vitamin D3 is in fact somehow helping my upper esophagus muscle(s) behave more normally. I don't sense that it's having much effect on my LES though because I do sense many instances of refluxing into my esophagus.

    Overall, I'd say that the vitamin D3 has reduced my LPR symptoms by 80-90%. I mean, coffee has been my nemesis since 2003, and has been a serious problem the past few years. But now, it's like it's not too much of a problem. I mean sometimes I do feel some burning symptoms, but they are not as severe as they used to be and they only last maybe a few hours compared to before, they would last 36 hours of pain. And some days like today, where I've had 3 lattes, I have not had any symptoms at all. It's surreal.

    I've held off for 3 weeks on posting this because I wasn't sure if this would last. Anyway, I have not observed 100% symptom elimination, but I've had at least 21 consecutive days of more coffee that I really even want, and like I say, my symptoms run anywhere from 0% some days to 20% other days, which makes the LPR more in the category of "annoyance" than "serious life altering health problem".

    I've tried to further observe how adding on a calcium supplment affects things as well as how taking a multivitamin affects things, as well as how dosing of vitamin D3 affects things. This is a more difficult thing to cull out. But my preliminary impression is that several doses per day of vitamin D3 is most helpful; calcium supplements do not help; daily multivitamin may be very helpful, but I can't be sure at this point.

    In addition to living in the pacific nw, I also have Crohn's Disease and have had some of my intestines cut out over the years. So maybe I don't absorb vitamin D too well from food? I dunno. Hard to say...just speculation what my problem is, but there's no question that the D3 is doing something remarkable. I nearly feel like I don't have LPR any more. Not totally but it's totally reminiscient of the time when I first felt the beginning twinges of LPR in 2003.

    I just can't get over my belches, how normal they are now. Bizarre, like the hands of time have been turned back 6 years.

    I guess I am now leaning more toward the notion that LPR is in fact due to a defective or malfunctioning UES or upper esophageal muscles, mainly based on my observation of how my UES area now seems to regulate tightly, the escape of air from my esophagus when belching. I extrapolate this observation to imagining that it is more tight and vigilant in containing acid and pepsin and such during the day, and thus reducing LPR symptoms.

    ok, don't want to ramble too much, and I don't know whether anyone else out there with LPR will find any benefit from D3 drops, but like I say, I noticed a big difference within just a few days. So, it might not hurt to try. I have read that D3 can affect calcium levels in the bloodstream, and that this can in turn affect smooth muscle function. So, from this standpoint, it sounds somewhat logical that vitamin D3 may have a relevant role in LPR. Vitamins and biology, etc. are not my strong suit, so if any of you scientific types have any thoughts, please chime in, would love to hear thoughts.

  • #2
    Hi Mark

    Glad to hear you are feeling better. I had my vitamin levels checked about a year ago, and noticed my vitamin d levels were low. THe doctor told me alcoholics have low vitamin d levels, only I don't drink. Interesting about the vitamin levels.

    take care
    Ron

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    • #3
      This is an avenue I haven't tried, but have thought about. This has inspired me, and I've ordered the D3. I am a redhead that constantly avoids the sun, and a vegetarian to boot, so this makes me a primse candidate for deficiency. I'll let you guys know when I start dosing myself with 2000iu/day of D3, and will report progress (or not)

      Thanks for the report Mark, and definitely keep us posted as you find out more about how it affects you...

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      • #4
        I too have only vitamin-D deficiency, and I take the CVS brand 1000-units per day.
        but we need to stress the "D3" since regular vitamin D supplements are not D3. I was hoping my doctor will oblige and give me a injection of D3 ( as i get B-12 too).. I do believe we all refluxers are malabsorping slowly and steadily, and thats causing the relaxation of these 2 sphincters.. Also the blood reports are not all that trustworthy for malabsorption.. interesting finding though.. I am going to post back once i try the D3.

        btw, a lot of people envy folks living in Seattle.. I was there for a microsoft conference, although i never liked it, compared to New Jersey, my wife and kids just loved the city.. Guess, grass is always greener on the other side.

        take care.

        lets hope 2010 we find better cures for this LPR and acid reflux.

