Asked by Yadira09 on August 10, 2019
Yes, all of your symptoms can be from low Vitamin D.
In the USA, the measurement is ng/ml.
Since you live in the USA, is the D you are taking a “prescription” and if so is it D2 or D3? “Vitamin D2 is also known as “ergocalciferol,” and vitamin D3 is also known as “cholecalciferol.” Humans make D3 and the D2 could be making things worse. Humans need to take D3.
Low “mineral” levels can also cause a lot of these symptoms. Taking Vitamin D can make low mineral levels go even lower because it uses up a lot of minerals and vitamins. ANY blood test for mineral levels only measure the 1-2% in your blood stream and not total body stores. So you can be “in range” on the test results and still be deficient and have symptoms of the deficiency. So you cannot rely on them to decide if you are deficient. You can only go by symptoms and/or trial and error.
No, it is not normal to feel nausea or dizziness after taking either D2 or D3. At this point I “think”, low mineral levels are causing this. If this continues, after implementing the suggestions, come back and tell me.
Osteomalacia (Adult Rickets) is usually associated with levels at and below 10ng/ml. One symptom is “bone pain”. I cannot quite decide if this is in your description or not and sometimes I have people with levels in their lower 20’s, complain of bone pain, so do not rule it out.
It is far better to take a daily amount of D3. (I would like you to confirm to me whether or not the D you are taking is D2 or D3.) I would suggest switching to “over the counter” D3 and eventually take 8000-10,000iu a day for 8 weeks. The symptom that most concerns me is the “tingling and burning”. This could point to low calcium. If calcium levels get too low or any mineral for that matter, they can be “life threatening”. I would suggest before taking anymore D, that you get some supplements and take them for 3-4 days and then try taking D again but on a daily basis and take D3. I would take at least 500mg of calcium and take a minimum of 150-200mg of magnesium. This amount of magnesium may need to be increased depending on how your symptoms respond or don’t respond. If you do not take a multi vitamin, I would highly recommend doing so at least until you are better. When I said “eventually” take 8-10K, I think for several days you should take 5000iu to make sure your symptoms do not get any worse or you add symptoms. Like I said, if that Vitamin D does not have enough minerals and/or vitamins to go with it, then it is going to cause symptoms or make symptoms you already have worse.
If you are not better in 8 weeks, then you need to retest your levels and then come back and give me your new level. If you are all better than you need to take a maintenance dosage of 5000iu a day, forever. At that point if you have a “good” diet, you may be able to discontinue the supplements. Warning though, most diets are low in magnesium intake.
I am not a doctor but if these things do not get better with D and the supplements and multi, let me know what symptoms you are left with in 8 weeks and I might be able to make some other suggestions.
At Vitamin D levels at and below 30ng/ml, calcium cannot absorb correctly from the intestines. At levels at and below 40ng/ml, your risk for cancer and autoimmune diseases, rises “dramatically”.
It is VERY important to read http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/.
If you have any more questions, just ask!
Thank you for your reply. I am taking D2. I asked my doctor about taking D3 but she said to continue with D2 until my three months is up and take 5k units a day of D3. It has been 3 weeks since my last post. I have good days and bad days. I have noticed more improvement in my pain but not significant. My nausea has gone away. I only experienced this the first few doses I took. What I have noticed is that the day I take my vitamin D my pain seems to increase. My neck and upper back begin to cramp so I will be starting to increase my magnesium intake as I want to try and get this from my foods. Spinach, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds. I am not taking other cofactors though. My calcium level has been normal each time I’ve had my blood drawn. I am taking a fish oil and B complex supplement as well. Why does a person need to take a vitamin D supplement forever once they have gone deficient even after bringing levels back to normal? I have been trying to search for an answer to this online but cannot seem to figure it out. I know I have never gotten enough through food and I have been protecting myself from the sun for years so why is it causing issues now?
The Vitamin D Council recommends vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) over D2 (ergocalciferol) for the following reasons:
Vitamin D3 is the type of vitamin D the human body produces in response to sun exposure. Vitamin D2 supplements are produced by irradiating fungus.
Research has shown that the body prefers vitamin D3 over D2 when both forms are readily available in the body.
Research has shown that vitamin D3 is more efficacious in reducing mortality risk than D216. Research has also shown than vitamin D3 is more efficacious in reducing the risk of fractures and falls than D2.
