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Dear Dr Cannell: Reflux esophagitis link to D

Posted on: August 13, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD


Dear Dr. Cannell:

Having had severe debilitating reflux laryngeal- esophagitis for 2 1/2 years, where my Dr told me there was nothing more they could do for me last August 2011, Vitamin D stood between certain chronic pain and me. I was lucky to do my own research on your website and found Vit D3 and developed my own treatment plan for myself, tasking 5,000 IU/day.  After 11 months I can say I continue to have slow and steady improvement with a level of 65 ng/ml.  I feel almost cured. So I know firsthand how wonderful higher levels of Vit D are. My severe condition plus incontinence, swollen wrists and ankles, weak muscles, severe joint pain all disappeared. I am writing to share with you something I heard from my husband yesterday after his check up with our HMO here in CA.

I’ve had my husband on Vit D3 now for 4 months and loves it.  He went in yesterday and told his Dr that he wanted to get his Vit D score up to 65 and wanted to test again as his score was on the low end in March 2012 with a score of 31. His Dr told my husband not to worry about it. That our HMO had just revised Vitamin D levels from 30 on the low end to be 20 on the low end. So my husband was told he is fine and not to worry about it. He was told not to take more than 2,000 IU of D3. I was stunned.

I can’t help thinking about all the people in the future, who will get their Vit D test at score at 20 and be told their fine and that they are “within range”. Terrifying to say the least.

What is going on with the medical community? There are so many studies showing that its better to be at least at a score of 50 for optimum health and that lower than that can leave the patient wide open for many serious illnesses.

Thank you for helping me, I feel you saved my life.


Dear JE,

It appears from the letters I am getting that vitamin D does indeed help reflux in some but not all people. The other improvements, incontinence, weakness, arthritis symptoms have all been associated with low vitamin D levels.

The reason your HMO is now using 20 ng/ml is that it is now taking into account the new lower limit of the Food and Nutrition Board but (which only takes into account bone disorders). You are right; doctors will tell thousands of deficient people that they are fine. The only upside is that 20 ng/ml is better than 10 ng/ml. Why doctors settle for the lowest end of normal in vitamin D, I cannot understand. We’ll continue to try and alleviate this problem and continue to educate doctors.

Furthermore, if anything saved your life, it was vitamin D in appropriate doses, not me.


John Cannell, MD

1 Response to Dear Dr Cannell: Reflux esophagitis link to D

  1. [email protected]

    While I don’t have clinical reflux, I did have chronic indigestion (self treated with baking soda). Since embarking on 10k IU’s of D3 for 6 months, reduced to 5k for the summer, my indigestion has become a rarity, triggered only by itemperate eating. Can’t prove it is the D3, but it sure matches up…

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