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Experience with UVB Lamp for raising vitamin D

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by PeterPositive, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Hi,
    just wanted to report what I think is a positive experience of using an UVB lamp for recovering a sever vitamin D deficiency.

    At the end of June 2015 I was tested and found literally no vitamin D in my body, the serum level of 25OH-D was zero. Naturally the doctor wanted to immediately start with high dose (50-100K IU) shots to remedy the situation but I have a very bad history with high dose shots of anything, so I passed and looked for alternatives.

    Since it was summer the obvious choice was to be in the sun for at least 30-50min a day, every day, with no protection. I sticked with this "protocol" for all July and August, exposing the legs directly and the rest indirectly to avoid being overwhelmed by the heat.

    Additionally I bought a narrow band UVB lamp from Amazon, this model:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004NOPC9S?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

    and started using it every day for a few minutes, slowly building up the tolerance, until I reached a total exposure time of 20 minutes (5m legs front + 5 legs back + 5m chest + 5 back). and I kept doing this for all September and October as substitute for sun exposure.

    Today I got back the vitamin D results and, to my surprise, the level is now 45... which I didn't expect considering it usually takes 6-12 months to recover from a severe deficiency.

    In any case I think the lamp has helped quite a bit especially in the last 2 months and in the cloudy days or when I was not able to be out in the sun.

    The UVB lamp I linked is definitely not cheap and I wouldn't have bought it if I tolerated any decent amount of oral D3. Unfortunately my body rejects oral and even transdermal D3... so I had no choice and wanted to avoid shots, if possible.

    I've read several other people in this forum have similar issues with D3 supplements, so maybe this could be an alternative solution to recharge your vitamin D levels.

    I will keep using the lamp 2-3 times a week to maintain the current level and re-check during spring time next year.

    Hope this helps people with similar issues :)

    Cheers
    p.s. = it goes without saying that I have no interest or agenda in promoting the specific brand/model of UVB lamp.
     
    Gondwanaland, merylg, Mel9 and 13 others like this.
  2. FTY

    FTY

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    Thank you for sharing this. Sounds interesting. Is it not like going on a sun bed though in that it is not good for the skin? How do you know it is safe?
     
    barbc56 likes this.
  3. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Intriguing. It does cost a lot but I have to be careful of D3 because of kidney stones. I do use the blue light therapy starting in September but you can't get vitamin D with that.

    Thanks.

    Barb

    @FTY

    I don't think you can get vitamin D from the tanning beds. I need to look more into this as I may not be remembering correctly.
     
    PeterPositive likes this.
  4. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  5. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Good question.
    UVB lamps are usually prescribed by doctors for a range of skin issues such as vitiligo, psoriasis etc... so there is some reasearch in this field.
    https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/phototherapy

    They should be reasonably safe if used within the recommended limits. The idea is to start with a short exposure of 20-30 seconds and slowly build up to the "minimal erythema dosage" (MED) which depends on the skin type. In other words, if the skin starts to redden slightly after, say, 1 minute you should reduce the exposure to a lower time, such as 40 seconds.

    These lamps are quite effective even when used below the MED.

    Although narrow band UVB lamps are also used for vitamin D production they lack in documentation. The instructions coming with the one I bought said nothing about the amount of IU produced with a session, not even a rough idea.

    I wrote to the company and asked more details but they also had no idea, they never tested, and pointed out that it can vary between skin types etc...

    One way to know would be to buy one of those Vitamin-D meters that can measure the UVB radiation and calculate a rough value of IU produced. But that's quite an expensive gadget.

    As regards tanning beds, the problem is that you get a lot of UVA radiation, which is mainly what gives you the tan, but not much UVB. You would need longer exposures without protection to make more vit-D... but that's not good.

    cheers
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
    MeSci and barbc56 like this.
  6. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Here's a study about raising vit-D levels with an UVB lamp:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2846322/

    They used a Sperti UVB lamp, which get very good reviews. I was initially interested in one of those but I didn't find a reseller nearby so I chose the Androv Dermfix, which did the trick.
     
