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I tested at 33ng/ml and started taking 10,000 of D3. After 7 weeks I retested and I am at 60 ng/ml. I weight 135 pounds. What should my maintenance dose be? Also, I started this regime because I have inflammatory auto-immune condition, and also a chronic hamstring tendenosis for three years. I heard vitamin D can help those conditions. How long does it usually take to see if D will improve these conditions. Thanks.

Asked by  Justine on November 21, 2017

Answers
  •  Justine on

    See title

    Answered by  Justine on
  •  IAW on

    IF you did not have any health issues and had a level of 33ng/ml, I would have said take 5000iu a day and then retest in 8 weeks to make sure you now have a level of 50 ng/ml.
    Since you have health issues, you may want to try one of the following.
    First one would be to stay on the 10,000iu. This is because you only made it to 60ng/ml taking the 10,000iu. By the way you phrased it above, it sounds like neither condition has changed for you in the 7 weeks. So “maybe at the higher amount of Vitamin D”, for a “longer” period of time, you may see some improvement.
    The second one you could do is push your level higher and see if that helps either or both conditions. So you could try and take 15,000iu and see how you feel. You do not necessarily have to retest again in 8 weeks, just go by how you feel at that point. (If 15,000iu does not help, then you may want to try an even higher amount of Vitamin D but I would start with the 15,000.) Eventually you may want to retest but right now I would go by “how do I feel”. It is easier for me to give you advice in smaller steps than all at once.
    If at any point you start any “new” symptoms or old ones get worse, then come back and tell me. It usually means a mineral deficiency or for some people hypercalcemia.
    If you already have not please read http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/. It is important!
    If you have any more questions or I was not clear, please ask!

    Answered by  IAW on
  •  Justine on

    I was surprised at your answer because I thought 60ng/ml was the optimal level I should be at so I was thinking that I should find a maintenance dose to stay there. But you are suggesting I need even higher levels to maintain to get results.Because I essentially ‘doubled’ my level in so quick a time, is there any risk of going too high if I continue to take 10,000iu?

    I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis but without the skin condition. I take Enbrel for it. The only time I noticed one plaque was after I had my son. Interestingly I had 3 small plaques during this time, but they have disappeared lately. As far as other minerals suggested, I eat a lot of vegetables and yogurt. I have been using a spray-on magnesium because oral upsets my stomach (I also have IBS and a lot of food sensitivities which I’ve had all my life). My calcium levels recently tested good. I regularly take zinc 50mg.as I believe I need that.

    Thank you for your answer. So you are suggesting no need to retest to see if I am too high?

    Answered by  Justine on
  •  IAW on

    It takes a “normal person” (I am going define normal as no health issues) 8 weeks of taking the same amount of Vitamin D to know what level they will end up having. So for instance “normal” would need 5000iu for 8 weeks and should end up at 50ng/ml. This is provided they weigh an average of 150lbs. You took twice that amount so “in theory” you should have a level of 100 but it is only 60. (I realize you tested at 7 weeks but at this point I don’t think it will make that much difference.) Since you have health conditions that means “for right now” you could be going thru more Vitamin D because it is trying to repair things in your body. So you “may” need a lot more Vitamin D upfront to make “fixes” and “less” later on when you are better.
    To put your mind at rest Vitamin D levels are safe to 150ng/ml and probably will not get you into trouble until they are even higher than that. Another way of saying it is you would have to take 40,000iu a day for months before you “may” get hypercalcemia. (Some people get hypercalcemia after taking only 1000iu because of the health issues they have.)
    You said “Interestingly I had 3 small plaques during this time, but they have disappeared lately.” I think you mean while taking the Vitamin D? If so the Vitamin D is “working”.
    IBS can also be caused by lack of Vitamin D. If you have gastric issues then sometimes that can also cause you not to absorb Vitamin D as well. So now that you said this it may also be why your level is not “higher” on the 10,000. But going from 33-60 proves you are absorbing it. This is part of the reason to test to make sure levels are increasing and increasing enough.
    FYI for future reference we are now recommending pregnant woman take 10,000iu during pregnancy. Pregnancy uses up a lot of Vitamin D.
    Now I am not crazy but you could conceivable “cure” the psoriatic arthritis, IBS and tendon issue with Vitamin D. You may like to read https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24494059. People are “curing” their MS with “huge” amounts of Vitamin D.
    Now if you take enough Vitamin D, at some point you may not need the Enbrel anymore. One step at a time though and I am not a doctor.
    I am sure some people do not have a lot of money to do the testing and some doctors may not co-operate with extra tests. So as long as you do not get any symptoms of Hypercalcemia, then you are OK. Even if you took too much and that happened, the answer is to stop all Vitamin D and do not go out in the sun until your levels decrease and calcium levels go back to normal. There is NO permanent damage.
    Another way to say this is, you at this point are not trying to maintain, you are trying to “treat” like you would with a drug only using Vitamin D.
    How much Vitamin D do you give your child?
    Again if I am not clear just let me know!

