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Vitamin D and Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

We all know that pregnancy uses up a woman's stores of minerals. The old saying, "a tooth for every baby" says how much a growing fetus can take from a mother. Iron stores, calcium, vitamin D, zinc, etc can all be depleted during pregnancy and whether this loss of minerals, has a role to play in the development of peripartum cardiomyopathy is something that needs to be investigated.

There are many books and studies on Vitamin D 's role in the body. Low vitamin D, leads to low calcium and calcium is necessary for a strong heart. At a time, when a mother's blood volume is increasing by 50%, the heart needs to be strong and low vitamin D could lead to a weakened heart. It is also well known that dark skinned people require more sun exposure to get the same amount of vitamin D, than fair skinned people. Vitamin D is synthesized by the skin when it is exposed to the sun. Studies show that dark skin may require six times the exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as fair skin. Could this be one of the reasons, why PPCM is more prevalent among dark skinned people?

Vitamin D has been studied and found to improve blood pressure. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9226088/Vitamin-D-as-good-as-drugs-at-reducing-high-blood-pressure.html

Dilated cardiomyopathy as a first sign of nutritional vitamin D deficiency rickets in infancy

A five-month-old boy presented with severe dilated cardiomyopathy, requiring intravenous inotropes as part of the initial management. He was found to have hypocalcemia due to vitamin D deficiency rickets. His cardiac function recovered completely after six months of vitamin D supplementation. Source ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10375722 )

Vitamin D, sun exposure, supplementation and doses , discusses how to increase your vitamin D.

Vitamin D toxicity through supplementation is unusual. If in doubt blood tests can determine vitamin D levels but a safe way to obtain vitamin D is through adequate sunshine. Unfortunately, sunshine is not often enough especially when vitamin D stores are already low and supplementation may be answer to raising vitamin D levels.

 Personally, I had low vitamin D in my PPCM pregnancy, whether or not vitamin D supplementation and sunshine helped me recover, will never be proven but I truly believe vitamin D had a role to play in PPCM for me, both in development and recovery. My GP continues to watch my vitamin D levels, which still have room for improvement.

 

 

Published Tuesday, 27 November 2012 by Jeanee Andrewartha

Comments

#re: Vitamin D and Cardiomyopathy
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 by Yvonne Britton

Maybe a coincidence but my vitamin d was tested and found to be extremely low 12 months post diagnosis, not sure how long it had been low for

#re: Vitamin D and Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
Thursday, 13 December 2012 by Jeanee Andrewartha

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to autoimmune and other chronic disease. It is also interesting to note that gluten sensitivity can lead to low vitamin D, as well as many other deficiencies. Today's wheat has 4 times more gluten than 60 years ago and because of the industrial farming, wheat is cheap and we are eating so much more of it. It's not hard to imagine the damage, all that gluten can have to the digestive system.

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