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I'm a 29 year old female with a Vitamin D level of 9. Yeah, you didn't read it incorrectly- it's a 9 (nine). I've been very depressed for 8-9 years and in the past 5-6 years, I've been mainly indoors. It also didn;t help that I began to free lance and spent most of my days asleep while working throughout the entire night on the computer. I started to hate going out and even hating the sun. My depressive condition did not get better either- in spite of being medicated. My symptoms kept progressing: loss of hair, weak legs, aching muscles, etc. I kept getting waved off into a different type of antidepressant Rx- none of them worked. Finally, after getting my yearly PAP test, my doctor suggested that I get blood work done for all of my hormones, thyroid, Vitamin D, Iron, etc. Sure enough, I'm very low in the Vitamin D department. She suggested that I see my GP but, he's totally booked until 2018… In the mean time she suggested that I take 3000 IU of Vitamin D3 supplements. So far, I haven't noticed that much of a difference. I do have chronic lower back pain and it was really bad this past week but, I forced myself to sit in the shade midday for 30 minutes (I'm in between fair and light toned) and my back somehow feels a bit better. Could be coincidence but, who knows. Also, my hair doesn't fall out in chunks. I'm going to keep getting some sun on my skin and I'll report back. Anyways, is level 9 really bad? I'm worried sick that I have severe bone loss or have "jelly bones" (softening of the bones) considering that I'm sure I've been deficient for several year now. Has anyone in their 20s had low levels like mine and lost (a lot of) bone mass due to it? Does softening of the bones change your physically anatomy? (Like legs bending in like people who had/have rickets) Thanks.

Asked by  honeytoast on August 24, 2017

Answers
  •  honeytoast on

    See title

    Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  IAW on

    Well try not to worry but we need to make you “better”. If you can’t see a GP until 2018, what country do you live in? This level of 9 is it measured as ng/ml OR nmol/l because this will make a big difference. (I might be able to tell by the country you live in.) So if measured as ng/ml you are very deficient and below 10ng/ml you are at risk for Osteomalacia which is adult rickets. If measured as nmol/l then you are extremely deficient.
    With enough Vitamin D and other vitamins and minerals, you should be able to reverse this damage.
    ALL of your symptoms, yes even the depression, can be attributed to low Vitamin D. (Go back and thank your doctor for doing the test. You are one of the lucky ones.)
    You need to read http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/. It is very important! Bones need magnesium, vitamin K, zinc, boron, silicon and of course calcium.
    At this point the 3000iu and some sunshine, is probably not going to be enough and that is for several reasons. If you could let me know on the unit of measure or country, then I can give you better advice!
    I am not a doctor but I think the “bowed legs” happens in children if they are deficient while forming their bones. So your bones may have an issue but I do not think they will start to “bend”.

    Answered by  IAW on
    •  honeytoast on

      Thanks for the quick response. I’m from the U.S. and it’s in ng/ml. I’m really worried now. I’m not certain for how long I’ve been deficient. It was just this past year that I started to notice my symptoms getting really worse.
      The 3K IU/day seemed low. I checked some other responses and I’m now taking about 12k IU/day plus the sunshine during midday. It’s crazy but, I instantly felt relief in my lower back and legs.

      So, does this mean my bones in my legs won’t bend or have a physical change? Sorry, Im just really confused. I never had rickets as a child and my legs have always been straight- it’s just that I noticed my muscles in my calves have depleted a bit. I’m freaking out and I don’t want my bones to be bending or going into a weird shape. Does adult rickets do this?

      Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  IAW on

    Muscles alone use a lot of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is the number one cause of lower back pain.
    I am glad you are taking the 12,000iu. (I would have suggested minimum 8-10,000iu a day for a minimum 8-12 weeks.) Once completely better, then minimum 5000iu a day.
    Osteomalacia affects the “mineralisation of (the) bone matrix.” From what I can find it could affect the spine but no your leg bones were formed a long time ago. So they would stay straight but their actual mineral content could most likely be low. So this for instance could then lead to fractures that someone with adequate mineralisation would avoid.
    Vitamin D helps calcium absorb from the intestines and Vitamin K directs calcium to bone and not soft tissues where you do not want it. So again take the Vitamin D co-factors seriously and make sure your diet has enough calcium or get a supplement.
    If you develop any new symptoms while taking the Vitamin D, then come back and tell me. It is usually a deficiency in a mineral or vitamin.