    Answered by  IAW on
    •  IAW on

      See Above
      Hypercalcemia
      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.

      Answered by  IAW on
  •  Justine on

    Thanks. I live in WY, so winter is trying to happen here. WY has a state sponsored blood draw location which makes it easy and cheap to test frequently. I’ll keep taking the 10,000iu and test again in mid-January then get back to you.

    Answered by  Justine on
  •  IAW on

    Thanks Justine and please do update me!

    Answered by  IAW on
  •  Justine on

    Here is my update and wondering what is a good maintenance dose. I continued on 10,000i.u. till about December 15 then went down to 5,000 i.u./day. I retested Jan. 23 and am at 57ng/Ml. I haven’t noticed any changes in my health conditions. I started upping my dose for soft tissue healing. I’m prone to soft tissue injuries and have a high hamstring tendon tear for 4 years. I heard Vitamin D doses can help this condition. I am usually outside a lot, but it’s Wyoming winter and have not seen much sun nor been outside with the 5,000 dose. Should I just stay on this as a maintenance?

    Answered by  Justine on
  •  IAW on

    So on November 22 you said “I’ll keep taking the 10,000iu and test again in mid-January then get back to you.” Apparently you decided to change your mind and decreased to 5000iu a day and tested in four weeks instead of the 8 weeks that you need every time you make a change.
    So we do not know what your level was on 10,000iu and since you should have waited about 4 more weeks to retest, I do not know how low your level will go on the 5000iu. So it is making it hard for me to gauge. For example if your level on 10,000 after 8 weeks had been anywhere from 80-100ng/ml, I would have said keep taking the 10,000 because of your health issues. If after a reasonable amount of time, you did not notice ANY improvement then you would have to decide to try an even higher amount of Vitamin D or just conclude that higher amounts will not help, use 5000iu a day but make sure it keeps you at a level of 50ng/ml or better.
    Living in Wyoming, you cannot make Vitamin D outside in the winter time. In the summer you have to have very little clothing on and be outside between 10am and 2pm. (noon is the best)
    So if I were you, for example, I think I would have taken the 10K for 6 months before I would have made any judgement calls on whether it was helping your health issues. (There is “speculation” that some health conditions might occur with “chronic” Vitamin D deficiency. If so then it could take quite awhile to see an affect.)

    Answered by  IAW on
  •  Justine on

    OK, I think it was actually 6 weeks on 5000 i.u. then test, and 7 weeks on 10,000 and then tested. Since I got to 60 ng/ml in just 6 weeks I got kind of nervous about staying on 10,000 iu for an extended period of time. I stayed for an extra few weeks at 10,000 and still didn’t feel any change. So you are recommending I get my levels up to 100ng/ml by taking 10,000iu for months on end?