If you keep taking the D2, I can’t guarantee when or if you will get better.
Any blood test for a “mineral” only measures the 1-2% in your blood stream and not total body stores. You can be “in range” and still be deficient and have symptoms of the deficiency.
Why does it cause issues now? Most likely my guess is that “stomach bug” used up a lot of Vitamin D and it was never replenished. Your levels were most likely low/borderline at that point and before but that was the “breaking point” so to speak.
If “people” bought their level back up by supplements and then were “able” to get enough of the “correct” amount of sunshine, then you would not have to supplement. The thing “science” did not know until more recent history is this. They use to think Vitamin D was just for bone health. Then they discovered there are D receptors all over the body and that Vitamin D actually turns our genes “on and off” (regulates them properly) so they work properly.
Thank you for that explanation I will be looking into a D3 supplement in addition to the cofactors the vitalmin D council recommends. Do you recommend a supplement pill form or Vitamin D drops sublingual? I have read this is a good way to increase quickly. Something else I have noticed is that before i started taking Vitamin D my bones/joints were cracking/crunching/grinding in my upper back and neck. After I started taking the VD, the cracking started to sound louder which I can only hope it is my bones getting stronger. Or at least I would like to think this is the reason. My upper back is still pretty sore including on/off shoulder pain and neck pain with some cramping on/off as well. I have been tested for many autoimmune diseases and the only thing that has came back abnormal was vitamin D. I have been sitting out in the sun in shorts and a tank to get the most benefit from the sun every day. I live in a very hot and shiny state in the U.S southern part.
You said “After I started taking the VD, the cracking started to sound louder which I can only hope it is my bones getting stronger.” (Not sure if this is the way to look at this. Could be a low mineral, magnesium or calcium both are needed for bones. Do you have a minimum of 500mg of calcium in your diet?)
In my opinion, sometimes I think when anyone has been very low on D and then takes a reasonable amount, then a lot of repair work needs to happen in the body. I am unsure if a regular person’s diet can keep up with this, what I will call “extra” repair. So sometimes I even tell people that they may not need to use supplements in the future, once they are all better.
Getting sunshine would be great! Best time is between 10-2pm and skin color has to be taken into consideration for “length” of time needed.
Hello, yes they are short shorts and I am out for at least 30 minutes with my back exposed. Any longer and I will definitely get burned so I’m out just in time to get a tan. I am getting enough calcium through diet as well. The only reason I am positive on the louder cracking is because before taking the vitamin D the cracks were more like soft grinding/crunching noises which I assumed were noises from bone softening (which I could hear and feel in my neck and upper back) after I started to learn about Osteomalacia and VDD. The noises are just louder now like it is starting to sound more like the day to day cracking/popping noises but not quite there yet. I guess I can say it is somewhere between the soft cracking and the regular day to day popping of joints. I don’t know if this makes sense but I guess I just saw it as an improvement. It does not exactly hurt when it cracks but my whole upper back is still pretty sore and there is one spot on my right shoulder blade/back area that hurts so much but imaging has ruled out any fractures and things like that, however, I have read about how hair line cracks and fractures can easily be missed by radiologists. Before I found out about VDD I was going to the chiropracter and getting massages as well. I had purchased a massager on amazon that comes with different “heads” and so was using the deep tissue one on my back for MONTHS. So I don’t know if this possibly had something to do with the pain in that area as there were many times I pressed really hard on it and having weak muscles and bones now I feel like I should have not done that but I did not know about my VDD at that time.
I am not a doctor or scientist so as long as you do not think the Vitamin D is making things worse, only better, then we are OK. (Except the D2 thing.) You are probably getting more benefit out of the sunshine then the D2.
