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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.

I have discovered my vit D levels are under 7 ng/ml. My doctor has given me 3200IU supplements once daily for a month then will retest. I have so far been taking 10,000iu/day though, as I know doctors can seriously underestimate the amount you should require. IF my absorption of vit D is normal, what could I expect my levels to reach on this level of supplementation in a month, realistically? I realize I may be dealing with an underlying issue but they're not going to check that until they see if my levels improve, so I was wondering if there is any 'normal' rate of improvement based on different levels of supplementation. Thanks

Ask the Vitamin D Council

Asked by  jo_sullivan12217200 on November 2, 2015

Answers

  • jo_sullivan12217200
    Participant
     jo_sullivan12217200 on

    See title

    Answered by  jo_sullivan12217200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    I think you are doing the right thing taking the 10,000iu a day. There is really no way of knowing what your level will be. If you take out the factor of “absorption”, then if your levels do not rise very far then I suppose you could be just using it up so fast repairing things that it would not rise much at the moment. This is just a guess but I would assume you could make it to at least 50ng/ml but do not hold me to that. Do you have any kind of intestinal issues that could cause malsorption? Make sure you take the Vitamin D with food.
    If your levels do not increase much, come back and tell me. You should also read http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/. It is very important especially magnesium. Regular blood work cannot diagnose a magnesium deficiency and a deficiency will also cause a lot of problems. Vitamin D needs a lot of magnesium to process. (Do not buy magnesium oxide any other kind is fine.)

    Answered by  IAW on

    • jo_sullivan12217200
      Participant
       jo_sullivan12217200 on

      Hi, so I’ve had my levels retested after 4 weeks of supplementing 10,000iu daily vitamin D, plus 600mg mag, and K2. Plus a week somewhere hot and sunny! Levels have gone from 7ng/ml to 48ng/ml (hooray). Not sure what to do next though. Am obviously consulting with GP soon, but would appreciate another opinion on supplementation levels moving forward now? My levels are going to be monitored for a while, and I am having some chronic abdominal pain investigated, but I don’t want to over supplement or possibly hide a problem with absorption. Would an underlying problem even allow me to reach these levels with high supplementation? Thanks

      Answered by  jo_sullivan12217200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    So congrats on reaching 48ng/ml! You said your levels are going to be monitored for awhile. In how many months would they be checking it again? Since you did have that one “sunny week”, you may want to keep taking the 10,000iu since I assume there are no sunny weeks in your immediate future. Also if the abdominal pain is related to low levels of vitamin d, then you might want to strive for a slightly higher level or at minimum hold onto the 10.000iu for a while until this “stomach pain” is investigated. You do not appear to have an absorption problem since your levels did rise.
    10,000iu is the official safe upper limit but science already knows that you have to take 40,000iu or more a day for months to risk “overdose. So I do not think you will risk “over supplementation”.
    Without a second test in the somewhat near future we have no idea if you might need the 10,000iu just to maintain a level of 50ng/ml. Hope this all made sense. If not let me know.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • denferjr8836984200
    Participant
     denferjr8836984200 on

    Hey Jo_Sullivan. What are your deficiency symptoms and have they gone away since you are now at a healthy range?

    Answered by  denferjr8836984200 on

  • jo_sullivan12217200
    Participant
     jo_sullivan12217200 on

    A month on from measuring 48.8ng/ml, I’ve been taking 5000IU daily and new test shows I’m at 48.4ng/ml. I’m unsure how best to move forward. My doctor has told me to cut down to 5000IU twice a week. He said that as my calcium levels are now measuring slightly under the normal range for the first time, its a sign that I have as much vit D as my body needs and I need to cut down the supplements. He also said they feel normal range should be 20-32ng/ml and that over 60 is bad. Given what I know about safe and optimal levels though, I’m not sure this is good advice to follow? I’m being retested in 3 months. What would you recommend? I’m nervous to cut down supplementation after this progress.

    I do feel better since supplementing more, although I still experience tiredness, I don’t think it’s to the same degree. I no longer have ‘brain fog’ but my joints are still problematic, but I guess this will take longer to recover from.

    Answered by  jo_sullivan12217200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Do you mean that your “calcium” levels are now “”within” the normal range and I take it they were over the top end of the range and listed as “high”? When you say “slightly under” I think you mean back in range but please clarify?
    Your calcium levels going “back into range” does not indicate that you have enough Vitamin D. I would assume it indicates you are getting better but I have never read such a thing.
    How is your “chronic abdominal pain?”
    Most of their advice is really bad but if you could answer the above questions first, then we can go from there..

    Answered by  IAW on

  • jo_sullivan12217200
    Participant
     jo_sullivan12217200 on

    My calcium levels were in the normal range every time I’ve been tested previously, but now they are below what the nhs deem to be the normal range, albeit only slightly. They told me this was because my vit D was back up so my bones were pulling calcium back into them and that I should eat a calcium rich diet. All sounds a bit strange to me. The abdominal pain is still being investigated separately but looking like being a gallbladder problem of some kind. Will know more in a month

    Answered by  jo_sullivan12217200 on

    • Mickey
      Participant
       Mickey on

      Hi, Do you now have either tingling or fizzing or aching or pins and needles or a combination in your legs, calves, feet or any other part of your body, particular on waking up in the morning? Low calcium as well as low Magnesuim can give you this due electrolyte imbalance, were calcium is taken up quickly by the bones, k2 will accelerate this if the diet is low in calcium. Normally GP’s are concerned with high calcium levels when taking high dose vitamin D. My GP has told me to stop even though my calcium levels are normal. Although I now have fizzing, tingling, pins and needles in my legs which I now think is low calcium, my diet is low in calcium. Let me know.