    Answered by  Justine on
  •  IAW on

    I reread and looked at a calendar. If the following does not seem correct, let me know.
    Your starting level without any (or very little) Vitamin D was 33ng/ml.
    You then took 10K of Vitamin D for 7 weeks and your level was 60ng/ml.
    You stayed on the 10K for about another 3 1/2 weeks.
    Then you started taking 5K and at about 5 1/2 weeks, on the 23rd of Jan, your level is 57ng/ml. So if your were to retest at the 8 week mark, on the 5K that level will now be lower and I have no idea how much lower. Just an FYI. If you stopped taking any Vitamin D and you did not get any sunshine, levels will decrease by 1/2 every two weeks. Maybe that will help put this in perspective.
    When the VDC recommends a level of 50ng/ml, it is to keep healthy people “healthy”. If you are already in a “disease state”, no one knows how much Vitamin D “may” cure it. The research right now is not in “cures” everyone is still arguing how much to keep you healthy. (For example there are many scientific studies that show the higher your Vitamin D level, the less incidence of cancer. There are studies that show if you already have cancer, your “outcome” is better if you have higher levels of Vitamin D. There are no studies that show if you give someone “X” amount of Vitamin D, you can cure them. The closest thing we have at the moment is a doctor, in South America, that is curing Multiple Sclerosis with “extremely” high amounts of Vitamin D.) In a sense you are “on your own” if you want to try and “cure” yourself with Vitamin D.
    Now I think you are also under the impression that if you were to keep taking the 10K, that your levels will just keep rising and rising. That is where the 8 weeks come in. At that point the “ins and outs” should equal and your level “does not” continue to rise. If your 60ng/ml level on 10K really was tested at 6-7 weeks, I would have to “guess” and say maybe you would have made it to 70 but then again maybe it will still have read 60ng/ml. If at 8 weeks it still read 60, then my guess would have been that in your “disease state” you are using up a lot of Vitamin D because really on 10K your level should have been much higher.
    So to recap it may take higher amounts of Vitamin D, over longer periods of time, to affect a “cure”. If you actually cure yourself, then maybe at some point you can take less Vitamin D and still stay well.
    I think if you continue the 10K right now, that your level is not going to reach 100 but will hopefully be around 80.
    So now that it is late in the winter, in March you can “technically” make Vitamin D outside but it takes a little longer than in summer. My suggestion might be to not cut back on the Vitamin D. Take the 10K. Keep taking it and get some sunshine and see if symptoms change. If they do then it is actually something other than UVB that is helping OR you really need a lot more than 10K to affect a change.
    If you can get really serious over the spring or especially the summer, where you strip most of your clothes off, lie horizontal in the sun for 30 minutes or more at noon, then come back and tell me. I will rethink the 10K at that point. Just so you know, I am not a doctor. As long as you do not get any symptoms of hypercalcemia, you are fine.
    You can ask me as many questions as you like. I hope someday you come back and post again and this time it will be your “success story”!

    Answered by  IAW on
  •  Justine on

    Thanks. I will go back now on the 10K. It is very inexpensive and quick for me to test as it is subsidized through the state. When do you recommend I retest then?

    Answered by  Justine on
  •  IAW on

    I would wait till the end of March.
    I would take the time right now to list on a piece of paper any and all symptoms or limitations you feel you have at this very moment. For example you mentioned plaques before do you have any at the moment? If so write it down. Does your inflammation restrict you in anyway, if so write your limits at this moment. If you have anything else that you do not contribute to your present situation but “have”, write it down. For example you have thin or thinning hair but you always thought it was your genetic make-up, put it in the list. Another example if you get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom or have to go often during the day, write it down. Being without Vitamin D affects “everything”. We will then compare at the end of “March”.
    Depending on what that level is, I may also ask you how much time you spent outside just so I can gauge how much “sunshine” is in that level if any.

    Answered by  IAW on
    •  Justine on

      Hi, I finally just retested and have stayed on the 10,000 iu. My level is 104 ng/ml. I haven’t noticed any changed in any symptoms. What do you recommend? Seems live my levels are a bit high and I should reduce my intake. I had spent March in New Mexico, but although there is more sun there and I wore shorts and sandals every day, I had long sleeves on. Back in WY now.

