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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 recently was diagnosed with a level of 8 for Vitamin D. I was prescribed 12 week 50,000iu D2, but within two days of taking it reacted with my already chronic hives. So I switched to capsule D3 2,000iu in hopes of slowly building a tolerance; however those are also reacting with my chronic hives. In addition, all of which is adding to my severe IBS. I have hopes/faith that vitamin D can assist me with some of my illnesses; however it's difficult given the early side effects. Any thoughts? I've read of Vit D sprays, or "dry" capsules. Any thoughts on getting my vit D without the gastro effects and hives? ANY help appreciated!!!!

Ask the Vitamin D Council

Asked by  adam on March 28, 2016

Vitamin D Council Answer

  • John Cannell, MD
    Keymaster
     John Cannell, MD on

    get 5,000 IU Bio Tech capsule. Open them and dissolve the powder in juice. Take 10,000 IU/day. John Cannell, MD

    Answered by  John Cannell, MD on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      Thank you for the responses! I will order the Biotech brand and use as you mentioned by pouring them into some black cherry juice that I already drink daily anyway, and see if that helps. I appreciate it!

      Answered by  adam on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      Update – so today is day two of taking Biotech, but I’ve started with 5,000iu instead of 10,000iu as to attempt to build up. So far, the hives haven’t been as bad as my first go-around; however the stomach upset and nausea is very bad already. I also am jittery, but I expect this to improve. I’m pouring the contents into 8 oz of pure black cherry juice (that I already drank daily for my gout symptoms). Any thoughts regarding the GI/stomach upset is appreciated, and will continue to update on the hives as well. Thanks!!

      Answered by  adam on
Answers

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Well it kind of sounds like you are going to be allergic(?) to maybe any form of Vitamin D3. I looked at my bottle of Bio Tech D3 which are dry capsules. Other ingredients say microcrystalline cellulose and gelatin capsules but that’s it. So you could try theirs and see if you react. (The sprays as far as I know are to spray in your mouth, so not sure if that will help you or not either. Supposedly they are really good if you have a hard time absorbing from capsules or pills.) The Carlson’s Super Daily 1000iu I have says “other ingredients medium chain triglyceride oil (coconut and palm source).”
    Adam do you have any problems if you go outside in the summer sun? Does that make things worse? If not then maybe a sunlamp or tanning bed time.
    I would assume since you found us that you already know that the IBS and chronic hives can be caused by Vitamin D deficiency, hence why you are trying to take Vitamin D. Your level is very low. One last question has anyone ever tested your thyroid levels and specifically tested for thyroid antibodies??

    Answered by  IAW on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      Well the concern is that I have reacted from both the D2 (50,000iu) and the D3. So I will try the Biotech brand and pour them into juice as suggested above and see if that alleviates the issues. Ironically, I’m great when I’m out in the sun – it’s just that this doesn’t occur often having a 60 hour a week office/sales job. Yes I have definitely read on here and elsewhere that Vit D can greatly help with chronic hives and IBS (and gout which I also suffer from) so I’m anxious to get on a D regimen that I can tolerate without the hives and GI issues. My thyroid levels are in normal range, albeit on the lower side of normal. Not sure if I have been tested for thyroid antibodies? That’s a newer one I haven’t heard of yet.

      Appreciate the response and keep any thoughts coming – I definitely will read them!

      Answered by  adam on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Adam that was Dr. Cannell that answered above about “opening the capsule and dumping it in something”. He is the founder of this website. So could you please let me know if this works for you. If it does great! If not we will go from there.

    Answered by  IAW on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      Absolutely. If it does I will be screaming it from the rooftops (which includes showing appreciation/information on here). Thanks!

      Answered by  adam on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      And if it doesn’t, I will return to find out other alternatives. This is basically my last ditch hope given all of the medications I’ve been prescribed over the years that have not worked. And I’m a 36 year old male.

      Answered by  adam on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      Response above – any help is appreciated. I’m committed to doing everything I can to see this through. Thanks in advance.

      Answered by  adam on

  • adam
    Participant
     adam on

    Thanks for the quick response – in regards to the calcum/hypercalcemia question – I do know for certain that in March my calcium level registered at 9.3mg/dL. Does that help?

    Also, are you saying that you suggest stopping the D until I first take the magesium for a little while (time period?) or should I try to take both at the same time?

