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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

After nearly a year of worsening symtoms including chronic pain, aching bones, tiredness, insomnia and depression I just found out that I am deficient in Vitamin D. My blood analysis last week showed a level of 17. My GP didn't seem to think it would have much to do with my pain and sore bones but having done a bit of research I now realise it could be the answer I have been looking for. GP has perscribed a monthly dose of hiroferol 0.266mg oral solution which 15,960 IU calcifediol. (I live in Spain) This seems to be really low to me as all the information I have found so far seems to recommend much higher doses and on a more regular basis. Could you give me an idea of what a suitable dose would be? I am a 49yo female, 63kg. I get some sun but not every day. Diet is superhealthy – lots of fruit, veg, mediterranean – and I have been eating more salmon, sardines and eggs. (I don't eat meat). Would really appreciate some guidance. Thanks! ps had h. pylori last year (clear now) and resulting chronic gastritis which I have been treating naturally..no symtoms or pain apart from bloating and that is improving with anti-inflammatory diet. But maybe this affects absorption?

Ask the Vitamin D Council

Asked by  Hazel on February 14, 2016

Answers

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    See title

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    First “Calcifediol or 25 (OH)D is a prehormone that is produced in the liver by hydroxylation of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).” So your doctor is not giving you D3 he is giving you what is produced once the D3 makes it through the liver. I am not a scientist or a doctor so I cannot say this is exactly wrong but we here at the VDC deal with starting with D3. At this point we know that some D3 has to go thru the liver and be converted and some goes directly to cells.
    So I cannot speak for the Calcifediol.
    If you want to take D3 that is fine but do not take both.
    It takes most people around your weight 5000iu to reach a level of 50ng/ml. If you are deficet , then usually what happens is that you take more D3 up front (in the beginning) and then take a lesser dose as a maintenance dose once better. So you could take anywhere from 5000iu to 10,000iu of D3 per day and once better then take the 5000iu per day. We do recommend daily and not weekly or monthly.
    I would not worry about absorption, right now and if you take the D3 make sure it is with a meal/snack that has some fat in it. If your blood levels do not increase, then you are either not taking enough or have an absorption issue.
    All of your symptoms” chronic pain, aching bones, tiredness, insomnia, depression (stomach issues) can be attributed to Vitamin D deficiency. Was your 17 measured as ng/ml or nmol/l?
    Recommend reading http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/.
    Vitamin D should only make you feel better! Let me know if you have anymore questions or if I was not clear.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Hi
    thanks for getting back to me so promptly. Apologies – checked medication and realised it says 0,266 solution (calcifediol) contains 15,960 IU vitamin D. I wondered if I can take it in the same way as a vitamin D supplement using that measurement? Also, if I decided to stop taking that form of vitamin D and start on supplements how long would I have to wait before starting them? I took a vial yesterday so how long would it be before taking a dose of supplements?
    I have some questions about when you start taking vitamin d too. I actually feel terrible today and slept badly last night: painful bones,restless legs, sweats and a headache that won’t go away… Does this happen when you start replenishing Vitamin D? I have read about the importance of cofactors and wondered is it ok to take a calcium magnesium powder ( I was taking it shortly before the test results). or should I just take magnesium? Also with vitamin K,A and boron – I eat alot of the indicated foods on a regular basis but would I be bettter off taking the supplements?
    Thanks in advance for your help with so many questions.
    If you have any ideas about how to help with the headache that would be great!
    PS blood test was 17.8 ng/ml
    Hazel
    Hazel

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Hazel I assumed if you diet was “super healthy” that you were probably covered but maybe not. CO-factors are extremely important with an emphasis on magnesium! I think most of your symptoms you ended up with are because you do not have enough magnesium. (Especially the headache.) So I would run for your supplement and take some. After you take some then let me know how much and what type of magnesium is in it (oxide not good) and how much calcium in a serving. Depending on how much calcium is in there you may be better off with just magnesium in the long run.
    You are probably covering the other co-factors. Double check that your diet has enough K1 and K2. The K directs calcium to your bones rather then soft tissues.
    I will ask someone else the question as to when you can “switch over” but might not have the answer for a while so you will have to keep checking back. Right now you do not want to take anything more until you get more magnesium in your system.
    Ask as many questions as you need to!!

