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Endometriosis and vitamin D: Is there a link?

Posted on: January 11, 2014   by  John Cannell, MD


Endometriosis, defined as the presence of the inner lining of the uterus in places it should not be, affects up to 10% of reproductive-age women. It causes intense pelvic pain during periods (dysmenorrhea), pain during intercourse (dyspareunia), chronic pelvic pain, irregular bleeding and infertility.

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17 Responses to Endometriosis and vitamin D: Is there a link?

  1. Rita and Misty

    How do “case reports” differ from anecdotal evidence? Would my comments here be considered a case report?

    I do have comments, but I wonder due to some very personal aspects of this disease if this blog is an appropriate venue. As open as I am, some things are still very personal to me.

    VDC: I must commend you on your excellent selection of graphics. In my opinion, they greatly enhance the blogs on your site. This puzzle piece..it speaks to how we each fit into the vitamin D community. But let’s remember, puzzle pieces are static. We, as human beings, have the wonderful ability of reacting and changing and growing and expanding….whether we are 10, 30, 50 or 65 years of age….(or older).

    John, I think this blog might make a nice VDC FB post.

    Be well,

  2. Rita and Misty

    Endometriosis is truly a life-hijacking condition.

    If there are female members of the Vitamin D Council who suffer from this condition, and would like to talk with me, I am okay with the Vitamin D Council providing my phone info to them.

    I do not wish to be contacted via email to discuss my condition, or my methods of self-treatment.

    I am not a physician, nor am I a healthcare professional–Just someone who has had way too much pain and decided to try to self-prescribed methods of treatment (including vitamin D3).

    John, the reason I asked for this blog to be posted on the VDC FB page is that I am open to having VDC FB readers also contact me.

    No woman should suffer from this condition.

    Brant and Jeff–I apologize if this causes any additional work for you. Only a small percentage of women suffer from this condition, so I doubt that you’ll be inundated with emails or calls. But, if VDC feels that this is inappropriate in any way, shape or form–please feel free to delete this posting. I won’t take offense. I don’t know how!

    I will share this much with everyone: copious amounts of magnesium will not help with endometriosis if you are vitamin D deficient. This has been my personal experience.

    We heal by helping. So I am open to phone calls on this matter. From women who suffer from this condition.

    Be well, Rita

  3. [email protected]

    Endometriosis is associated with low vitamin D – 67 year literature review – Oct 2013
    There are also 34 other studies which mention Endometriosis on VitaminDWiki

  4. Rita and Misty

    Is endometriosis an autoimmune disease?


    “These observations suggest that endometriosis is associated with abnormal polyclonal B cell activation, a classic characteristic of autoimmune disease.”

    My apologies that I cannot link to full text here…but VDC should be able to get the full text article.

    I think vitamin D might be beneficial with respect to autoimmune disease. I think I read that some place. 😉

    BTW–this article was written in 1987. That’s a long time ago. That’s many, many, many painful months, for some women (and those they live with)….but, not painful for me any longer…. 😉

  5. Rita and Misty

    If you have one autoimmune disease, does it make you more susceptible to having another?

    Are diseases like MS, Lupus, endometriosis, hashimoto’s disease, etc. really a cluster of diseases stemming from one root cause?

    Can all autoimmune diseases be tied into vitamin D deficiency?

    The studies currently don’t tie in vitamin D deficiency to all autoimmune disease.

    But perhaps that is because “deficiency” hasn’t been properly defined.

    Maybe those who suffer from autoimmune disease(s) require a much higher 25(OH)D level for their bodies to be healthy.

    Perhaps a level closer to 100 ng/ml is necessary for those who suffer from autoimmune disease.

  6. Rita and Misty

    My apologies..I must have missed this blog back in April.


    Professor Munoz, “Considering these robust epidemiological data, one might believe that vitamin D deficiency plays a pivotal role in the multifaceted (cause) of autoimmunity that deserves further scientific research to pinpoint the mechanisms of action of vitamin D in the phagocytosis (eating) and clearance of dying cells.”

  7. Ian

    The recent article in In Vivo as posted on vitamindwiki is ascerting that vitaminD deficiency does underlie the conditions that initiate so-called autoimmune diseases.


    One you did miss out of list is ME/CFS a much misunderstood and medically maligned illness which is quite clearly an “auto-immune disease”. Without doubt if you read the FULL and recent literature.

  8. Rita and Misty

    Thank you, Ian. vitamin D, iodine, boron, zinc, magnesium, selenium and K have changed my life (for the better). Also, potassium.

  9. fredglass

    What is your experience with potassium supplementation? What form & how much? Also with Boron? ( I notice that the D3 I use has 9mg/5,000iu boron as a co-factor) Thanks. Fred Glass

  10. Rita and Misty

    400 mg Potassium daily

    9 mg Boron is fine

    Look into Iodine and Selenium.

    We live in a toxic world.

  11. Rita and Misty

    Potassium citrate…some find it hard on the stomach..I do not.

    Of course getting your Potassium from veggies and fruits is preferred.

    But, i have been known to take a supplement (or two) 😉

  12. Ian

    I mix the potassium citrate with my magnesium citrate, giving me 400mg magnesium and 100 mg potassium per dose, taken twice daily. I also use potassium chloride which I mix with standard salt (sodium chloride) 60:40 for general use in cooking and salting meals such as tomato.

    My serum potassium and sodium levels were recently tested and were bang-on.

  13. fredglass

    Rita & Ian:
    Thank you very much for your input. Something for me to experiment with.
    Thanks. Fred Glass

  14. Rita and Misty

    400 mg is a good amount of magnesium. some say transdermal absorption is better for magnesium. 100 mg of potassium a day is good if you eat a healthful diet. Otherwise it is too low. Aim for 400 mg of potassium a day from all sources. Good luck with that. Our soils are heavily depleted.

  15. DrMargaretTaylor

    Half of all my endometriosis patients are significantly better on a gluten free diet, most are not celiacs. So they are prone to many deficiencies – vit D, zinc, magnesium, folate etc etc

  16. Rita and Misty

    Margaret: I’m certain it is more complex than I am about to make it sound..yet I always wonder if Celiac disease is really bromide toxicity or iodine insufficiency…

  17. [email protected]

    I believe that I have an explanation of why one or more studies have shown a slightly higher level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in women with endometriosis compared to those without endometriosis.
    First of all, it should be noted in the study that even the women with endometriosis still had relatively low vitamin D levels, many near 27.
    So what would explain the connection? Several decades of experience in a primary care medical practice, AND reading medical research, has taught me that endometriosis is correlated with dairy intake. In practice I have questioned every woman with the condition about her dairy intake and have found the connection to be striking. I stress i didn’t make up this connection, there is supportive research that lead me to investigate this.
    Although dairy products don’t raise vitamin D levels to ideal levels, a high intake do in fact raise the vitamin D levels somewhat. Frequently over 27 ng, such as in the study. So the increase in endometriosis is not due to a higher vitamin D level, it is due to the years of high dairy intake. As far as why dairy has this effect, it’s a complex incompletely understood problem, but certain dairy as the source of hormones has been studied, and endometriosis is thought to be due to excess estrogen.
    I sympathize with any woman who suffers from this condition and my comments should not be interpreted by anyone as an effort to put the blame on the sufferer. Dairy has been promoted for many decades as health food and I am just one of the millions who believed it for a long time.

    Robert Baker MD
    Primary Care Internal Medicine

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