How Vitamin D Answers Came To Be and Why It Matters
My wife Miriam has ankylosing spondylitis, a painful and degenerative autoimmune disease.
High-dose vitamin D has helped her more than anything else would.
Can vitamin D help you too?
If you have come to our little place on the internet, you’ve probably heard about the extraordinary effects of vitamin D on autoimmune disorders like ankylosing spondylitis.
But there’s a problem.
Even though vitamin D is incredibly effective at taming your immune system, the information available both online and in mainstream books is very lacking.
For example, in our case, there really wasn’t any book or resource I could find that would explain the step-by-step process of high-dose vitamin D therapy from start to finish.
There’s a good reason for that, though.
High-dose vitamin D protocols, like the Coimbra Protocol, are tailored to the specific needs and health issues of an individual.
For this reason, it took me months of reading and research to understand exactly how to use true high-doses of vitamin D safely and effectively.
During this time, Miriam was taking 30.000 IU of vitamin D every day.
However, nothing was happening to her symptoms.
She was still relying on cortisone, anti-inflammatory and painkillers to deal with her pain.
It seemed vitamin D was just another overhyped supplement.
Yet, we were watching videos from patients in Brazil doing the Coimbra Protocol and getting better, we were looking at the published research and the testimonials found in forums and books… people were getting better with even lower dosages.
Why wasn’t it working for us?
It should have worked. She should have felt at least some relief.
Yet, she didn’t.
Miriam could have given up.
Instead, I remember her saying to me: “I must be one of those people that are highly resistant to vitamin D.”
She is a fighter and I’m sure you are too.
But, was she correct?
Can you guess how much daily Vitamin D my wife had to take to finally get relief?
Ankylosing spondylitis is an autoimmune disorder where the white blood cells attack several tissues of the body, with a special affinity for the spine and its vertebrae.
This attack is so vicious that, in time, the vertebrae may even end up fusing together into a single bone, completely restricting any spine movement.
30,000 IU didn’t seem to be doing anything to prevent that.
Then, in March 2018, under Doctor supervision, we raised her dosage to 40,000 IU daily.
And still, nothing happened.
We should have waited at least 2 months to give her body enough time to react to this new dosage of vitamin D, but she was under so much suffering that we decided to raise the dosage... by a lot.
By how much?
Before I tell you, there are a few things I need you to understand. This is to make sure you won’t go and blindly try to duplicate our experiment.
As you read along, please take the following facts into account:
The point is: we were well aware of what we were doing, the risks involved, and we had medical support available in case something went wrong.
So, how much did she had to take to feel relief?
That’s a lot of vitamin D for a girl weighing less than 50 Kg (110 Pounds).
Now, she wasn’t significantly better, but, for the first time, there was a relief.
With this relief came hope.
Why was relief such a victory?
First, bear in mind that Miriam had been in pain since the onset of her disease.
This had happened when she was just 14 years old.
From that time, up until 2018, she’d known pain. Ever present, ever increasing, especially on the bottom of her spine and adjacent joints.
As she retells, there was the “regular pain” and then there was the “flair-up pain”.
Then, as months passed by, what once was “flair-up pain” would become her new “regular pain”. And it just kept going like that, snowballing.
Nothing helped her pain except for opioid painkillers, like tramadol, or immune suppressants, like cortisone derivates.
And as you probably can understand, when you’ve known nothing but suffering for several years, that takes a significant toll on your hope.
Miriam’s paternal grandfather, for example, has had the cervical portion of his spine fused together into a single bone due to his ankylosing spondylitis.
He can’t turn his head right or left
I remember Miriam telling me about a surgery she’d heard about, where they’d replace your joints with metal prosthetics.
As terrible as that idea sounded to her, she told me she was willing to consider it one day if that’s what it would take to prevent her spine from fusing together too.
I’m telling you this, so you can grasp just how much she had lost her hope of recovering.
And then, here we were, in early 2018, taking 70,000 IU of vitamin D and, for the first time, Miriam was actually feeling relief even as she was without her pain medication.
So, what we did?
We raised the dose.
We raised it to 100,000 IU.
And we kept this dose for almost 2 months straight.
This was careless, I know.
I don’t want you to try and duplicate this.
But the pain dropped so much that she said she felt like when she was 14 when her “regular pain” was simply annoying instead of overwhelming.
Things were looking great.
And then came the new blood test results.
Her PTH was way below the normal lower range and her calcium, albeit still within the normal range, was too high for us to feel comfortable about it.
She was taking too much vitamin D.
We decided to drop the dose to 50,000 IU and so far, she has kept feeling significant relief with that dose.
That made me realize that the reason she got better with 70,000 IU and then even better with 100,000 IU, and not with 50,000 IU, was because we didn’t wait long enough for the 50,000 IU dose to raise her vitamin D levels.
We are still finetuning her dose, but now we are waiting 2 months or more, to give her body time to adjust and react to any given dose.
When she has flair-ups we’ll still double her dose to 100,000 IU.
If by any reason, her calcium levels rise too much, we switch to 0 IU (Yes, zero) for a few weeks, while maintain a strict low-calcium diet, to allow her body to readjust its calcium blood levels.