      Answered by  Mickey on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    I am not a doctor or scientist, just a member of the VDC. We promote a level of 50ng/ml and you are there taking 5000iu a day. I do not think it would be wise to cut back at all. Studies indicate things like cancer and disease start at levels of 30ng/ml and below.
    The only thing they said that makes sense is that you probably need to increase your calcium by either diet or supplements and see if your calcium levels improve.
    You said above that you “do feel better since supplementing more, although I still experience tiredness…and my joints are still problematic.” Did your symptoms get any worse when you went from the 10,000 to the 5000iu? I do not know at this point whether these symptoms will go away with perhaps the extra calcium or maybe just time to heal. You still may need a higher amount of Vitamin D but I would try and work on the calcium issue first. I would also make yourself aware of the symptoms of low calcium because if they appear they are nothing to full around with and you need immediate medical attention.
    Happy Holidays!

    Answered by  IAW on

  • jo_sullivan12217200
    Participant
     jo_sullivan12217200 on

    Thanks, will do. I definitely felt better on 10000iu. And I do have weak legs and tingly arms the last few days so will work on calcium, thanks

    Answered by  jo_sullivan12217200 on

  • jo_sullivan12217200
    Participant
     jo_sullivan12217200 on

    Me again! I’ve just had my vit D levels retested after 3 months of supplementing approx 2000iu a day, with k2 etc, and my levels have dropped from 48ng/ml to 25ng/ml. Is this normal at this level of supplementation?? Thankfully the sun will be shining soon. Based on this latest development and the changing seasons (I’m Southern uk), what would be a sensible limit to supplement at for the next 3 months (as I’m sure my doc will feed me some more rubbish when I speak with him next!) :-(

    Answered by  jo_sullivan12217200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    So correct me if I am wrong but when we left off I thought you were taking 5000iu a day? (That is what we recommend to stay around 50ng/ml.)Now you say you have been using 2000iu a day. What happened to the 5000iu?
    Also how do you feel? Are you having any medical issues at the moment?
    Also if you “cut back” for the summer months be careful how far you cut back.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • jo_sullivan12217200
    Participant
     jo_sullivan12217200 on

    My doctor kept insisting I was taking too much, and as they wanted to retest me I felt I ought to comply a bit. They wanted me to cut back further than I did. Silly me I guess.?! And today my doctor told me my levels were still normal and i shouldn’t increase supplementation! But they are going to retest in 6 weeks. Is 5000 daily a sensible amount, even when we have proper sunshine? Thanks

    Answered by  jo_sullivan12217200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Silly you!!
    Ok Jo so we know if we give you 5000iu over the winter months you will reach 48ng/ml. That makes us here at the VDC very happy! If you are NOT having any medical issues, then I think you will be OK there. (You still did not answer how you feel???)
    Your doctors are giving you the “old school” approach to Vitamin D. Get you to 20ng/ml and they are happy. They have no idea that your cancer likelihood goes up a lot with levels below 30ng/ml. So is that where you want to be?
    The next stance you can take is to ask them what the “upper end” of the range is. Here in the USA it is 100ng/ml. So tell them unless you are over, you are taking the 5000iu. (Guess you could always refuse to take the test or keep forgetting?)
    Now to answer the “proper sunshine”. What color skin do you have and how long (minutes and/or hours) will you spend EACH day outside between the hours of 10:00am and 2:00pm?

    Answered by  IAW on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    You could print this out and hand it to them http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/further-topics/for-health-professionals-position-statement-on-supplementation-blood-levels-and-sun-exposure/.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • jo_sullivan12217200
    Participant
     jo_sullivan12217200 on

    Thanks. I feel ok so far, although I still have joint pain and mood swings! I’m fair skinned, and on my 2 work days a week, could only spend 30 minutes outside in that time, but on the other days, I’m normally out most the day anyway. I’ll show them that information.

    Answered by  jo_sullivan12217200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Well I think the joint pain and mood swings would have gone away on 5000iu. If you are outside that much in summer, then maybe you could get away with taking 0-2000iu and the sunshine. Years ago we use to take the 5000iu and then cut that back for the summer. That is if you can get enough sunshine. Then one of the premier Vitamin D authorities came along and said he would not bother cutting back. (If you take much higher amounts of D, then you may have to cut back. I no longer consider 5000iu a “high” amount.
    The other thing you can do in summer is if you know it is going to be cloudy or rainy (even high air pollution levels can block UVB) then take 5000iu of Vitamin D that/those day(s) .

    Answered by  IAW on

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

    You may like to try both Vitamin D and Omega-3
    To learn more, read the blogs at: http://www.greenvits.eu/blogs/news
    .

    Answered by  rufus@greenbaum.com on