      Answered by  Justine on
    •  IAW on

      The 104 probably has some “sunshine” in it.
      You said that none of your symptoms have changed. That leaves you with the following. Take 5000iu a day and get some sunshine if you can. Retest yourself in November to make sure you are at around 50ng/ml on the 5000iu a day in the winter. If you can get serious sun exposure between 10-2pm, with little clothes on, do that for the summer and skip the 5000iu a day unless it rains. (I am guessing at least a 1/2 hour of exposure would get you 15-20,000iu.) See if that makes your symptoms any different. If it does then it might mean you have to take a higher amount of D in the winter, regardless of what level it might give you. If again it doesn’t change anything, then maybe the higher amounts of D can’t do anything and you might as well stick to the 5000iu.
      I would have thought if the D was going to help, that you would have seen “some” improvement by now.

      Answered by  IAW on
  •  anitakwleigh@hotmail.com on

    Hi,
    I’m an almost 45 Caucasian female, and was told during my Dr., after results came back from a well-check, that I was deficient in Vitamin D. My levels were at 18. My Dr. prescribed me 50,000 units of D2 for 12 weeks, and told me to get a supplement of 1,000 IU per day after that, and then she would re-test after six months. She said my levels needed to get above 32. I decided to do my own research before deciding whether to take the prescription, and decided that D2 wasn’t the way I wanted to go. Based on my research, I decided to take Dr. Whitaker’ Beyond D3 of 5000 IU per day, doubling up three days per week @ 10,000 to reach the 50,000 per week my Dr. prescribed. I found multiple sources that recommended taking Vitamin D3 with K2 and others for maximum absorption, which is why I chose the Beyond D3 supplement. I had been experiencing a general feeling of unwell for the past few years, along with feeling I hadn’t properly rested after what should have been a good night’s sleep, brain fog, and some joint pains here and there, and felt fatigued a lot. I had no clue why I was feeling this way because all my well checks have had labs for everything in normal ranges, however, this is the first Dr. who tested my Vitamin D levels. I must say that I honestly felt a difference with the very first day I took this Beyond D supplement. I now feel rested every morning, and my brain fog seems to definitely be better. I also have waaaay more energy. I figured I would use your site to test my levels every two months until I go to my Dr. for the re-test she wanted to do after six months. I do not wanting to be in a position of not taking what she prescribed and find out what I’m doing hasn’t been working to build up my store of Vitamin D in my body. So, now I’m just past the first two months of taking this supplement, and was wondering what my expectations should be in terms of how much my level should have increased from 18, if the supplement I’m taking is working effectively. My Beyond D supplement has 5000 IU of D3 (as cholecalciferol), 100 mg Magnesium (as Aquamin mag hydroxide, from seaweed), 3 mg of Boron (as boron citrate), and 180 mcg MenaQ7 (Vitamin K2). I was wondering, since I increase my dose to 10,000 units on the three days per week that I do, do I need to worry about getting too much calcium/magnesium/K2? I read somewhere that you shouldn’t combine Vitamin D with a lot of other vitamins or supplements (can’t remember where), so I discontinued my multi-vitamin for the time, while taking the 50,000 per week of the Beyond D, but was wondering if I should have done that? My multi also had calcium, magnesium, D3, etc., in it, and I didn’t want to over-supplement. Any help would be greatly appreciated. BTW, my goal is not to achieve 32, what would satisfy my Dr.; I would like to achieve and maintain at least 80, and am unsure how I should best achieve that.

    Answered by  anitakwleigh@hotmail.com on
    •  anitakwleigh@hotmail.com on

      I’m just ordering my test today, and will also update here when I get my results. Just wasn’t sure what #’s to expect, or if 50,000 per week is what I need to achieve the levels I want.