    Answered by  adam on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Your calcium level does not necessarily need to be high to begin with in order to start hypercalcemia. If you take way too much Vitamin D you can cause the condition but it is reversible by stopping the D. The other reasons you can read about here if you like http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/further-topics/vitamin-d-hypersensitivity/.
    So yes I am suggesting stopping the D just until you can get some magnesium into your system. Maybe two or three days worth of magnesium and a minimum amount equivalent to 300mg. Then if you want you could even take one of your 2000iu capsules or dump a half of a 5000iu Biotech and see if the stomach problems stop.
    I had someone else whose symptoms could have gone either way. So they took magnesium first for a while then started the D again and had no issues.
    There is no hard and fast on how long to take the magnesium for before trying the D again.

    Answered by  IAW on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    OK I have NO IDEA why my response ended up above rather than below your last question so see above.
    Also do NOT use magnesium OXIDE.

    Answered by  IAW on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      Thank you – I will try ceasing the D temporarily and try to get magnesium into my system. What brand do you recommend (I ask since you mention to stay away from the Oxide – I’d rather be safe than sorry and just outright ask for a recommendation, given that I’m utilizing the Biotech recommendation for the D). I appreciate the advice.

      Answered by  adam on

    • IAW
      Participant
       IAW on

      Oxide is a “type”. So buy one that is made from citrate (or anything that ends in ate) or get magnesium chloride. There really is not a super good “brand”. (Just don’t buy it from someone standing on a street corner!)
      One lady on the internet with mostly IBS constipation was helped by citrate. Another one who replied to her said she could only do the “rub on kind” because I assume anything consumed gave her diarrhea. In your case I do not know if you are plagued with one over the other. So for magnesium it is not a big deal who makes it but how it is made.

      Answered by  IAW on

  • adam
    Participant
     adam on

    So update – on day 4 of trying “Ancient Minerals” magnesium lotion. Been using about maybe a dime-sized drop so far as to build up tolerance. One quick thing I noticed is that my bp has dropped in a very short time from taking it. Gotten a couple hives from it (I think) but other than that, so far not too bad. You think I should try another week or so of building up tolerance before attempting to start the Vitamin D again?

    Answered by  adam on

    • IAW
      Participant
       IAW on

      Sure you can try again. Try a half of a capsule the first time and see what happens.

      Answered by  IAW on

  • adam
    Participant
     adam on

    Going to do a few more days of the magnesium, then begin doing that along with the Vitamin D3. I found a couple vitamin D3 lotions on amazon.com, one of which says 10,000iu per pump. Any experience with those?

    Answered by  adam on

    • IAW
      Participant
       IAW on

      Are you going to try the pills one more time to see if perhaps the magnesium might help you to avoid the stomach issues?
      I do not really have any experience with Vitamin D lotions. (Oral sprays work well but might still cause you issues.) One time Dr. Cannell said to open a Vitamin D capsule, mix it with a little oil (olive I think) and rub it on your skin. A person on Q and A found this study if you want to read it http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3976443/.

      Answered by  IAW on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      So here’s my update – I tried the rub-in cream and it still made my arm hurt really bad and upset my stomach royally (same thing happened with the other vit D attempts). I’m at my wits end at this point unless you have other suggestions I believe myself to be out of options.

      Answered by  adam on

    • IAW
      Participant
       IAW on

      Some of the below I have already said but I am going to repeat myself just so neither one of us misses something.
      When you had your calcium level checked back in March and it was 9.3, were you using ANY Vitamin D yet even a little in perhaps a multi vitamin? If you were not using any yet then the Vitamin D might be causing “hypercalcemia”. The only way to figure that out might be to take some Vitamin D and get a calcium level checked the same day. I am not a doctor so I do not know if it is possible to take Vitamin D, have calcium levels rise above the range but then if you stop the D maybe they can go back to normal. (You might have to consult a physician.) You could copy this off and take it to him http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/further-topics/vitamin-d-hypersensitivity/. I also do not know if you could consult an Endocrinologist. This is their area of expertise.
      Before you do that though, do you have any sun tanning parlors/salons/beds near you? You told me once that sunshine does not bother you but you do not get to spend much time outside just like many other people. So if you could do this several times a week, you can make sure that you will not eventually react to the “salon rays” just like you are reacting to pills and lotions. If that goes OK you can stick with that or get your own sunlamp. Just remember you need to expose large amounts of skin, just not arms and face.
      If you have or can get your thyroid results and share them with me, I know a lot about the subject.

