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ANGEL1066's Photo ANGEL1066 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/28/10 7:29 P

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I've had much more energy since I started taking a B-complex supplement regularly. I also take Salmon oil, Vit D & Calcium at nite, a multivit & co-Q-10 in morn. I had a bout with H1N1 this fall, no other viruses past 3 years, since I started supplementing, despite starting Enbrel 2 years ago, which they told me would lower my immune system, possibly open me to infection. I am a bit more careful now, however, which may also help.

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TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
2/28/10 12:17 P

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Vit D is absorbed by the body & so it can accumulate & cause a lot of trouble - bleeding problems, cartilage & muscle damage.. well, things none of us want to have! I am ALWAYS deficient in D when I haven't been on the prescription D for more than a couple of months. It's been almost a yr since my last round of Rx D. This last time I had to take it for SIX weeks!

I don't think I've ever had my calcium checked though. When I see my rheum on Wed I will ask her to check as many vit/minerals as we can. It will be interesting to see how things look.

Stay calm and carry on.
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2/28/10 11:35 A

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It's always a good idea to get your Calcium and Vitamin D checked before adding supplements. I just had mine checked and my Calcium was really high from taking supplements without getting my baseline checked first. Not very smart of me! Too high calcium levels can depression, difficulty in concentrating, peptic ulcer disease, kidney stones and disease, pancreatitis, osteoporosis, and many other things.

I have an appointment to consult with my doctor. I'll let you know what she says.

I can do ALL things through Christ whom strengthens me.


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TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
2/28/10 12:40 A

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Gwen, it's good to hear that the Vit D & calcium are helping your immune system. I find that encouraging as I have been getting VERY sick quite often for the past few yearss. So I hope that adding them to my regime might help me the same way they've helped you.

Thanks for sharing that info w/us!

I've also added back Biotin - it's in the B vitamin group & helps w/your hair & nails (among other things.) I had been taking it for several months & my nails were long & sturdy. Then I ran out & didn't replace it right away & just forgot to ever get a new bottle. My nails are short now & peeling & chipping..so I think that the biotin was actually working!

Stay calm and carry on.
GWEN1313's Photo GWEN1313 Posts: 182
2/27/10 8:39 P

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Hi everyone, I was also getting sick A LOT!! I also work with children making me more exposed. Someone suggested that I start Vitamin D and calcium supplements and since I did, I have only been sick once in 3 three months versus almost every 2 weeks. Can't be a coincidence. Children are still sick all around me. Also, when I did get sick, it was over very quickly without antibiotics.

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2/27/10 12:06 A

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I take RX folic acid, too = 4 gm a day, total which is a lot.

I can do ALL things through Christ whom strengthens me.


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TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
2/26/10 3:10 P

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I take prescription folic acid - I could take the same amount OTC, but it's actually cheaper to take the Rx since the dose is so high (not to mention the hassle of swallowing a zillion more pills). Some portion of the B complex is low, but i can't remember what it is.

Also have chronic anemia secondary to low ferritin levels. I don't absorb iron from my GI tract so I could take bottles of iron supplements without any benefit. When my ferritin gets too low I get iron infusions. There is a disorder where people have too MUCH iron in their blood & so they have to have blood taken OUT-can't remember what that's called.

My Vit D is low a lot, but not always. Even though I take an extra Vit D in addition to my multi-vit. There was some conversation awhile back about multi-vitamins not being helpful. It was based on ONE study and so I haven't paid much attention to it; there are too many studies across the years that say a multi-vitamin is helpful - especially when people are dieting or have some sort of chronic illness. Add dieting to the mix & it seems like we could have a lot of probs w/deficiencies.

Now that I've read that information I intend to ask my new rheum (appt Tues!) what she thinks about it & if there is any benefit to checking for deficinies during routine blood checks.

Apart from when I was sick in Jan (when I was 'officially' malnourished -go figure, overweight, but malnourished), I'm not sure what my calcium levels are. I eat dairy, but not a lot. But I do eat other high-calcium foods (dark green leafy veggies for example.)

Yes - B vitamins are part of what gives you energy, but also provides support to your muscles & nerves & IMMUNE system. So I wonder about my B levels since I seem to get sick a lot..even when I compare myself to other folks w/RA.

But as others have mentioned - be careful about taking supplements. Some vitamins & minerals are excreted in your urine when you have too much, but others can build up in your blood & be very dangerous! Be sure to talk to your doc about the supplements you take or want to take..not to mention that even OTC meds & supplements can sometimes interact badly with Rx meds.

Stay calm and carry on.
4CYNDI's Photo 4CYNDI Posts: 15,653
2/26/10 1:10 P

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I am low in folic acid and the B minerals. My Dr often gives me a B12 shot when I see him. It really boosts my energy. Especially when I'm in a flare like now. I'm not sure about my iron, but it seems to be fine. My Dr hasn't mentioned it at all, so I suspect it's fine. I take folic acid supplements, a multivitamin and am starting a B-complex vitamin daily.

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KELBSTAR Posts: 287
2/26/10 10:52 A

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This is an interesting thread. At my last appointment I tested very low for Vit.D, which apparently is common for RA and Fibro.
As for Iron. Growing up I was always told i had chronic anemia - once I got my RA diagnosis I've never had to take iron supplements again... interesting.

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2/26/10 1:27 A

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I am high in Calcium, too, because of all the veggies I eat, too. My Vitamin D and B-12 are pending. The rest are normal.:)

I can do ALL things through Christ whom strengthens me.


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CINDYSUE48's Photo CINDYSUE48 Posts: 3,264
2/26/10 12:52 A

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One thing to point out. Are you low on iron or is your hemoglobin/hematocrit (Hgb/Hct) low?

Many people store iron, especially during an infection or inflammatory response, so they show up as "anemic", but if serum ferritin levels are done found to have normal or even high levels. Many think the anemia that goes along with AI flares is a defense mechanism.

This is true for me. All my life I've had normal Hgb/Hct and all of a sudden turned up anemic. Even back before my hysterectomy when I was pretty much hemorrhaging, my Hct/Hgb were within normal limits. When my doc checked my Ferritin it was on the high side.....and once my flare stopped my Hgb/Hct went back up. I donate blood on a regular basis....or at least I try to. Every time I get rejected I am either in a flare or start one within a few days.

Especially if you are taking iron supplements but still showing up as anemic....as your doc to check your ferritin. If it is high it is not good to continue to take iron!

Cindy Moore

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Palindromic Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosed September 2007

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TMANNY's Photo TMANNY Posts: 667
2/26/10 12:10 A

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I take prescription D, and am often low in my iron, I have to make up for that with diet though I have an intolerance to iron pills. I actually eat a lot of calcium rich foods so I am usually a little high in calcium, funny thing is I don't like dairy it's all from vegetables another reason to eat our veggies emoticon
Thank you for the info I may ask about the B's because I hear they help energy level, anyone have any success with that?

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TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
2/25/10 4:58 P

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I posted about this on my blog, but also wanted to put the info here. Read an article today about nutritional deficits in people with RA. The most common were vitamins C, D, B6, B12, and E; calcium; folic acid; magnesium; zinc; and selenium

I know I personally am frequently low in Vit D, B6 & 12, and folic acid. But I also have a lot of iron deficiency.

What about others here? Do you find your doctor(s) telling you that you are low in certain vitamins and/or minerals?

Stay calm and carry on.
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