    MeSci likes this.
  7. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @PeterPositive
    Do you wear goggles to protect your eyes or is it not necessary?
    Its okay I just looked at the lamp, it comes with protective goggles:)
     
  8. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    @maryb
    Yes indeed, they come with the lamp and they make me look like a badass :cool::lol:
     
    maryb and Crux like this.
  9. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi Peter;

    Would you please describe any changes in your state that may be attributed to this treatment?
    Thanks.
     
  10. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Hi,
    it might be still a bit too early to quantify the results, since I think I've reached a decent level of vitamin D only in the last month (e.g. > 30ng/ml).

    At the moment the noticeable change is spider veins in my ankles which were not looking good, especially the left ankle and foot. The change has been quite dramatic since September, I'd say.

    I have also noticed an improvement in mood stability, which would be expected from recuperating a severe D deficiency... but I can't be 100% sure that's the cause.

    Lastly I was surprised at how quickly I recovered from a flu episode at the end of October, which started pretty nasty but resolved very quickly. This is unusual for me, I typically drag with symptoms for a couple of weeks. Could be related to improving vit D, but I am waiting to see how this next winter goes...

    cheers
     
    merylg, ScottTriGuy and MeSci like this.
  11. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Thanks @PeterPositive ;

    The UVB lamp looks like a great thing to trial...affordable too.
    My vitamin D was down to a 9 when last checked. I couldn't tolerate supps. , transdermal, etc.
    I've been able to tolerate sun some.

    Now that I've improved in health from treating infections, maybe the UVB lamp will help.

    Thanks again, and cheers to you!
     
    merylg, PeterPositive and maryb like this.
  12. Gary1001

    Gary1001

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    I'm quite interested in this approach as well. Dr Terry Wahls advocates using sun light or narrow band UVB to boost D levels oppose to supplements. The reasoning is vitamin D is actually a hormone that your body is very sensitive too. Supplements are difficult to utilise and may boost levels beyond what is healthy.



    In this link Dr. Stasha Gominak explains how high D causes havoc. It looks like a natural method of sun light or narrow band UVB is safest.

    Gary
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
    merylg, Athene*, MeSci and 1 other person like this.
  13. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    @Gary1001
    Interesting! Thanks for posting.
     
  14. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    I remember seeing in a thread but cannot find it that you have to make sure to buy the lamp 10,000 Watts or what was the minimum Spec???
    Can somebody pls help me? I have again low D so I need to buy a lamp but cannot find the minimum specs for Us.
     
  15. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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  16. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    I just got an alert for this thread and I only read "help".but then realized what this thread is about. I have very low vitamin D so am also interested in the lamp though it may be too expensive.

    I was planning to check this out tonight so will look for this. look tonight. Sometimes you can get the manual that goes with the lamps. online which might give you this information.

    Good luck.

    Barb
     
  17. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    @barbc56 so we need a 10,000 Watts>? Any other special ME specification? I was asking in general if anybody happens to know.
     
    barbc56 likes this.
  18. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    @lnester7 10.000 watts? :eek: No, no... the lamp consumes 72 watts, which is the same of an average TV set.
    It uses two lamps, each is 36W.

    cheers
     
    lnester7 likes this.
  19. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    In case anyone is still watching this thread, I have the same lamp as @PeterPositive, and used it for a while from about 2013 but then stopped (not sure why - I think it was because I couldn't be bothered and decided to try high-dose oral supplementation, which I seemed unable to tolerate).

    I can't remember whether I noticed any positive effects, but I don't think I had any problems, and have started using it again since yesterday in the hope that it will help with what appears to be seborrheic dermatitis. I'm not using it directly on the affected skin, but hoping that it will have a systemic effect as suggested by this paper.

    My serum Vitamin D was tested recently and was 61 nmol/l ((presumably 25-hydroxyvitamin D) which the doc said was classified as 'adequate' but still suggested supplementing. I already get 600 iu of D2 from supplements.

    BTW there is a lot more info about the lamps on Androv Medical's website here.

    EDIT

    BTW, I am also suffering hair loss, so the cited article may be directly relevant.

    Does anyone have progress updates?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
    PeterPositive likes this.
  20. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Sorry no. I will re-check my vitamin D in March as I have other tests to do as well.

    Interesting that you have a very good Vit. D level and you doc suggested to keep supplementing. I thought a level of ~60 it would be perfect.

    cheers
     
    MeSci likes this.

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