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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.

Hello Hoping you can help me out. I found out threw some blood work that I am pretty low in Vit D. It was 17. Everything else was normal. Potassium 4.5 Magnesium 2.0 Vit B12 685 and thyroid fine. I guess thats all you need. I showed at 15 last year and my doctor never even told me about it. This time he said he wanted me to start taking 2-3000 IU D3 a day. i heard you get Vit D3 from sun. I have a construction business and I am outside a lot so I dont underdstand except for maybe one thing. In the last 1 1/2 years I have had some new symptoms arise and I think it might be because a drug called Cholestyramine I take for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea is the culprit. I have read many places and in the literature that it can rob your body of vitamins and minerals. I have been on it for over 25 years and I think it is catching up with me. I lately have had increasing headaches, very tired and joint pain. I am 49yr old male overweight. I have been wanting to try and lose weight but I have not even been able to do any aerobics because for the past year or more I have had muscle cramping in my arms and legs. The more activity I do, the worse they can come on. If I do very little threw out the day they may not bother me. A few times I tried only 5 minutes on the treadmill at slow speed and about 1/2 hour I am on the floor in pain from cramping in my legs. Just cant figure it out but I think the Cholestyramine is the culprit. But it has been the only thing over the years that will control my IBS. Any thoughts. I dont think Vit D deficiency causes cramping, correct?

Ask the Vitamin D Council

Asked by  jeff907917532200 on March 13, 2016

Answers

  • jeff907917532200
    Participant
     jeff907917532200 on

    See title

    Answered by  jeff907917532200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    So it does say that cholestyramine may interfere with vitamin and mineral absorption and therefore it may be necessary to supplement.Keep in mind I am not a doctor as I make suggestions.
    Just so you understand it is very easy even for a normal person working in construction to become deficient. Sounds strange doesn’t it. You really have to expose large areas of your skin to the sun in order to make enough. Also where you live has a big impact.
    Do you take a multi vitamin? It sound like someone in your condition definitely should be. You also sound very magnesium deficient, no matter what the test says. (That could be the muscle cramping.) You could also be calcium deficient since that is a mineral too. Now if someone takes “too much” magnesium they get loose bowels and need to cut back on how much they take. So for you I guess I would attempt that slowly That would mean getting a magnesium supplement. Do not get magnesium oxide and get a low amount of 100mg a capsule or pill. (If you do not take a multi vitamin and start, even that may have some magnesium in it to start with) It is very easy to be magnesium deficient because of our diets now a days let alone your condition. Vitamin D uses a lot of magnesium to process so If you are magnesium deficient, and take Vitamin D, sometimes it can cause more or new symptoms. (There are also magnesium sprays you can get to rub on your skin rather then ingesting.) http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/ talks about co-factors and Vitamin D.
    So your “headaches, very tired and joint pain” are Vitamin D deficiency symptoms. Headaches can also be magnesium deficiency and also muscle cramps. Muscles also use a lot of Vitamin D, so it is probably also part of your problem.
    So now the most important part, Vitamin D! The difference between this year and last is that he probably is now more knowledgeable about Vitamin D and the need to treat you. That is the good part. The 2000-3000iu is not going to be enough.
    So healthy people, with an average weight of 150lbs, need about 5000iu a day of D3 to reach a healthy level of 50ng/ml which is the level we promote here at the VDC. If you weigh more than that (you said overweight above) or have your condition, you may need to take more in order to reach the 50ng/ml.
    Have you actually taken any Vitamin D yet? If so how much and for how long? I would like that information before I proceed any further.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • jeff907917532200
    Participant
     jeff907917532200 on

    Ok thank you very much for replying.
    Ok first, I am flirting with 300lbs. Yes very overwieght. The O word. I really really want to lose weight but it is just very hard right now because of the cramping.
    Anyway, I was not taking anything at all until I got my blood work a couple weeks ago. Then I started a Centrum Multi Vit. Also a B Complex, 3000iu of Vit D3 and a Co Q10 a day. I asked my doc if I could up the D to 4000iu a day and he said that was to much. So not sure what to do. So with me what do you suggest. I have been taking the supplements for 2 weeks and have not noticed any change with my conditions. Maybe very slight with the cramping. I dont get it every single day but the best I could describe it is that it feels like what they describe as restless leg syndrome. When I feel that I know I better watch out because one could be coming.
    I did try taking a magnesium supp from an herbalist about 5 months ago but it did give me loose stools. So even if my blood work says ok for magnesium, you think I should do the 100 mg a day? I think I would have to get the spray as I heard that does not cause problems as it does not travel threw the digestive tract. Im ready to try anything as I just want this to go away so I can start getting myself right. Can you get to much of Vit D?