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        • #5
          the other thing to possibly keep in mind, in addition to this being D3 that I am taking (based on my cursory readings of the subject, where I inferred that D3 is perhaps the optimal type of D to take) is that I am taking the drops (sublingual). I just bought the sublingual drops thinking they would be most convenient. I have not tried the pills. So I can't say whether I would have good luck with pills or not. I subsequently talked to a guy in a GNC store who said that the sublingual drops, at 1,000 IU per drop, will only absorb maybe 700 IU because the body can't absorb that much in one shot. Who knows if that's true or not.

          The other thing I forgot to mention is that I've had more mucus in my sinuses the past few weeks, to the point where I will spit it out once or twice per day. But not in a bad way. Seems like a positive development to me actually, like more moisture, more mucosal protection. I like it. It can't be anything but good for LPR. So that's one other observation to keep an eye out for.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by i_nelson View Post
            I too have only vitamin-D deficiency, and I take the CVS brand 1000-units per day.
            but we need to stress the "D3" since regular vitamin D supplements are not D3. I was hoping my doctor will oblige and give me a injection of D3 ( as i get B-12 too).. I do believe we all refluxers are malabsorping slowly and steadily, and thats causing the relaxation of these 2 sphincters.

            i_nelson, how long have you been taking D3, and has it helped you? Why would you want an injection of D3, why not just do sublingual D3 drops? Don't you need regular dosing of D3, as opposed to B12, which can be done on a monthly basis?

            What makes you think refluxers are malabsorping slowly and steadily? I'm not challenging that notion, I'm just wondering where you came up with that idea, since I have never really heard about that idea until I had that idea myself recently based on my D3 experience. Have you heard or read something about this?

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            • #7
              mark

              No. I have not tried D3 so far, just the regular D.
              the reason I prefer injections is they eliminate the possibility of malabsorption.

              I found very good success with B12 shots per month vs in sublingual form.

              I will try out the sublingual D3 first for sure..

              I can link malabsorption as very poorly understood by even the very best doctors. The merck manual has just 3 or 4 flows in their flow-chart which makes no sense.. there can be much more reasons for slow malabsorption. How can one explain so healthy individuals being lactose intolerant (since this is very easy one to spot as the IBS like symptoms seem rather embarassing and most doctors can figure it out via the Hydrogen breath test).

              Now, for my malabsorption it started years ago, about the same time, i had silent reflux (which i had no clue was occuring within me). I used to have dandruff, and doctors prescribed Loprax and Nizorole (assuming the yeast P-ovale) when its malabsorption causing it..

              One thing I am scared about, is the lack of knowledge.. It need not be documented in text-books or medical journal to be a reality.. When one experiences it, you know you cannot be wrong..

              Maybe years from now, someone is going to google this, and say damn how right..

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              • #8
                Can someone tell me what the distinction is between D and D3?

                I seem to recall reading somewhere that most of us are deficient in D, because of the widespread use of sunscreen, which apparently blocks the sun from giving us what we need.

                Mark, I've been in Seattle four times for business trips (a week each at least), and the weather was perfect each visit. I have friends who grew up there, so I know your account is accurate, but it is always tough for me to believe it!

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                • #9
                  Wow Mark! That's awesome. I'm so happy to hear that you're having some relief.

                  Thistle, regarding your Vitamin D question...this is from Dr. Andrew Weil's site:

                  Vitamin D, often referred to as the "sunshine vitamin," is actually a fat-soluble hormone that the body can synthesize naturally. There are several forms, including two that are important to humans: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is synthesized by plants, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is synthesized by humans when skin is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. The active form of the vitamin is calcitriol, synthesized from either D2 or D3 in the kidneys. Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.

                  I recommend that everyone take 1,000 IU a day of vitamin D-3 (which is better utilized by the body than the more common form, D-2), and even with the possible uncertainty of current methods, I also recommend that everyone consider getting their vitamin D level tested.

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                  • #10
                    Kronis 2 and Thistle

                    Hi Kronis Commercial Vitamin D3 is made from an animal source... don't know how strict a vegatarian you are . Thought you might want to know

                    Hi Thistle . There are 2 main types of Vitamin D on the commercial market . D2 and D3 . There was never a major distinction until a few years ago. . It was just all Vitamin D . Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants only. Vitamin D3 is synthesized by humans by the sun and is naturally contained in fish .( like cod liver oil ) Most over the counter vitamin D supplements were mainly in D2 form for the last 80 years and most foods/ milk were fortified with D 2 for many years.

