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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 was recently diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency of 14. My doctor prescribed vitamin D2 50,000 i.u.once a week for 12 weeks. I am 4 weeks in. My vitamin D level was deficient last year. Unfortunately, I did not realize the seriousness of this deficiency and did not take my prescribed vitamin D. I tire easily, and my osteoarthritis has worsened. Is my level low enough to cause these symptoms? I also have unexplained weight gain and thought I may have hypothyroidism, but my TSH level was within normal range. Was thinking of having more extensive testing for thyroid (I.e. T3, T4, antibodies, etc. Thoughts? My blood calcium level is normal. I have read that calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K can help absorb the vitamin D. Thoughts?

Ask the Vitamin D Council

Asked by  leighannlittlejohn16137900 on September 21, 2016

Answers
  •  leighannlittlejohn16137900 on

    See title

    Answered by  leighannlittlejohn16137900 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    First thing is D3 is much better for the human body than D2. Humans make D3 when they go in the sun, not D2. So if you want to get well and stay well you need to get and take D3. We promote maintaining a “healthy” level of 50ng/ml. This is because at levels of 40ng/ml and below, your chances for cancer and autoimmune diseases rises dramatically!
    The D3 is an over the counter vitamin supplement sold just about everywhere in the USA. (Yes low Vitamin D can cause the symptoms you mentioned and just a little bit lower and you may end up with Osteomalacia which is adult ricketts.) You can either take 50,000iu of D3 once a week or it is better for you to take it daily. That would mean taking about 7-8000iu of D3 a day and do this for the same amount of weeks. Before the 12 weeks is up, I would hope the doctor would check your levels again to make sure they are at 50ng/ml or greater. If they are then you need to take a maintenance dosage of 5000 iu of D3 a day, forever, or else your levels will plummet again. If you are not near 50ng/ml, I would come back and tell me. The 5000iu is based on the average weight of 150lbs. So if you weigh more, you have to take more! Also once you take that last 50,000 iu, if you choose to take it weekly, then do not wait more than a week before going to the maintenance dosage.
    I recommend you read http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/. It is important. Calcium, magnesium and K do not help absorb Vitamin D, they are co-factors. Vitamin D helps calcium absorb from the intestines and uses it for bones and other things. Vitamin K helps direct the calcium to your bones instead of soft tissue and also does other things. A lot of magnesium is used when Vitamin D processes things. So if you are low on magnesium, then when you take Vitamin D, it will usually give you “symptoms” because of the lack of magnesium.
    As for the thyroid levels or other testing. I would wait until you have corrected your deficiency to 50ng/ml or slightly higher. If you still have symptoms, after that, come back and let me know. I will say this. I would be suspicious of hypothyroidism if your TSH is more than 2.0 BUT it may correct itself with the Vitamin D.

    Answered by  IAW on
  •  leighannlittlejohn16137900 on

    Do you know why doctors are prescribing vitamin d2 instead of d3? I told my doc that I have read that taking the natural d3 is more effective than the synthetic d2. He told me d2 is cheaper and just as effective. This is puzzling mixed information for the patient, as many doctors prescribe d2. One of my symptoms is temperature dysregulation. I can get overheated easily and then get chills. Is this too a symptom of d deficiency? I may call doctor to check my TSH level. I understand that a normal TSH alone does not always indicate normal thyroid function. Yes, my symptoms could all point to a single cause, vitamin d deficiency. Thank you for clarifying the mineral issue. I will read the article you provided. If my blood values for calcium and magnesium are normal, is it advisable to take these supplements for d deficiency? Thank you so much for the wonderful information you have/are providing me.

    Answered by  leighannlittlejohn16137900 on

  • IAW
    Participant
     IAW on

    For the D2 vs D3 see below.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24828488
    http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jc.2004-0360
    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/4/694.full
    On the “overheat and chill”, I do not know. You will have to let me know if this changes at all once you have enough Vitamin D.
    Blood values of mineral levels only reflect the1% that is found in the blood stream and not actual stores. By the time blood levels go low, you are in serious trouble. If you have a good diet, then you probably have them covered. Magnesium is probably the harder one to get enough of in your diet, if you do not eat well. (Some medicines do cause mineral deficiencies also.) So as for mineral deficiency, I usually tell people if they add any new symptoms or old symptoms get worse, to tell me. This way I can try and help them sort out which one it might be.

    Answered by  IAW on