IBD, Remicade & Vitamin D, Oh My!
The body uses vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote healthy bone growth. Vitamin D is also used to support other functions in the body. According to the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Independent Peer Reviewed Journal (published in 2016), up to 60% – 70% of people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease have insufficient vitamin D levels.
As an IBD patient and advocate this is worrisome to me. It is important for IBD patients to be treated, not only for inflammation and discomfort, but for overall health. Living with Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, and other forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease is already difficult. Dealing with the everyday stressors of managing medications, surgeries, colonoscopies, and stigma associated with IBD is a full time job. – It’s easy to forget about our overall health when we are already juggling a laundry list of health “to-dos”.
The good news is, researchers are working to study vitamin D as a supplement in IBD patients! This is why I’ve partnered with Clara Health, a company working to connect patients to clinical trials and support them through the process, to shed some light on an opportunity that may be a fit for you.
High Dose Interval Vitamin D Supplementation in Patients With IBD Receiving Remicade
Boston’s Children Hospital is sponsoring a study to test new treatments, or new ways of using existing treatments. During this study subjects will be receiving 50,000 units of Vitamin D3 if they receive their Remicade infusions every 4-6 weeks. Study subjects will be receiving 100,000 units of Vitamin D3 if they receive Remicade infusions every 6-8 weeks.
Who is this study looking for? Don’t worry! They’re not too picky! People of any sex, between the ages of 7 and 25 years old. – These patients need to have an existing diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and measured serum level of 25-OH Vitamin D of 15-29 ng/ml in the last 8 weeks and no changes in Vitamin D supplementation in the interim. Fifty participants are needed for this study. If you’re interested in learning more about this study, or to see if you qualify: click here. To learn about other studies or ways you can contribute your voice: click here.
Of course, everything has stipulations and limitations. Unfortunately, the study is not currently looking for individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Pregnant Women
- History of underlying kidney disease
- History of granulomatous disease
- Inability to take oral Vitamin D
- History of hypercalcemia or hypercalciuria
- Currently taking an anti-epileptic medication
- History of pre-existing liver disease (excluding primary sclerosing cholangitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or steatohepatitis)
This trial is in the final stage before a treatment is approved for general use, what’s also known as “Phase 3.” By participating you can pave the way for other patients living with IBD.
Don’t quite qualify for this study? Interested in spreading the word and sharing your patient experience? As an advocate I encourage patients to become partners in their own healthcare. To make their healthcare collaborative. It’s important patients share their voice and contribute to the community whenever and wherever possible. If you’re interested in getting involved and raising awareness about clinical trials, click here to join Clara Health’s Breakthrough Crew! We’re just a group of people, thriving with chronic conditions, trying to make a difference! I hope you’ll join us.