Hello, so this week i began having pain again. Not like the pain before i started vitamin D but still pain in my upper right back/shoulders/neck. I am on my 7th week on vitamin D2 50k/week. Today I am supposed to take my 8th dose. I decided to get my level checked without a physicians order two days ago because i am really anxious to know where i am at. So when i was first diagnosed i was at 16 ng/ml. I just got my results back and am now at 55 ng/ml! and it has not even been two months yet. i will be taking my last dose today and have a follow up with my doctor tomorrow. I will more than likely start on d3 5000/day and recheck my level in about two more months. I am very pleased with the result because at least i know my stomach and body is absorbing effectively because i was scared i was not. I do still have pain but its just slowly going away. I read it can take 6-12 months for bones/muscles to heal and i know my bones arent healthy because of all the crunching/grinding in my upper spine and neck AND shoulder blade so i am hopeful that in a few months i will feel a lot better. I also have been in the sun 2-3 times a week for at least 20-30 mins a day or until i get a bit of a tan (my skin is tan already). I have continued to increase my magnesium the diet. I count mg’s to to make sure. Is it common for people to be at an “optimal” level and still have pain? Thank you for all your help
I do not think any of your present level is coming from the D2. I think it is coming from the “sunshine”.
Having a level of 55ng/ml does not necessarily equate with being all better. If you do not get enough of the vitamins and minerals you need, that will slow progress. I also think you will see “more improvement” by starting the 5000iu of D3 per day right now and ALSO still getting the same amount of sunshine that you have been getting.
The 50ng/ml keeps a person “healthy”. If you already have a medical issue or symptoms, then it takes more Vitamin D, temporarily, to overcome those issues.
If you had switched to D3 in the beginning, you would probably already be close to being all better.
okay i will start on d3 5000/day today with k2 and i will continue tracking my magnesium in diet. i am for certain getting at least 500mg of magnesium through food. Even like this however, it still takes a while for bones and muscles to heal right?
Like I said, first you have to take enough Vitamin D to get well. Along with that you have to have enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals. I think some people “out on the internet” took longer to get better because they did not take enough Vitamin D in the beginning so it took them longer to get better.
So I usually tell people if they are not all better in 8 weeks, taking 8-10K of Vitamin D, to come back and give me their new level. Very few people come back to complain. I have only had a few people that did not respond correctly and therefore their levels did not end up where they should have been after 8 weeks.
I meant to say before, if you take the 5000iu and get the same amount of sun, in 8 weeks your level will be higher than what it is now. Vitamin D levels are safe up to 150ng/ml and no I don’t expect your level to be that high. In 8 weeks you should come back and tell me if all of your symptoms are gone and what your new level is. At that point then you will probably need to decide if you will get all of your Vitamin D thru sunshine or maybe half thru sunshine and 1/2 thru supplement. First, though, we have to get you better!
I am back now to report updates. So in 7 weeks from the last week of July 2019 my level was at 16 ng/mL and I started taking D2 50k per week. I noticed some improvements to my symptoms but not a lot. On week 7 retested at 55 ng/mL. I was very happy about these results and then I stopped taking D2 and started taking D3 OTC 5k with k2 per day with my largest meal. I also continued to go out to the sun 2-3 times a day for 20-30 minutes as well as consume 800-1000mg of calcium and 300-500mg of Magnesium per day through food. Not exactly sure how much of that my body actually absorbs. When I switched to D3 my anxiety came back along with other symptoms I thought were gone. I already started to feel improvements in the soreness in my upper back which thankfully has improved quite a bit. I am still in pain however, especially in my right upper back/scapula. This pain radiates down to my right bicep and tricep sometimes. I still feel and hear crunching/grinding in my upper back and cervical regions. I just was retested yesterday after being on D3 for almost 7 weeks. The following is the test they ordered along with results and units:
Vitamin D, 25¬Hydroxy D2/D3, LC/MS/MS
Vitamin D, 25 OH D2: 10
Vitamin D, 25 OH D3: 43
Vitamin D, 25-OH, Total: 53
Units in ng/mL
Why did my level go up so much with the D2 and go down with D3. I know I reduced the amount of units, but it should have still increase?
Since you are more experienced with VD, what do my levels tell you? I know it did not decrease by that much.
I will confess I have not been out in the sun as much as I was in the last 3 weeks or so. Maybe 1-2 days. Also, I have not been good about eating magnesium last 3 weeks or so. My pain has been increasing again this week so I uped my magnesium intake again. I don’t understand why my level went down. I had calculated my level to increase to about 70-80 ng/mL based on how much it increased while taking D2. I only reduced weekly intake by 30%. Something else to note, while I was taking D2 I was not tracking my calcium intake nor was I taking k2. Can you give me some insight as to why I’m getting these numbers?