    Answered by  IAW on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Sometimes Vitamin D can also cause hypercalcemia, so we need to proceed with caution.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Hi
    much apppreciation for all the help I am getting – this website is a great resource. Headache has almost gone…managed to sleep, drink a ton of water and now I have my cup of cal mag as advised. I have it in the form of an instant drink powder – one typical dose contains vitamin D 50iu (1.25ug) Vitamin C 78.3mg Calcuim 120mg and magnesium 90mg. (gluconate) Noticed magnesium is top in the list of ingredients and the mixture contains ergocalciferol. (last ingredient and non animal source) is this a form of vitamin D?) how much do you recommend per day or would I be better with a pure magnesium powder at the moment?
    Diet-wise I will make sure I am taking foods hight in vitamin K and the other co-factors listed by you guys..thx… already eat lots of kale, spinach, avocados, asparagus and veg in general….love berry smoothies and green juices! I also have seeds (pumpkin etc) , nuts (esp almonds) wild fish, dates and kefir. and normally use coconut oil or olive oil. Is there anything else in particular you recommend or that I should avoid?

    Also – not sure if it is relevant but I also have very low iron and have been taking a perscribed iron supplement – fero gradumet (105mg elemental iron) and also 1000mg vitamin C. once a day without food. I also take msm (methylsulfonylmethane) 1200mg in my smoothies. In addition, I take Agnus Castus 1000mg once a day for three weeks of my cycle and sometimes milk thistle. 750mg.
    thanks

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Ergocalciferol is D2 and is a form of Vitamin D. What humans make when we go in the sunshine is D3 not D2. For a long time if you had a deficiency they would give you D2. Now studies have shown that D3 is much better for humans because that is what we make. So I was happy with your powder until you mentioned the D2. So if you can get something with just magnesium in it, please do. If you want to use up the powder you have than use that once a day and use something else the rest of the day. (I do not think a very small amount of D2 once a day will be too bad.)
    If you get the pure magnesium than make sure your diet has enough calcium in it or get a separate supplement.
    I do not know anything about MSM but would like to know why you are taking the Agnus Castus, which I had never heard of. (PMS, PCOS, other ?)
    Wish my diet was as good as yours!

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Hi..thanks for your quick reply…Will get some magnesium powder tomorrow. Just to confirm – better to stay off Vit D until I get more magnesium in my system?
    Also would it be helpful to try and get out in the sun a little each day?
    Anything else I need to do until I can get an answer about following on with Vit D supplementation after Califedol?
    Agnus Castus is to regulate my periods..which used to be very heavy and irregular…seems to work.
    I started taking msm to see if it would help with the joint pain…it is meant to be anti inflammatory and it did help me in the past with knee pain. Only been taking it a few days tho… It is also said to help absorb vitamins and minerals.
    PS diet-wise have to be honest and say that being unwell over the past year or so has been a great movtivator for me to eat in a “superhealthy” way..think it makes a difference…but has not helped with the pain…if Vitamin D turns out to be the solution..I will be so happy!

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    I hope we have an answer within just a couple of days. If not we will have to take our best guess.
    Until then take the magnesium.
    It is always wise to get some sun if you can each day. There are studies that show there are benefits other than Vitamin D.
    Vitamin D will help/work for joint pain. It will also help with cycles.
    Talk to you soon!

