Endometriosis has been associated with immune system issues. So, to help ward off further growth and renewal of endo, a good course of action is to strengthen your immune system.
A key part of this is Vitamin D, which plays an important role with your immune system.
Recent studies have shown that women with endometriosis tend to have lower Vitamin D levels. Long term Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to a weakened immune system and to chronic inflammation.
Vitamin D deficiency is related to chronic pain. That’s because it plays a pivotal role with your nervous system.
This comes along with sleep issues, anxiety and mood disorders, which all add to the cycle of pain.
Vitamin D Synthesis & Absorption
While named a “vitamin”, Vitamin D is actually a hormone that’s produced in your skin. It’s then metabolized in your liver and on into your kidneys.
The Vitamin D receptor (VDR) is present in nearly every tissue of your body, including within your ovaries and uterus. Your endometrium is a spot where vitamin D is synthesized.
More recent discoveries have shown that thousands of VDR binding sites are located through your genome, controlling hundreds of your genes.
When I got my personal genetic test results, I learned that I have heterozygous mutations with my Vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene. It’s downregulated.
This means that my body does not absorb Vitamin D as well.
The VDR is located in the nucleus of a variety of cells, including your immune cells. It serves as a type of control system.
Studies have indicated that the dysregulation of VDR may lead to exaggerated inflammatory responses. This raises the possibility for bacterial infections and chronic inflammation.
The Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) has been shown to downregulate expression of the VDR. It blocks the signal.
As I’ve learned more about EBV and it’s different stages, I’m convinced that this is a key factor in a lot of my issues. (Read more about why here).
Low Vitamin D, Endometriosis & Ovarian Cysts
A recent study found a connection between low levels of Vitamin D and endometriosis.
Low levels of vitamin D were connected to the severity of the disease and also to those who had the largest ovarian endometrioma, or ovarian cysts.
There was a relationship found between vitamin D levels and cyst sizes. Women with the lowest levels had the largest cysts.
While further research is needed, it appears that Vitamin D deficiency could play a key role with endometriosis and could be connected to disease severity.
This makes sense given the key role of your immune system.
Supplementing with Vitamin D
The best source of Vitamin D is the sun. 10,000 to 20,000 IU of Vitamin D can be produced in 30 minutes with whole-body exposure to sunlight.
In the winter months when the sun is furthest from you, you’re not going to be able to get the same amount of Vitamin D. So, it’s important, especially during this time, to supplement.
It’s a good idea to get your Vitamin D levels checked by your doctor to see where you’re at.
A couple of months ago I started supplementing with a much higher dose of Vitamin D3. I also started supplementing with 100 mcg of Vitamin K2 MK-7.
Vitamin K2 is connected with Vitamin D, and you need both in adequate amounts for optimal health. If you take a high dose of Vitamin D3 without Vitamin K2 then this could potentially cause kidney stones.
The Vitamin K2 MK-7 that I’m taking is from natto, which is fermented soybeans. I haven’t had an issue taking this with endo. Fermented soy is Ok.
On the Positive Side?
Since I started to supplement with a high dose of Vitamin D3 + K2 I’ve been feeling much better!
My energy levels and mood have improved, even in the middle of winter, as my body and mind start to crave spring, my favorite time of year. The time when I can get back outside and soak up some sun!
Do you have low vitamin D levels and endometriosis? Do you supplement with a high dose of vitamin D? How has it impacted you?
I’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment below.
I’ve just recently started supplementing with D3 combined with K2. I’m using Designs for Health and they combine their 5,000ius and their 10,000iu bottles with the K2. I don’t know if I really feel any different but I know that due to where I live I definitely feel I need at least 10,000ius/day.
Hi, it’s a good idea to get your vitamin D levels checked regularly when you’re taking high doses (I’m sure you are). I was taking 10,000IU per day for several months when I had my last bout of autoimmune chronic urticaria (I have severe endometrosis too) and it did help but my levels became almost dangerously high – no actual lasting effects or any side effects, but looking at my blood test results the specialist said I needed to stop taking it. Thanks for your useful tips!
Yes. Definitely good to get your levels checked with your doctor. Were you supplementing with Vitamin K2 too? That’s a key part of getting calcium where it needs to be, otherwise it can get dangerous.
Hi, no, it was just the D3 that had been trialled clinically for chronic urticaria, but thanks for the info re K2.
I’ve got severe Endo and IBS, my homeopath suggested that I test my vitamin D levels and came back 4.3, that explained my horrible brain fog and walking into the walls, so now I am taking 50 000 IU per day. Cannot do without it, and taking it everyday has helped me in so many ways.
Great to hear it’s helping you Anushka.
Hi Aubree, I’m wondering if you could recommend a good brand/product for both Vitamin D and K3 supplements (as well as dosage?). It’s tough to navigate through the dozens of different options, and I want to find the most effective product possible. Any suggestions you have would be much appreciated!
Hi Alice. I’d check with your doctor to see where your levels are at and go with their recommended dosage.
Hi. I have endometriosis and low vitamin D. I take 5,000 iu per day, prescribed by my doctor to get my levels up. I had an ovarian cyst (endometrioma) removed a few months ago. Hope the vitamin D supplements help! Thanks for the information about vitamin K. I’ll try that too. My dr has me taking a vitamin B complex in addition. I’m trying to eat anti-inflammatory foods and supplements to help with the pain (ginger, turmeric, omega3, and CBD).
Hope it helps you too! Also good to get outside and soak up some summer sun. Much Love.