When you were taking the D2 you were taking 50K once a week which equals about 8000iu a day. You were getting some sun but now say you are not getting as much as before. The 5000iu without sun should give you a level of 50ng/ml in 8 weeks and waiting one more week before testing and you might have made it to that. (I am not counting the total, just the D3 amount.) If you wanted/want a higher level, you will need to take 8000iu of d3 a day for 8 weeks and retest. IF your level in 8 weeks on 8K of D3 does not get you to 80ng/ml, then you are using up more Vitamin D than “normal”. So the math works for me.
Okay so I should not calculate it based on how much it increased with D2? My calculations were D2 50k per week 16-55 in 7 weeks so about a 5.5 increase per week. So reducing it to 35k per week I calculated a 30% decrease so about a 3.8 increase per week. Maybe I am thinking too much into my “calculations.” Over the last 3 weeks I have been in the sun only 2 days per week and before that I was out for 3 days with minimal clothing from 10-2pm so just one day difference. I will increase to 8k of D3 per day and recheck later. Do you think it is okay for me to continue taking my normal D3 with K2 5k per day and buy D3 drops sublingual? Do you think it will have the same effect? Two different brands.
Yes, I think you are thinking about “calculations” too much.
Taking two different brands will most likely have the same effect but like anything else I cannot guarantee.
So without calculating anything, if you take 8000iu a day for 8 weeks, your level should be at least 80ng/ml. If the anxiety comes back/gets worse, then do not take more Vitamin D unless you can keep up with the magnesium in your diet OR take supplemental magnesium.
When you are totally better, you might be able to decrease your magnesium intake somewhat. In other words there might be a greater demand right now because things are trying to repair themselves. There might be a lesser demand in the future.
I think I understand it now. So taking 8k a day for 8 weeks should maintain a persons level at 80ng/ml. So my level was decreasing to 50ng/ml and taking 5k per day would have maintained my level there assuming there are no underlying issues that prevents absorption, right? Wow, I did not think of it that way even though you had mentioned it in previous posts. I misunderstood. I feel like I just wasted the last 6-7 weeks being in pain when I could have been taking more to speed up my recovery! Okay so my plan is to increase to 8k per day for 8 weeks. I am going to try and keep up with magnesium through food. I eat about .5-1 cup of raw organic almonds a day plus one cup of cooked spinach which should put me close to the recommended however I am not counting all other foods I eat throughout the day which I know puts me over. I will buy a magnesium citrate supplement just to have for those days I don’t get enough through food. I am currently reading a book called “The Vitamin D Solution,” in which it states it can take up to one year to feel back to normal depending on how badly your body reacted to the deficiency (everyone is different). Do you agree with this? My doctor sent me a message today saying “your vitamin level is good.” This really frustrates me because she does not take into consideration that it has in fact decreased WHILE on supplements. She just looks at the numbers and thats it. I hope once I am all better I only will need the sun or maybe just 2k per day but I guess I need to let my body repair itself first like you said.
If I had stayed on 5k per day I would still technically be fine and within range though right? It would just take a lot longer for my body to repair itself? I am not going to stick to 5k per day for sure but just wanted to know if that is kind of how it works. So once I am all healed and feel better 5k a day would still maintain me at 50k? Sorry for all the questions, I just want to understand it better and you are extremely helpful at explaining it!
Yes, take 8000iu for 8 weeks should give you a level of 80ng/ml. (Since you weigh a little less than 150lbs, you ‘may’ end up with a little higher level.) Yes, it decreased because you took less Vitamin D.
I like your plan for magnesium through food and supplement when you don’t get enough. Here is another way to look at this. Your body has been “starved” for Vitamin D. When you finally give it enough, it goes looking for all sorts of vitamins and minerals to make “repairs” now that it has enough D. In my mind, and this is not scientific, I would think you might create a demand in the beginning for these vitamins and minerals that goes beyond a daily RDA requirement. Vitamin D scientists have admitted that Vitamin D can make any mineral or vitamin go low. (I have noticed magnesium, B vitamins and lately potassium are the big offenders.)
If the book is the one by Dr. Holick, he is a famous and well respected Vitamin D scientist. I don’t remember how much D he promotes taking. The VDC promotes 5000iu for a person weighing 150lbs, so they maintain a level of 50ng/ml. AT levels at and below 40ng/ml, your risk for cancer and autoimmune diseases rises “significantly” some by 60%. More recent research suggests if you are female, you may need a level of 60-80 to prevent breast cancer. (So it’s the “level” more than the amount that is important.)