    Answered by  IAW on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    OK Hazel here is the best I can do because I did not get an answer yet anyway.
    My first thought is to either go back to the doctor and tell him you want to switch and when can you do that OR here in the USA we can sometimes get good advice from the Pharmacist. If either does not work then you could just try and go ahead and try the Vitamin D.
    BEFORE you do though, I said you should proceed with caution. This is because of the symptoms you got when you took the calcidiol,” painful bones,restless legs, sweats and a headache”. The symptoms of hypercalcemia include: feeling sick or being sick, poor appetite or loss of appetite, feeling very thirsty, passing urine often, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscle weakness or pain, feeling confused, feeling tired and BONE pain. Headaches and restless legs usually fall under magnesium. So I guess you have one or the other or both.
    So in Spain, what amounts can you get Vitamin D in? Here is the USA we can get capsules, pills, drops and oral sprays. All of these come in different (iu) amounts. So if you have something on the lower amount I would get that for now. For example if you get 1000iu you could take that for a week and see if you get any symptoms. If you do not then you can increase the amount you take next week (or every three or four days) and so on. If you start with symptoms again then you need to tell me. There have been several people that have come to this Q and A and said “no matter what amount of Vitamin D I take, I get symptoms.” They are usually hypercalcemia symptoms and I refer them back to their doctor.
    Hope this information helps! Let me know how you do!

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Thanks for your reply. I can try asking the pharmacists here and see about different doses of vitamin D are available. What amount of magnesium powder should I take each day when starting on 1000 IU? Also just wanted to ask about pain and leg weakness…there is a definite difference in my left and right sides in regard to numbness and pain..it’s more pronounced on the right…can that be related to Vitamin D deficiency? Also I have “episodes” every couple of days when I feel tired and tearful..and unable to function…just have to give up and go to bed …usually accompanied by stronger shooting pains than normal (hands, wrists,hips and feet) and quite a bit of numbness in the calves.

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Regardless of how much Vitamin D you are taking, you should try and take a minimum of 500mcg of magnesium and I would spread it out during the day.
    I am not sure if everything you are experiencing is Vitamin D related, only time will tell. So hopefully you will be able to take the Vitamin D, not get any symptoms from it and just get progressively better.
    Some of the symptoms can be tiredness, aches, pains and weakness but really it can cause a whole lot of different malfunctions in your body.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Ok.thanks! with the mag powder, I have a big tub on mag carbonate..what is the best way to take it? I’m mixiing it with a little water…it like a chalky drink (not very nice!) Also is it better with food? cheers.

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    I take all of my Vitamins with food. Some people take magnesium before they go to sleep because it can help relax them.
    I take capsules, so I have avoided this issue. (Powders are usually cheaper, though.) A quick look on the internet says 6-8 ozs of water so maybe if you dilute it a little more. Other people say they put it in a “powdered drink”. Here in the USA that means powdered lemonade that comes in a can and makes a drink or what we call Koolaid that comes in different flavors and kids love it.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Hi…thanks for the tips. Someone suggested fizzy water, so that could be an option too! Have got some Vitamin D3. Could only find 400IU which has some vitamin A as well (fish liver oil) I am guessing they put it in to help with absorption? Anyhow I took two caps today and some magnesium poweder (not at same time) and seem to be ok so far! Would it be ok to take 3 caps a day or should I just start on 2?

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    So first you need to tell me exactly what it says about the Vitamin A and how much is in each serving of 400iu? I need to know so we can calculate the total. Dr. Cannell once said to be very careful with how much “preformed” Vitamin D you ingest. He suggested sticking to RDA. Beta Carotene is not an issue. So maybe there is not much in there and Vitamin A is a co-factor that you need with Vitamin D.
    You can do three but no more until an entire week is up. This is why. Last time what you took was already “preformed” Vitamin D so it, in a sense, “by passed” your system and could be used immediately. The Vitamin D you are taking now will probably have to travel to the liver and convert. So the “symptoms'” may not hit immediately.
    You may want to, if possible, in the future order Vitamin D to be shipped to you. If you are lucky enough and it works for you, it may be more cost effective.

    Answered by  IAW on

    • Hazel
      Participant
       Hazel on

      Hi. Checked bottle and says
      180mcg Vitamin A (23% Valores de Referencia de Nutrientes – which I think is like diet reference value)
      &10mcg Vitamin D (200% diet reference value) – colecalciferol. per capsule.

      Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Sorry Hazel but I am coming to the end of my expertise. You should read http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/ and the part about Vitamin A. I tried to convert the 180mcg above but cannot. I think it is “preformed A”. So if you look at it another way if the 180mcg is 23%, then if you take 3 pills you are taking about 70%. So I would try and look for D3 without anything added to it. It is the best I can recommend.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Ok.. Thanks. will see what I can find and let you know.

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Here is one place http://www.greenvits.eu/collections/vitamin-d.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Hi. Thanks for passing that on, Would you recommend me getting the 5000 IU? (veg caps would be my preference).
    Also wondered why it is better to take Vitamin D on a daily basis rather than weekly or monthly? Is it because it is better for the body to absorb smaller doses more regularly? I am still taking the 3 caps a day with vitamin A and plenty of magnesium… not noticing any negative effects yet and hoping that I can say the same next week! Sleeping better..right through the night and finding it much easier to go to sleep and wake up..could be magnesium?

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Well I cannot guarantee but since it is not causing a problem yet , then if you want to get the 5000’s I guess you can.
    The better sleep could be attributed to the D and magnesium.
    As for the “why daily dosing” this article should be unlocked” so you can read it http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/blog/why-is-daily-dosing-of-vitamin-d-important/.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    HI I read the article -thanks. I’m still taking three a day of the vitamin D 400iu with Vit A and magnesium poweder without any problems. (also eating plenty of co-factor foods!) Sleep is still much better but not noticed any other improvements yet.. Wondered if I could try a higher dose of 5000 like you recommended a few weeks ago? Also saw the rheumatologist today and his diagonsis is fibromyalgia – he perscribed Duloxetine (Xeristar/Cymbalta) I don’t really want to take anti-depressants so asked him about the vitamin D but he didn’t seem to think it was related.. I did do some reading up and the symtoms seem to be simillar (fibro and vitamin D def.) as well as studies showing a high percentage of people with fibro having low vitamin D. I would like to try natural methods first before going on medication. I have seen some questions on the forum about how long it takes to start feeling better so I understand it depends…but obviously I am keen to try higher doses asap…any thoughts?

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    If you are still feeling fine then I would go for the 5000iu a day. I hope I am not misleading you. In order to solve most or all of your symptoms you will need the 5000iu a day OR MORE. (You will probably need more.)
    When you are deficient and have a disease or condition you actually need to take more Vitamin D in the beginning of treatment and then usually less or what we call a maintenance dosage later when you are better.
    So 10,000iu is the “official” safe upper limit BUT we know it would take 40,000iu per day for several months to maybe make yourself toxic. SO if it was me I would rather take 20,000iu a day then take any kind of “fibro” medicine.
    Maybe you would like to read http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/q-a-forum/topic/cured-of-fibromylgia-8-years-ago-in-reference-to-httpwww-vitamindcouncil-orghealth-conditionsfibromyalgia-i-find-it-really-sad-that-research-falls-short-on-either-the-amount-of-vitamin-d-sup/. It’s a great success story!

    Answered by  IAW on

    • Hazel
      Participant
       Hazel on

      HI. I have been taking 5000 iu for the past 10 days with plenty of magnesuim (500mg) and co-factor foods. Not had any reaction like I had before (headaches etc) but also no improvement in symtoms. I have ordered 10,000 iu online and should get it this week. Just wanted to check if you thought it was ok to up the dose? Also thanks for referring me to post..it was really inspiring and I feel pretty clear that I want to give myself a few months with diet and supplements before resorting medication.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  Hazel.
      Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Hi Hazel! It’s OK to increase your dosage. If you do not want to wait for the 10’s to get there, take two 5’s until they do. I hope you are still sleeping well!

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Hi! Yep, sleep is still good. Usually manage right through the night. Will let you know how I get on with increasing the dose. Thanks for replying so quickly.

