“Coaches Corner” – Vitamins and Minerals

People with chronic health conditions like Pemphigus and Pemphigoid are more likely to have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This deficiency can be from the disease itself, the regimen of medications that you are on or even from the change in your lifestyle after being diagnosed.

Our bodies absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods that we eat and often our diets change dramatically after being diagnosed with Pemphigus and Pemphigoid. If we have oral involvement, we have a tendency to choose foods that are easy to digest and swallow.

The following is a discussion regarding some of the most important vitamin and mineral supplementation needed for Pemphigus and Pemphigoid patients. Vitamin and mineral supplementation is very important to keep your body operating properly.

Vitamin D: One of the most important vitamins needed for Pemphigus and Pemphigoid patients as the combination of lack of sun, the use of Prednisone and even the disease itself can deplete the body’s absorption of this vitamin.

Calcium: If you are taking Prednisone you should ask your physician about a Calcium supplement as Osteopenia and Osteoporosis are common.

Iron: Fatigue is a direct result of Pemphigus and Pemphigoid and can also often be caused by lack of Iron in our diets. Some medications (Dapsone) that are used for the treatment of your condition can also cause Anemia or lack of Iron in your blood.

Here is a list of other vitamins and their uses that may be helpful and you should ask your physician about:
Vitamin A (Retinol): The body uses vitamin A to form and maintain teeth, mucous membranes, skin and hard and soft muscle tissue.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin or Niacinimide): Vitamin B3 reduces low-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol and fibrinogen, which may contribute to inflammation.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin): Supports healthy hair and skin by helping process proteins.

Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid): Helps with Anemia, especially in patients using Methotrexate.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): Helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): The body uses vitamin C for iron absorption and collagen, bone, cartilage, muscle and blood vessel formation.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol): substances that damage cells by steeling electrons and destroying cellular DNA. Exposure to environmental toxins such as sunlight and tobacco smoke may trigger free-radical formation in the body. The body also uses vitamin E to form red blood cells and absorb vitamin K.

Vitamin K (Phytonadione): Your body stores vitamin K in fatty body tissues. Clinicians may use vitamin K to control the effects of anti-coagulant medication. This vitamin also supports healthy bone structure.

Zinc: Zinc regulates protein synthesis, growth development, and wound healing.

Magnesium: Involved in cellular energy production, bone structure, and nerve and muscle function.

These are just some of the vitamin and mineral supplements that can assist you with managing your condition. Remember that it takes a multi-faceted approach to improving your condition and that supplements may only be part of the solution. Please check with your physician regarding these vitamins and minerals and the amounts that they recommend before using them.

When you need us, we are in your corner!

Marc Yale – Peer Health Coach