                    Vitamin D2 was developed ( made from mold ) and patented by the pharmaceutical industry back in the 1920s and added to milk etc . to combat rickets . It worked well in eradicating that . Over the years, as tests have become more sofisticated it was found that D2 and D3 don't follow the same metabolic pathway. Vitamin D3 seems to be more potent. . It is less toxic . It circulates in the body longer . It raises D levels quicker in the body and maintains D levels better than D 2 . D2 has a shorter half life .... D3 has a much longer shelf life than D2 , foods fortified with D2 lose the D content quicker.

                    Scientists say where both D 2 and D3 are perfectly acceptable sources of vitamin D ,--since D 3 seems to be more potent and is the form of vitamin D that is used in most clinical trials that shows all of the benefits , most experts reccomend that D3 is what people should be taking . Most companies are now changing over to D 3 . and fortifying their , milk, cereals , and vitamin sopplements with D3 instread of D2.

                    I just checked my milk in the fridge .( Lactania ) It is fortified with D3 . My regular no name vitamins have D 3 in them too . Vitamin D2 is also known as "ergocalciferol," and vitamin D3 is also known as "cholecalciferol. Some foods/ vitamins have those names on the labels instead of D2 and D3 . . Happy New Year

                    One more thing , i would be cautious in taking too much vitamin D . Health Canada reccomends everyone 50 and older take 10 μg (400 IU) per day. ( because they say most people that age are low. ) When you are over 50, even if you get sun , your body doesn't absorb it as well.

                    The reason i say caution on too much D is where a lot of studies say it can decrease chances of breast cancer for example and prolong lives in those with illnesses , which is very exciting, there are also large studies saying that vitamin D might raise risk to developing pacreatic cancer quite dramatically for example. Experts say not to overdo . It looks promising in many areas , but there is still a lot of unknown .( remember the vitamin A craze) More studies are needed they say. Also Vitamin D can inneract with some meds ( steroids for example ) so make sure you check.

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                    • #11
                      Kids

                      For anyone with kids , or adults too , because a lot of adults take kids multi vitamins because they are cheaper and have the same about of stuff as the adults ..... The Flintstones one a day have 400 IU of vitamin D3 , but the Disney gummies use D2 . You really have to look at lablels to see if the regular vitamins you are buying says "ergocalciferol," ( D2 ) or "cholecalciferol* D3 .

                      I have been taking 1000 in the winter and by personal choice would not take anymore than that .... ( i know people who take mountainous amounts ) I take just my regular multi vitamin( with D3) in the summer because i get a whole lot of sun .

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                      • #12
                        to NYer and Tricia

                        Thanks for the tutorial -- you guys are the greatest. I had no idea about this. As you might guess, I immediately checked the label on my Vitamin D bottle, and I am taking D3. Whew!

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                        • #13
                          I had my vitamin D levels drawn and checked at the doctor last week, as I was curious. It came back at a level of 22. My doc tells me that 20-100 is normal, but over 40 is what is desired. I wonder what my level was before taking the 2,000 IU each day for a month. Anyway, the past 5 days I have not taken any drops and yet still felt fine drinking coffees. Feel like a kid who just got a brand new shiny esophagus for Christmas!

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                          • #14
                            So, er, Mark...why did you STOP taking the Vit D?? Obviously, if it helped you, it wasn't going to stop helping you for a few days after you stopped taking it, as it's already raised your blood levels of D. But you need to keep taking it. Your doctor is right, it is still too low - by the standards of what they now know and recommend. And even if your levels were now where they should be, you need to maintain it and should continue taking at LEAST 1000 I.U. every day, unless you're outside in the bright sun for a half hour every day (which you are not - in Seattle).

                            I'm really glad you found something that helped you. So keep working at it, don't let your body fall back to where it was.

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                            • #15
                              Mark,

                              Thanks for posting this; right after I read it, I sent hubby out to pick up some D3. I'm in the house a lot so I don't get a lot of sunlight. I hope it will help my LPR symptoms, even if just a little. I'm also going to have my doc draw some levels on me to see where my vit D levels are.

                              Michelle

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