      Answered by  IAW on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      Any sunlamps you recommend that you have heard work? I’m willing to invest if you have thoughts. Yes there are tanning beds not too far from me as a last resort but I don’t know that I would love to go 3-4x a week to one of those, especially if doing it from home is a feasible option. Also, I have some test results – are these thyroid tests? I had a ton of blood tests done in March, but not sure if these are the results that you’d be looking for?

      Cholesterol 127 mg/dL <200 mg/dL
      Triglycerides 114 mg/dL <150 mg/dL
      Chol HDL 24 mg/dL >40 mg/dL
      VLDL Calc 23 mg/dL <=30 mg/dL
      LDL Calc 80 mg/dL <130 mg/dL
      Glucose 88 mg/dL 74 – 106 mg/dL
      BUN 5 mg/dL 7 – 21 mg/dL
      Creatinine 0.95 mg/dL 0.50 – 1.30 mg/dL
      eGFR MDRD >60 mL/min/1.73m2 >60 mL/min/1.73m2
      eGFR MDRD AFR AMR >60 mL/min/1.73m2 >60 mL/min/1.73m2
      Sodium 141 mmol/L 136 – 145 mmol/L
      Potassium 4.1 mmol/L 3.5 – 5.1 mmol/L
      Chloride 104 mmol/L 98 – 107 mmol/L
      CO2 27 mmol/L 22 – 31 mmol/L
      Calcium 9.3 mg/dL 8.5 – 10.1 mg/dL
      Protein Total 7.7 gm/dL 6.4 – 8.2 gm/dL
      Albumin 4.5 gm/dL 3.4 – 5.0 gm/dL
      Bili Total 1.6 mg/dL 0.2 – 1.0 mg/dL
      Alk Phos 82 U/L 38 – 126 U/L
      AST/SGOT 29 U/L 5 – 40 U/L
      ALT/SGPT 65 U/L 12 – 78 U/L
      WBC 8.5 x10E9/L 4.4 – 10.7 x10E9/L
      RBC 5.38 x10E12/L 3.80 – 5.40 x10E12/L
      Hgb 17.3 gm/dL 12.0 – 17.6 gm/dL
      Hct 49.6 % 35.2 – 51.7 %
      MCV 92.2 fL 80.7 – 98.3 fL
      MCH 32.2 pg 26.7 – 34.0 pg
      MCHC 34.9 gm/dL 30.8 – 35.9 gm/dL
      RDW 12.4 % 12.1 – 14.9 %
      Plt Ct 329 x10E9/L 153 – 416 x10E9/L
      MPV FL BLOOD (SSM) 11.0 fl 9.4-12.9
      Gran 56.6 % 44.0 – 73.0 %
      Lymph 25.0 % 20.0 – 43.0 %
      Mono 11.6 % 5.0 – 13.0 %
      Eos 6.1 % 0.0 – 6.0 %
      Baso 0.5 % 0.0 – 2.0 %
      Gran Abs 4.83 x10E9/L 2.01 – 7.14 x10E9/L
      Lymph Abs 2.13 x10E9/L 1.07 – 3.94 x10E9/L
      Mono Abs 0.99 x10E9/L 0.26 – 1.07 x10E9/L
      Eos Abs 0.52 x10E9/L 0 – 0.47 x10E9/L
      Baso Abs 0.04 x10E9/L 0 – 0.08 x10E9/L
      Immature Gran 0.2 % 0 – 1 %
      Immature Gran Abs 0.02 x10E9/L 0.00 – 0.06 x10E9/L
      NRBC 0 /100 WBC
      TSH 1.88 uIU/mL 0.358 – 3.740 uIU/mL