    Answered by  jeff907917532200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    If possible but not necessary, do you still have the magnesium from the herbalist and can you tell me what “type” of magnesium it was and how many mg each pill or capsule was for?
    If you are already taking the 3000iu and have been for two weeks with no “new” symptoms, then you may not need the extra magnesium but only time will tell. If you move to higher amounts of Vitamin D and there are new symptoms or one of your symptoms gets worse, then you may need to rethink the magnesium and get the spray.
    Research has already shown that if you are overweight or even just a very big tall person, you will need to take more because of dilution in a bigger person.
    So he is wrong that 4000iu is too much. So to try and alleviate any fears we do know the following. The safe “official” upper end that they know will do no harm is 10,000iu a day. With that being said we also know that you can reach a blood level of 150ng/ml and that will do no harm. We also know that you would have to take 40.000iu a day for months and months until you “may” become toxic. No one has ever died from taking too much Vitamin D. It can make you sick and then you need to stop taking it and stay out of the sun until you are better. There is no permanent damage.
    I do not think the 10,000iu will be enough but maybe you would just like to start there. If you have 3000iu pills you could take four of those and make it 12,000iu.
    If you have any more questions, just let me know!

    Answered by  IAW on

  • jeff907917532200
    Participant
     jeff907917532200 on

    Magnesium just said 485 mg and says Botanical Magnesium in a proprietary phytochemical compound.
    With my IBS problem, im thinking it would probably be better to use the spray.
    And the Vit D is 2000 iu pills so I guess you are saying to take 5 a day for 10,000?

    Answered by  jeff907917532200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    As for the magnesium, with someone in your condition I never would have recommended that amount. That is why I said 100mg to start small and see how you did. Other people have used the spray and say it works. I believe you can also do Epsom Salt baths and the magnesium in that will absorb through your skin.
    Yes, take 5 for a total of 10,000iu a day. Keep in mind I did say that amount will probably not be enough for you. Tell me in a week how you are doing and we will go from there. (Sooner if you have a problem.)
    Next time you buy Vitamin D get 5000iu per pill.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • jeff907917532200
    Participant
     jeff907917532200 on

    Hello Im back just to check in. I have been taking 10,000 iu a day since I was last her with a multivitamin and B12 complex I was taking. But I just wanted to also check in. Since I have these leg cramping issues with some like brain fog and other symptoms that I have associated with magnesium deficiency, I want to start taking some, most likely in spray form to keep from getting the loose stool which I certainly do not need. But I have read that you should make sure, especially when taking large doses of Vit. D3, that you should also be taking K2, Magnesium and Calcium. That takiing them all together is crucially to see the best benefits and not to get Vit D toxicity or have to much calcium in the body. What do you think and if this is correct, how do I know how much of each to take. i am suppose to be going next week to a homepath and nutritionist who I hope with also help me. Some family members went to see him many years back for issues and swore he had them cured in under a month so I decided to go see him. Thanks for any help in advance!

    Answered by  jeff907917532200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    The info on Vitamins and Minerals is up in my first reply back to you. These things are not necessary because of “high” amounts of Vitamin D, they are needed period. So Vitamin D cannot perform its functions if you have a shortage. Vitamin K helps move calcium to bones instead of soft tissues.(If you take too much calcium or any mineral it will cause health issues.) Any of it will NOT keep you from getting Vitamin D toxicity. Too much Vitamin D will do that and no you are not anywhere near taking too much.
    You said “brain fog and other symptoms”, did these just start and if so please name the “others”.
    I do not think I said this before but there is a link to IBS and Vitamin D deficiency. Meaning the “original” cause of your IBS might have come from a Vitamin D deficiency. (The medicine making the problem even worse.)
    MOST importantly does anyone have a plan to “retest” your levels to make sure they are increasing???

    Answered by  IAW on

  • jeff907917532200
    Participant
     jeff907917532200 on

    First, no there is no plan by my doctor to have me re tested. He is acting like it is no big deal.
    Just to recap, never heard of Vit D deficiency being linked to IBS D. But I have had it since I have been about 20 yrs old and I am 49 now.
    So in the last 2 years I would guess, these would be the symptoms I have been experiencing. Before then, for the most part the cholestyramiine has been able to manage my symptoms.
    Much more loose stools and cramping, food alergies to Peppers, Corn and Peanuts(just in the past 2 years, never a problem at all in the past), Brain Fog, pretty bad fatigue(sometimes to the point I am actually afraid of my legs buckling as I walk), on and off sores in my mouth, muscle cramps, memory issues (meaning I can sometimes forget words of things I should know), sometimes feeling ill like I have the flu for a couple of days, some mild eczema. Once is a while a have a little vertigo. There could be another one or two but cannot think of anymore lately. I know in the past I had tingling in my fingers but that has dissipated lately. I know in the past years nothing was ever said about my Vit D being low but then again I never saw the test results. Only this last two times did I look at it and the only reason I probably even knew about it is because after 2 weeks of nothing after that previous blood test my wife saw online from the lab that my Vit D was low and called my doctor to question about it. He may have never even said anything if my wife didnt question it.