      Answered by  anitakwleigh@hotmail.com on
    •  IAW on

      I think your plan is “excellent” and that you should retest at the end of 8 weeks which is now according to you. Now part of the reason we encourage retesting, is to make sure you have reached an adequate level. So at this point your level really should be 50ng/ml or better. If it is not, than come back and tell me! Until we get that level will we know where to go from there. If your level is 50ng/ml, then you need to keep taking the amount you are taking because we recommend “healthy levels” of 50 or more. If your level is 80ng/ml and that is where you said you would like to be, then again you need to keep taking the same amount. If it’s over 100 then we will need to “guess” what will put it at 80. Vitamin D amounts are also based on weight, so if you weigh a lot more or less than 150lbs, this might factor in.
      Here are the co-factors for Vitamin D at http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/. You said “I read somewhere that you shouldn’t combine Vitamin D with a lot of other vitamins or supplements.” This really is not a true statement, so why someone started it, I do not know. If you do not think your diet is adequate, then you need to take the supplements. Since American diets are not always the greatest, they lead to magnesium deficiencies and probably Vitamin K. Vitamin A and calcium are two that Dr. Cannell warns about that we should not get to “crazy” on how much we take and are probably easier to get in out diets alone without much effort. Now this is just a guess but I don’t think the cal/mag/k that gets “doubled” three times a week will be a big deal. If you add the multi back though you may want to skip the multi on those days.
      It sounds like you have read enough and will be prepared for when your doctor says your levels are too high and you need to take less. Take a firm stance and assure them you know what you are doing but would also like to thank them. Without her doing the test, you would not have know what was wrong and can now have better health!!!
      Let me know what your new level is when you get it!

      Answered by  IAW on
  •  anitakwleigh@hotmail.com on

    Thank you for your reply! I received my test results from a couple of weeks ago, and my levels have gone from 18 to 28.3. This was after close to three months of taking the 5,000 IU of Beyond D3 supplement. For about one month and a half of that time, I was doubling up three days per week because my Dr. had prescribed 50,000 IU per week for 12 weeks. In light of my test results, and your previous response, I’m guessing my weight was probably an issue? I was around 205 lbs in the middle of November (I checked my Weight Watchers record), and am now 193. I guess I haven’t been taking enough? I really like this supplement because of the other minerals, including K2, it includes. Do you know (based on the amounts in my supplement I posted on my previous question), if I would be over-supplementing the other minerals if I took 10,000 IU of that Beyond D3 per day? Dr. Whitaker also makes just D3, with no added minerals, so maybe I could take one regular D3 and one Beyond D3? How much do you suggest I should be taking, based on my weight and test results? Also, if I need to take 10,000, or another amount, should I take them both together (is morning optimal?), or should I spread them throughout the day? Thank you so much for your time and the service the Vitamin D Council provides on this site! I really appreciate it!! :)))

    Answered by  anitakwleigh@hotmail.com on
  •  anitakwleigh@hotmail.com on

    PS: It took a little longer for me to test because I had to re-test. I could not get enough blood out for the first test and ruined my card. I did not realize I should warm my hands first, and the first time they were stone cold!

    Answered by  anitakwleigh@hotmail.com on
  •  IAW on

    Your levels did not really go up by much, so I would take the 10,000iu a day. Do that for 8 weeks and then retest again if you can. Then come back and tell me your level. You do not have to spread it out, you can take it all at once in the morning. Just make sure you take it with food that has a little bit of “fat” in it so it will help the Vitamin D absorb.
    As for doubling up the “special” Vitamin D with the “add ins”. I am not a doctor so I do not know what to say. If any of them were what we would call “preformed”, then I would tell you to be careful. For example Vitamin A can be beta carotene or it can be a preformed or “retinol”. None of those are. The K is 180mcg and the RDA is 90mcg for women. So it’s already doubled and then it would be doubled again if you took two. So I am not sure if there is such a thing as “too much K”.
    🙂

    Answered by  IAW on

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