      Answered by  adam on

    • IAW
      Participant
       IAW on

      I suggested the “salon”, for a week or two, to make sure that went well before you made a financial commitment for your own but you can do what you want. At the very top of page is a link to Sperti if you let it scroll thru. I do believe there are still places you can get “larger” sun lamps that hang on the back of a door also. They would cover more area maybe but my knowledge of lamps is limited. I know beds are very expensive. Harry might have some more information here at http://www.vitamindwiki.com/Vitamin+D+from+low-cost+UVB+lamps.
      Your TSH thyroid level is fine. (The lower the number the better. Congratulations you are average.) Sometimes though, that measurement can be good and other thyroid test levels are not. I will leave this up to you. If you can talk someone into a Free T4 level and a Free T3 level and test for antibodies, that might show a whole different story if those levels are not good. (Thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO)—the most common test for autoimmune thyroid disease and Thyroglobulin antibody (TGAb))
      I will keep my fingers crossed that a sun lamp works for you and that you will get better soon. Please keep me up dated down the road. Maybe I will be able to help someone else in the future with your information.
      Any more questions, let me know!

      Answered by  IAW on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      Thanks for the advice and the help. I just purchased the Sperti and will await delivery and see what kind of results I receive. Will follow up upon using it and/or having a follow up vit D test run to see updated results. Thanks again.

      Answered by  adam on

    • IAW
      Participant
       IAW on

      Your welcome! I hope the lamp works and that you feel better soon!!!

      Answered by  IAW on

    • adam
      Participant
       adam on

      So an update. I’ve been going to the tanning bed for the last three weeks or so, and about a week and a half ago my stomach pains started to come back but I didn’t make a connection, so I have continued going. Now they are in full force to the point that I’m calling into work because of the pain. So although originally, sun didn’t used to bother me, for some reason now it seems to be doing so. Any suggestions?

      Answered by  adam on

    • IAW
      Participant
       IAW on

      Sorry it did not work at least not yet!
      Have you ever taken probiotics and/or prebiotics?
      Throwing in the next thing below just in case. I realize your blood level back in April reads withing range but like all minerals blood levels only account for a very small amount in the entire body.
      Hypokalemia / Low Potassium Symptoms
      Usually symptoms of low potassium are mild. At times the effects of low potassium can be vague. There may be more than one symptom involving the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, kidneys, muscles, heart, and nerves.
      Weakness, tiredness, or cramping in arm or leg muscles, sometimes severe enough to cause inability to move arms or legs due to weakness (much like a paralysis)
      Tingling or numbness
      Nausea or vomiting
      Abdominal cramping, bloating
      Constipation
      Palpitations (feeling your heart beat irregularly)
      Passing large amounts of urine or feeling thirsty most of the time
      Fainting due to low blood pressure
      Abnormal psychological behavior: depression, psychosis, delirium, confusion, or hallucinations.

      Answered by  IAW on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Adam if you take Vitamin D, even a tiny amount can do it, and it causes hypercalcemia, you will get the below symptoms:
    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. I am not saying that this is what is happening but you do have one of the symptoms. BUT you said before that sunshine does not seem to cause the reactions of nausea and worse hives. (So if you add anymore of the above symptoms, please stop any D and tell me.
    So the above is not to be confused with taking Vitamin D with LOW magnesium levels and possible getting the following symptoms • Irritability or Anxiety, Nausea, Headaches, Insomnia, Fatigue, Muscle cramps/twitching, Weakness and constipation. So you have nausea and anxiety could also be a jittery feeling.
    So I think your problem is low magnesium. Do you take any supplemental magnesium and if so how much and what kind?
    So I would stop the D until you supplement with the magnesium and then maybe try again.(At this point it is a hard call of is it the D and the delivery method we are using or low magnesium. I am betting on the low magnesium.)
    So you already have IBS so the question will be if you try and take oral magnesium will it make things worse. I do not know so my suggestion is if you want to try oral get something with a small amount per capsule like 100mg and just try one. If that works then add another one. If two do not cause an issue then take three. Spread the amount out during the day and head for a total of at least 500mg a day for now. If it does cause an issue or you do not even want to try, then you will need to try magnesium that come in a “rub on your skin (OIL)” thus avoiding the intestinal track. There are also Epsom Salt baths.
    Well there’s your homework. Let me know!

    Answered by  IAW on

  • adam
    Participant
     adam on

    Thanks for the quick response – in regards to the calcum/hypercalcemia question – I do know for certain that in March my calcium level registered at 9.3mg/dL. Does that help?

    Also, are you saying that you suggest stopping the D until I first take the magesium for a little while (time period?) or should I try to take both at the same time?

    Answered by  adam on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    Replies are above and I do not know why they ended up there!!!

    Answered by  IAW on