    Answered by  jeff907917532200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Since you have IBS part of the question now is are you absorbing the Vitamin D and are your levels rising. So I would get retested after about a month to six weeks to see if you are making progress. (If tingling in fingers has gone, that may be a good sign.)
    If you can see any results from thyroid testing, you may want to tell me what they are.
    (The doctor may have only done a TSH test but you could look to see if by chance he did any thyroid antibody testing.) (Sorry but thyroid stuff in the medical profession is as messed up as Vitamin D.)

    Answered by  IAW on

  • jeff907917532200
    Participant
     jeff907917532200 on

    I just pasted what I thought you needed.
    TSH 1.62 0.40-4.50 mIU/L QHO
    CBC (INCLUDES DIFF/PLT) QHO
    WHITE BLOOD CELL COUNT 6.2 3.8-10.8 Thousand/uL
    RED BLOOD CELL COUNT 5.05 4.20-5.80 Million/uL
    HEMOGLOBIN 15.7 13.2-17.1 g/dL
    HEMATOCRIT 47.4 38.5-50.0 %
    MCV 93.9 80.0-100.0 fL
    MCH 31.0 27.0-33.0 pg
    MCHC 33.0 32.0-36.0 g/dL
    RDW 14.1 11.0-15.0 %
    PLATELET COUNT 181 140-400 Thousand/uL
    ABSOLUTE NEUTROPHILS 3701 1500-7800 cells/uL
    ABSOLUTE LYMPHOCYTES 1761 850-3900 cells/uL
    PAGE 1 OF 3
    1 of 6
    Report Status: Final, JEFFREY
    Patient Information Specimen Information Client Information
    , JEFFREY
    DOB: 10/01/1966 AGE: 48
    Gender: M
    Patient ID: 10011966LJ
    Health ID: 8573009047025243
    Specimen: NE109529F
    Collected: 04/14/2015 / 07:20 EDT
    Received: 04/15/2015 / 05:24 EDT
    Reported: 04/18/2015 / 13:03 EDT

    CLIENT SERVICES: 866.697.8378 SPECIMEN: NE109529F
    Quest, Quest Diagnostics, the associated logo and all associated Quest Diagnostics marks are the trademarks of Quest Diagnostics.
    Test Name In Range Out Of Range Reference Range Lab
    ABSOLUTE MONOCYTES 546 200-950 cells/uL
    ABSOLUTE EOSINOPHILS 167 15-500 cells/uL
    ABSOLUTE BASOPHILS 25 0-200 cells/uL
    NEUTROPHILS 59.7 %
    LYMPHOCYTES 28.4 %
    MONOCYTES 8.8 %
    EOSINOPHILS 2.7 %
    BASOPHILS 0.4 %
    PSA, TOTAL 0.5 < OR = 4.0 ng/mL QHO
    This test was performed using the Siemens
    chemiluminescent method. Values obtained from
    different assay methods cannot be used
    interchangeably. PSA levels, regardless of
    value, should not be interpreted as absolute
    evidence of the presence or absence of disease.
    URINALYSIS REFLEX QHO
    COLOR YELLOW YELLOW
    APPEARANCE CLEAR CLEAR
    SPECIFIC GRAVITY 1.022 1.001-1.035
    PH 6.0 5.0-8.0
    GLUCOSE NEGATIVE NEGATIVE
    BILIRUBIN NEGATIVE NEGATIVE
    KETONES NEGATIVE NEGATIVE
    OCCULT BLOOD NEGATIVE NEGATIVE
    PROTEIN NEGATIVE NEGATIVE
    NITRITE NEGATIVE NEGATIVE
    LEUKOCYTE ESTERASE NEGATIVE NEGATIVE

    Answered by  jeff907917532200 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    So I am going to let you decide how and when you would like to proceed. This means the following.
    Keep taking the 10K Vitamin D for at least 4-6 weeks and retest to see if you are absorbing enough or any. If not then you would need to increase the amount taken (most likely) or find a different delivery method. (Happy to advise.) (Don’t forget at your weight you may need a lot more.)
    See what nutritionist can suggest and proceed and see if it helps you.
    If you want to give these things a try for a while to see what happens that may be wise. (No matter what your Vitamin D blood levels may show, it might not actually determine that you are “well”. That may take a while.)
    The only thyroid test I see above is the TSH test.The average test result for someone who does not have a thyroid issue is 1.5. Having said this you may have thyroid antibodies and most doctors do not even check these levels. So you could ask to be tested or wait a while and test later if you are not making any progress. They could also check your Free T3 and Free T4 levels.

    Answered by  IAW on