    Answered by  IAW on
    •  honeytoast on

      Thanks so much for your responses. I really appreciate it. I’m having a very hard time finding a doctor around me that is taking me seriously. A lot of this is me “experimenting”. I also found a doctor who is adamant about Vitamin D named Holick. Currently reading his book.

      I wonder how long I’ve had this issue? I mean, even 2 years must have taken a lot of the bone mass away. I’m really upset that I was waved off for so long as just being “chronically depressed” because who is going to say that a 27-29 year old has any bone issues, let alone a Vitmain D problem. It’s crazy how much better I feel just taking the Vitamin D though. I’m also taking 1200mg of calcium (liquid) and magnesium with boron 20mg. I’ve also added Zinc and will jump on the Vitamin K.

      Thanks again for responding to me and I will keep you updated.

      Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  IAW on

    Just because you are deficient does not mean you have bone issues. You will notice I used a lot of “maybe’s and “might’s”.
    Yes, we here at the VDC are quite familiar with Holick!
    The VDC was formed by Dr. John Cannell because for many, many years the Vitamin D “experts” have been trying to tell us that past information was wrong, how vital Vitamin D is to human health and that no one is getting enough to keep them healthy!
    You may want to cut the amount of calcium you are taking in 1/2!

    Answered by  IAW on
    •  honeytoast on

      My calcium was a tad low too. I’ll try that. Thanks.

      Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  honeytoast on

    I had another question: if I’m at level 9- could this have happened “over night”? Or does such a low level take months/years to get this low? Havent read anything on the rate in which Vitmain D levels drop in regards to time. Thanks.

    Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  IAW on

    The half life of Vitamin D is two weeks. So for instance you get your levels to 50ng/ml and then stop taking any Vitamin D supplements and there is “no sunshine”. Your level in two weeks will be about 25ng/ml. Two more weeks and it is now 12ng/ml. Your level probably came from “fortified” food. Some food does contain Vitamin D naturally BUT it is not enough to run a human body efficiently.
    The biggest mistake some doctors make is to increase someone’s Vitamin D levels and then not have the patient take a maintenance dosage.
    If your calcium level was “below the bottom end of the range” then let me know.

    Answered by  IAW on
    •  honeytoast on

      I’m seeing my doctor in a week and a specialist in 2 weeks. Next week, I plan on getting my Vitamin D tested again which is great since it’ll be a little more than 2 weeks after starting my new units of the Vitamin D combo – will see if anything has changed.

      I’m hoping I’m not one of those that can’t get the Vitamin D via sunshine/supplements. I’ve read a few people stating that they had this issue but, they soon got their Vitamin D levels up after injections.

      Seems like Vitamin D is really under rated. I had ZERO knowledge about it other than “it’s in milk”. I’m just glad my mood and mental foggy-ness has cleared up a lot. I’m still shocked by how quick and how much of a difference I’ve noticed in just this past month after suffering with aches, pains, depression and no energy for years.

      Thanks again for your knowledge.

      Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  IAW on

    Do not be surprised if the “doctor’s” tell you that you are taking way too much and that you should not take so much. Unfortunately most doctors are not up to date when it comes to Vitamin D information.
    If you are feeling better, than I am sure your levels are rising.
    The VDC is trying to change that “under rated” problem with education. Believe or not it is the “government” that is “dragging their feet” and refuse to change the RDA at this point in time.

    Answered by  IAW on
    •  honeytoast on

      I don’t mind too much being my own guinea pig since no doctor is taking me seriously but, they go out of their way to judge too. I asked about Dr. Holick’s work today and she was quick to call him a “charlatan”. Funny enough, she nearly died when I told her I was taking 12k IU of VD3/daily.

      Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  IAW on

    Every once and a while, after warning someone on a Q and A question how their doctor “may” react, I then have to say to them the following. You can believe your doctor and be sick or take enough Vitamin D and be well.
    If you want to you can copy off the following and give it to the doctors https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/for-health-professionals-position-statement-on-supplementation-blood-levels-and-sun-exposure/.

    Answered by  IAW on
  •  honeytoast on

    UPDATE: Got bloodwork back and it’s now high at 102. This is shocking, once again since I had only been taking the VD3 for 2 weeks and then retested. I’m not cutting VD3 out for a while but, still taking my cal-mag. This is very frustrating. What happens when VD3 levels are in the 100s? Thanks.

    Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  honeytoast on

    Also, I emailed Dr. Holick and got a response back in regards to osteomalacia and adult bones. He said that adult bones would have had enough calcium when forming as a child and should not bend or bow like it does in child rickets. That’s really good news. Couldn’t find a single doctor who could answer this and luckily, Dr. Holick was able to. Gotta love him! I sure do!

    Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  honeytoast on

    Typo: Meant ‘now’ not ‘not.

    Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  IAW on

    Did all your symptoms go away? Are you feeling well?
    If you don’t want to be that high, then don’t stop just cut back the amount you are taking.
    Levels are absolutely safe up to 150ng/ml. Some people have even higher levels and have no issues.
    That was really nice of Dr. Holick to answer your question.

    Answered by  IAW on
    •  honeytoast on

      ***For some reason, my reply didn’t post***

      I’m feeling much better. I haven’t had this much energy in years. I haven’t experienced anything negative so, that’s good. As crazy as this may sound; I feel like my bones have gotten solid/harder? Before, I would ring out the kitchen towel and my bones felt like it was like taffy. As if I could feel the tension but, it no longer feels that way when I’m gripping or twisting items. I also noticed the elasticity of my skin has changed too. I thought I had just loss elasticity due to premature menopause but, it’s not that. (Did bloodwork for hormones too and it all came back in the normal range.)

      Thanks again. I’ll just cutback then. (I read your other responses and you mentioned the ‘life’ of VD3.)

      I’m still shocked by how fast my levels shot up. I’ve read so many people having issues getting their levels up. I wonder if it has anything to do with metabolism? I tested mine and my metabolism is very high. (I get hungry within 30-40 minutes of eating and it’s always been difficult to gain weight.)

      Will cut back -as you’ve suggested- and then test again in 2 more weeks and will update again.

      Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  IAW on

    Maybe sometime in the future science will figure out why some of us need a lot and others get by on less.
    Glad you are feeling better!

    Answered by  IAW on
    •  honeytoast on

      I finally got the official results online and I’m not too sure what the nurse meant by the “level” being 102? It’s not relating to ‘ng/ml’ but to ‘pg/ml’? Does this change anything in my results? Is my level still 102? Doesn’t make sense. Thanks.

      My test results:

      F VITAMIN D, 25-OH, D3 40 See Below (ng/mL)
      – Reference Range: Not established
      F VITAMIN D, 25-OH, D2 <4 See Below (ng/mL)
      – Reference Range: Not established
      F VITAMIN D, 1,25 (OH)2, TOTAL 102 H 18-72 (pg/mL)
      F VITAMIN D3, 1,25 (OH)2 102 (pg/mL)
      F VITAMIN D2, 1,25 (OH)2 <8 (pg/mL)

      Answered by  honeytoast on
  •  IAW on

    The first figure that is important is the Vitamin D “3”. That is 40ng/ml. So you have not made it to 50ng/ml yet. (If you feel totally well though, you can probably do 5000iu from now on.)
    Another figure there is D2. Most labs usually just give you “one” figure for 25OHD. I think as you already know humans need D3 and not D2, so your “less than” level is actually fine.
    The 1.25 OH2 is the measurement we normally tell people NOT to get done because it does not measure deficiency. (The 25OHD is the important one.) Having said that, 1.25OHD levels usually go “high” when 25OHD levels are low. Once you get enough Vitamin D, then, that level “should” go down.
    This is what I think you should do. Take the 5000iu for 8 weeks. Try and get retested again. If your level drops from 40 or does not make it to 50, then you will need to take more than 5000iu on a regular basis. See if you can also get the doctor to test the 1,25 again. If this level has not decreased, then we will have to consult with someone. I honestly do not think anyone has made the comment for how long it would take 1.25 to “decrease”. (It might lag behind 25OHD levels.)If it did not decrease, I do not know if that would also be an indication of not enough Vitamin D for “you” even if you made it to 50 or were over.

    Answered by  IAW on
    •  honeytoast on

      That makes so much more sense. The incompetent nurse just threw the ‘102’ at me with no regards to which was what. I thought it was really strange that I went from a level 9 to a level 102… Thanks again for your clear and knowledgeable response. So glad I asked for an actual copy of my results.

      Within those 2 weeks I went from 9 to a 40. I guess that’s not too bad? I’ll keep taking my normal IUs and try to keep it over 50.

      Answered by  honeytoast on

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