If you “treat” yourself first with a higher amount, I don’t think it will take as long to get better. Again if your not getting enough other vitamins and minerals, it could take longer.
Until the government changes their mind on what Vitamin D amounts and levels are appropriate for health, most doctors will continue to go by what they were taught. Right now there is enough evidence and has been for a very long time, to change the test range from 30-100 to 45-100 or 50-100. Some countries use 20 as the bottom end of the range and there is enough evidence to change it to 30.
So yes, once you are all better, then take 5000iu a day or take 2-3K and get enough sunshine to make up the rest. IF you try and do a little of both, then test yourself after 8 weeks to make sure your level is over 40ng/ml. (Sunshine also does other things then make Vitamin D.) I have had numerous people try and do sunshine only, only to find their level did not make it to what we recommend.
If you have any more questions, just ask!
You could “try” and educate your doctor by printing the following off and giving it to them http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/for-health-professionals-position-statement-on-supplementation-blood-levels-and-sun-exposure.
It was once thought that Vitamin D was only for “bone health”. As it was studied more and more, the most ground breaking affect it has, is to “turn genes on when they need to be on and functioning and off when they need to be turned off”. So many diseases are caused by malfunctioning genes that don’t turn on when they should be on or turn off when they need to stop their action.
There are Vitamin D receptors all over the human body not just in bone.
So that would explain why some people experience more pain while supplementing right? Because when I first started taking vitamin D it seemed like my pains would sometimes be just as debilitating as before I started supplementing and a lot of other people seem to relate. So being at around 53ng/ml this week it seems like it was very slowly decreasing but for some reason my pain this week has been pretty bad and I started to increase magnesium again so sometimes I just don’t get how my body is processing all of this and I wish I could just understand it on a cellular level to see how exactly everything is metabolizing but I guess the good thing to keep in mind is that my body is in fact absorbing vitamin D because I read other posts with people taking high doses and it does not go up very much in 8-12 weeks. So that keeps my hopes up but if this pain would just go away I would be more encouraged to look on the bright side. Today, I took my 5k with k2 and I am about to take my sublingual VD drops 1 drop is 2k AND I was out in the the sun for 15 mins. I will continue to post my journey in hopes of helping others as I’ve noticed some people post but then disappear after a while which I’m only hoping it’s because they are better.
So I hope you are not dealing with hypercalcemia and that it is just a matter of taking the right amount of Vitamin D AND getting enough other minerals and vitamins for repairs. (I just had someone the other day who said “by the way my calcium level is now a little high” and she meant over the top end of the range after I asked. I had also suggested by her reaction to vitamin D, when she first posted, that she might have a “hypersensitivity” to Vitamin D OR she could be deficient in magnesium. Her symptoms were not “clear cut” to begin with.) Hypercalcemia should not be ignored.
The body, in general uses a lot of magnesium for cellular processes, add Vitamin D to this and I am sure “initial” demand for magnesium goes “higher” in the “short run”.
Sunday I was in so much pain. My whole back and neck was burning like pins/needles. I even got dizzy at one point which I have not felt for months. I started taking 9k of vitamin D3 per day. 5k with k2 and 2 drops sublingual (2k each)=9k per day. Not sure why my pain came back like this. I find it hard to believe that it is hypercalcemia since I take the recommended amount of calcium per day (through food). Sometimes, I take a little less so I think it sounds more like hypocalcemia. I’m sure it also has something to do with the increase in vitamin D and probably the fact that I have not been eating as much magnesium rich foods. In fact, I started feeling the pain last week before increasing vitamin D. The only difference I noticed was that I started increasing my magnesium again. This is such a vicious cycle! I really thought I was making improvements. I am switching doctors so hopefully the next one will be a little more supportive and won’t make me feel crazy. I will definitely be posting updates.
You said “I find it hard to believe that it is hypercalcemia since I take the recommended amount of calcium per day”. The hypercalcemia has nothing to do with how much intake of calcium you have, it has to do with having a “hypersensitivity” to Vitamin D. Please see https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/vitamin-d-hypersensitivity. I am sorry I thought I had given you this link but I had not.
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