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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.

Hi! I have been very ill for many years with lots of symptoms (fatigue, edema, IBS, insomnia, lack of appetite, dizziness, poor immune system, dry mouth, slow wound healing, dry skin and hair, chronic headaches etc.) and I still don´t know what is wrong. I started seeing a doctor in functional medicine last summer and had a lot of testing done, some were sent to a lab in the US and some were sent to a lab in Sweden where I live. The 25(OH)D test happened to be done twice and strangely enough the results were different. The level from the American lab came back at 34 ng/ml och the level from the Swedish lab came back at 40 ng/ml. I had the test done again this winter by a Swedish lab and it came back at 50 ng/ml. I find that puzzling because I didn´t take any extra vitamin D this winter, the only vitamin D I had been getting was from my multivitamin (1000 IU daily). Is it possible that I am deficient in vitamin D or does that seem unlikely considering my test results? I am just trying to find an explanation for my symptoms. Thanks in advance.

Ask the Vitamin D Council

Asked by  C on May 23, 2016

Answers

  • C
    Participant
     C on

    See title

    Answered by  C on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    A long time ago there was a discrepancy between labs testing Vitamin D. I thought most of this was all corrected but maybe it was not. So if you do know the name of the labs that did the actual testing, you could tell me .If you do make sure you tell me their location (country), name and measurement. (Double check they were all ng/ml.)
    You say you only take 1000iu and just checking but no cod liver oil, correct? Do you eat a lot of fatty fish? Any sunlamps or tanning beds?
    It usually takes a 150lb person, taking 5000iu a day, to reach a level of around 50ng/ml. Even if you tell me you weigh 125lbs, you would probably still need 4000iu a day. If you weigh even more than 150lbs, you would need to take more than the 5000iu a day.
    The odds are more than likely you are deficient. I am not a doctor but would propose two things to you.
    First read http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/. It is very important. A lack of enough calcium or magnesium in your diet and a higher amount of Vitamin D might give you more symptoms. Then try taking 5000iu a day and see what happens. If you get any new or worse symptoms, stop the D and let me know. (It is usually caused by mineral deficiencies.) If you would like to take it slow, than get 1000iu’s if possible and add one every three or four days.
    The second is has anyone ever did any recent thyroid testing on you? Did they do a TSH, Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antibody testing? Let me know!

    Answered by  IAW on

    • C
      Participant
       C on

      Thank you so much for your reply, I truly appreciate your help. The American lab is called Genova Diagnostics and the vitamin D testing was part of a test called NutrEval that I did. Unfortunately I don´t know the name of the Swedish labs. I have all the results in front of me, the ones from Sweden are 99 nmol/L (summer) and 125 nmol/L (winter) but I converted them into ng/ml. The one from Genova Diagnostics is 34 ng/ml (summer). I don´t take cod liver oil and I never eat fish. And I have never used sunlamps or tanning beds. I am female by the way and my weight is about 150 lbs, I forgot to mention that in my previous post. I have had thyroid testing done and my TSH is usually between 3 and 4 and I think that that might be slightly higher than optimal, but my free T3 and T4 and my antibodies are all within range. I have spent a fortune on testing these last few years but I am not really getting anywhere, and it is so frustrating. I have been taking magnesium every day for many months, about 500 mg daily (citrate, malate and lactate) but I recently increased to 600 mg (there is 150 mg in my multivitamin and then I take an additional 450 mg). I am not taking any calcium but there is 200 mg in my multivitamin, I am getting some calcium from my diet but probably not a massive amount. I actually started to take 5000 IU vitamin D3 two days ago and I will continue, it feels good to know that you approve of that amount. Should I stop taking it on sunny days? Thanks again!

      Answered by  C on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    It makes no sense to me, with all of the information you have given me, that you would have a “higher” Vitamin D level in winter than in the summer with all things being equal. So I am hard pressed to think the one’s from the Swedish labs are correct.
    Since you are so sick, I would still take the 5000iu even on the sunny days. AGAIN any symptoms, let me know.
    Now onto the thyroid tests. Your TSH is too high. Can you get me or have the actual figures for the Free T3 and Free T4 and antibody tests? If you are showing any antibodies, then that is probably where your issues are even though the doctors say it does not. Although not a doctor, I have a lot of information in this area.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • C
    Participant
     C on

    I did have some thyroid testing done very recently but I haven´t gotten the results back yet, but here are the results of my latest tests:

    2014-08-13:
    T4 – 19
    TSH – 3,72
    TPO – 13

    2015-02-02:
    Free T4 – 18 (11-22)
    Free T3 – 4,3 (3,1-7,0)
    TSH – 2,72 (0,40-3,70)
    TPO-ak – 9 (0-49)

    2015-06-24:
    Free T4 – 19 (10-22)
    Free T3 – 4,7 (3,3-6,0)
    TSH – 3,9 (0,4-4,0)
    TPO-ak – <10 (0-35)

    2015-12-15:
    Free T4 – 19 (12-22)
    TSH – 2,7
    I agree that my vitamin D results don´t make any sense and I just find it all really confusing. Thanks again, I am really grateful for any help I can get.

    Answered by  C on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    So although your TSH’s are on the higher side, your actual hormones look very reasonable. You have some antibodies which could be from low Vitamin D levels. If new results do not have antibody testing or Free T3 levels you may want to ask that they do them. If they have done them, I would look to see if the TPO has increased at all or if your FT3 level is a lot lower. If your FT4 level is lower than your average 18-19 let me know.
    So we will go with a Vitamin D deficiency. Take the 5000iu a day and get some sun when possible. Let me know how you feel in a month or two.

    Answered by  IAW on

    • C
      Participant
       C on

      I will do that. I am excited to try the vitamin D, it will be interesting to see if it helps and it would be amazing if it did. Thanks a lot for your help!

      Answered by  C on