Be sure that readers are aware that severe hypercalcemia may develop in those with sarcoidosis, other granulomatous diseases, hyperparathyroidism, and some untreated lymphoma and leukemia cases.
I’ve had several cases of these, and one required hospitalization. However, these are <1% of all patients.
Jim Dana, MD
Dear Dr. Dana:
You are correct. Anyone with such diseases, or any diagnosis of high blood calcium, should only take vitamin D under the care of a physician. A question to our readers – besides our “Health Conditions” section, where else should we present such information on our website?
Dear Dr. Cannell:
A friend of mine was in the hospital this weekend. She was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Through the course of our conversation, I found out that she was placed on estrogen due to her PCOS. She cannot be in direct sunlight without developing a rash. A light bulb went off in my head. I asked her what kind of vitamin D supplement she was on due to never being able to receive direct sunlight. None. The doctors had never addressed vitamin D deficiency with her. She then told me that her mother had explained that her family has a history of vitamin D deficiency, so she probably came out of the womb with low vitamin D.
I then went and did a simple Google search of “vitamin D women’s hormones.” The first link to come up was directly related to PCOS and vitamin D deficiency. It also addressed insulin resistance. I printed the information and took it to her. She read it and then sobbed. The first question she asked was “Why haven’t ANY of the doctors EVER told me about this?” She had been going to multiple doctors over the years for acne problems and ovulation problems since the time she was in her early teens. She had also struggled to become pregnant in recent years. All of this has put a huge amount of stress on her for much of her life. She felt a huge sense of relief and, for the first time since her teen years, a sense of hope. The sobbing was just her sense of relief at seeing something that could be so simple and natural and directly influence all of the problems that she has struggled with for so long.
Today she is going to the doctor and will insist on a 25 hydroxy Vitamin D test. She wants to start taking vitamin D supplements. Thank you for being advocates for the information that is not so readily available through normal avenues right now. I hope that doctors will become increasingly aware of vitamin D issues so that more young women can be saved from years of suffering. I am so thankful that the Vitamin D Council exists so that the information is available. Keep up the good work.
You are welcome. Make sure she knows she may get pregnant quite quickly taking vitamin D. I am in contact with several fertility clinics that use vitamin D supplementation on all their infertile couples, with good results.
Dear Dr. Cannell:
Do the bright light lamps for SAD provide either UVA or UVB light that would affect, either negatively or positively, Vitamin D levels?
SAD lights contain neither UVA nor UVB by law, thus have no effect on vitamin D.
Dear Dr. Cannell:
I have been taking 5000 IU of vitamin D3 for two years. The NZ government recently made vitamin D a restricted, prescription drug only and I can no longer import the dosage I have been taking. I went to my GP for a prescription and he refused to give me the same dose but said all I need is 0.25 mcg calcitriol once per day. He would not listen to my arguments for a higher dose so I am taking 3 X 0.25mcg and two omega3+1000 IU vitamin D capsules but I will be revisiting the issue in a couple of weeks with him. Is there any advantage to taking calcitriol, which is the most active form over taking cholecalciferol?
Calcitriol is contraindicated to treat vitamin D deficiency and may worsen the condition. Increase the omega-3/vitamin D capsules to 5 per day. This will shift your daily intake back to 5000 IU/day and everyone can use an increase in omega 3 intake. Did you try to order from overseas?