Yes, it’s hard.
Vitamin D isn’t a magical panacea, nor it is without its perils, but neither are immunosuppressants or opioid painkillers.
Miriam did an informed choice, she was following the safety guidelines and she was taking her blood tests.
Of course, we could have done it better.
When you raise your vitamin D dose you should do it by 5,000 or 10,000 IU increments. At best, maybe 20,000 IU if you really know what you are doing. Then, you need to wait at least 2 months, repeat your blood and urine tests, and re-adjust your dose accordingly.
As you can see, you really shouldn’t try and do it the way I and Miriam did it.
Could vitamin D help you too?
The good results Miriam obtained motivated me to try and fill the knowledge gap I had originally found when I was researching this topic.
After all, I could finally see how all the blood and urine tests, supplements and co-factors fit together.
This information was scattered through several books, research papers, and patient testimonials. Some of it came directly from Miriam’s first-hand experience with vitamin D therapy.
But know I was sure it worked and, carelessness aside, I knew how to do it safely.
This led me to publish the original Portuguese version of my book on safe high-dose vitamin D therapy.
The goal of the book was two-fold:
First of all, I wanted to provide all the Brazilian men and women who were suffering from autoimmune disorders with a step-by-step guide to safe vitamin D supplementation:
Secondly, I wanted to make this information accessible and understandable to anyone, even if to a person who had never heard about calcium, hormones or even vitamin D. The process had to be laid out in a way even a 10-year-old could understand.
How did the book do?
The reaction from the Brazilian community was outstanding
At one point the Portuguese edition of my book was the 507th best-selling book on Amazon Brazil – out of millions of available books. I was ecstatic.
This led me to work hard on the English edition.
However, the English book market is unlike the Brazilian one. For one, I wasn’t writing in my mother tongue, which left me unease and having to rely a lot on external tools like Grammarly.
On top of that, there were already great books about vitamin D available in English, why would anyone get mine instead?
To my surprise, a few days after publishing the English edition of the book, it began selling.
A few weeks later I received an email from VitaminDWiki.com founder, Henry Lahore.
Now, along with the VitaminDCouncil.com, vitaminDWiki.com is one of the biggest resources on vitamin D on the Internet.
What did Mr. Lahore have to say?
To my amazement, he commended me for my work, left a 5-star review on Amazon.com and even posted my book on the homepage of his site.
Finally, he gave me an incentive to go and translate the book into more languages. This is something I’ve thought about a lot and that I’ll certainly do once I have the funds to pay for good translators and proof-readers. I’d love to see the book being published in Hindi, for example.
As it turns out, the book was filling a much greater void than I had thought
Could it be that more people felt the same way I did?
Even though there were many books about vitamin D and its potential, when I read them, I still felt confused about what to do next.
Besides, some of the greatest claims were based on personal experiences and theories, without accompanying links to the relevant scientific papers from accredited sources, like the NIH.
They got me enthusiastic about vitamin D, but I was still unsure about how to implement what I’d learned in a practical and safe way.
No way I was going to suggest high doses of vitamin D to my wife without being 100% sure about the safety of what we were doing.
If you read the comments and reviews posted on these books, it‘s obvious many of these readers are flying blind.
Imagine, someone taking 100,000 IU of vitamin D or more, every day, without being aware of the need to follow a low-calcium diet or to keep an eye on several essential blood and urine parameters. Ouch.
Yes, they might be reaping tremendous health benefits, but are they going to stay safe on the long run?
Why risk it?
Maybe because they weren’t informed about how vital the blood tests and the low-calcium diet are.
That’s the danger of enticing people to supplement high-doses while also downplaying the risks or the need for proper medical support along the way.
How this website came to be
This site as a similar goal to the book.
I intend it to become the best resource on the internet on high-dose vitamin D therapies, like the Coimbra Protocol.
Here you won’t find me downplaying the true risks of vitamin D or bashing conventional medicine.
To the contrary, you’ll find easy-to-understand, step-by-step information, to help you on your healing journey.
It was heartbreaking to see how my wife would sometimes come home from work.
At times she could hardly walk due to her joint pain.
And, even though this was hard, I can only imagine how much harder it must be for a person to see a loved one degenerating due to multiple sclerosis or other serious autoimmune disorder affecting the nervous system.
Not to speak about the loved one himself.
It’s sad and frightening, you feel hopeless and in despair.
But there’s hope.
Dr. Coimbra has been helping many of his patients to put an end to this misery – 95% of them, according to an interview he did.
Can you, like my wife, feel relief too?
There are no guarantees, but the odds are certainly on your side.
It’s my hope that, in the coming months, you’ll find in the pages of this site all the information you need to:
“Eu vou pô-la boa,” said Dr. Pinto Coelho to my wife. This roughly translates to “I’ll make you healthy again.”
This is the degree of certainty a real Doctor, one that’s well acquainted with vitamin D, has on the value of this therapy.
That’s the kind of hope we want to give you to in this little online space of ours.
Tiago and Miriam Henriques