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Hiya.. Just to update , started taking 10,000 iu and did have a bit of jaw/headache yesterday but ok today. Also noticed my bones seem to be cracking and popping a lot…especially in my feet…any connection? Sleeping well though. I am still taking 500mg of magnesium. and wondered if you would recommend using magesium oil (I was plannning to make my own and also try foot baths). Also is there a way I can tell if my body is managing to absorb and process Vitamin D without a blood test? I am also working with my gut health at the moment (I am bloating up whatever I eat)…probiotics, kefir, gut-healing protocol…and I’m a bit worried that this issue could affect the effectiveness of supplementation. I know that it could take a while for any noticeable improvement (regarding pain, numbness etc) but it would be good to know I am heading in the right direction. Thanks.

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    I have not used magnesium oils but others say it works.
    The only way to actually know if levels are increasing is to do blood work. That being said if symptoms improve then you would also be headed in the correct direction. Since your sleep is still good, that seems to be a pretty good indicator.
    I noticed my feet were doing this at one point and started taking a calcium supplement again. (250mg) It then seemed to stop.I hope you see more improvements soon!

    Answered by  IAW on

  • rufus@greenbaum.com
    Participant
     rufus@greenbaum.com on

    To find out how much Vitamin D you may need, search for “GreenVits” and read the blogs

    Or go to:
    http://www.greenvits.eu/blogs/news/31767747-how-much-vitamin-d-do-i-need
    .

    Answered by  rufus@greenbaum.com on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Hi. Just checking back in after a month or so with 10,000 daily, Still taking magnesium, added a K2 ·(natto extract) 100ug daily. Also upped my calcium-rich foods and getting out in sunshine now summer is coming in Bcn. However, I have not noticed any improvement or reduction in pain. I got thyroid tests and came back as normal. Doc says it’s too early to retest vitamin D. I have been reading Mbhatta’s thread and the replies about it taking time but I wondered if it was worth getting a test done privately to see if my levels have increased? I guess I am concerned because I of my digestive issues (low acid, gut flora imbalance) and wondered if that could affect absorption to such an extent that the vitmain d is not being processed? I am taking the vitamin d in drops with oil carrier at the moment.

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Hi Hazel. Yes, I feel sorry for Mbhatta at least your sleep is now better.
    You are correct, until you take another test will we even know if your levels have even budged. Since you do have digestive issues (and if you have the money) you may want to do a private test.
    Way up in February you said “(veg caps would be my preference)”. Maybe I should check again what you are taking? I did say D3 so I hope that is what it is?
    When you said “probiotics, kefir, gut-healing protocol” does that include what are called “PRE biotics”?
    I do not trust doctors and their interpretations of thyroid tests. So if you have the results and want to tell me what they are you can.
    Last but not least I just asked and Mb said she is not taking any calcium. I know you said you increased the calcium in your diet but do you think it equals at least 800mg a day?

    Answered by  IAW on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Hi. Latest update is that lastest bloodwork has come back with Vitamin (25 OH test) coming in at level of 66.4 and calcium 9.6 and phosphosphorus 3.7. So that is good news but I have mixed feelings as I seem to be gettng worse not better and the pain episodes are pretty challenging. Just to confirm I have been taking D3 but was wondering about dosage now. Not got the thyroid results to hand tonight but will have a look and post them. Gut-healing stuff includes prebiotic foods, fermented veg etc. Also still taking K2. Did not taking calcium supplements in the end Doc refused to test magnesium level in end and said it was “not important” Have not managed to find a clinic here that tests privately. I am beginning to think my problems are not related to vitamin D..

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • Hazel
    Participant
     Hazel on

    Oh, just to add test results were ng/mL for vitamin D and mg/dL for others.

    Answered by  Hazel on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    I was hoping you had good news but i see you feel no better. I will look for your thyroid results when you post.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Hazel did anyone ever test your PTH levels(parathyroid) and alkaline phosphatase levels?

    Answered by  IAW on