No dosage guidance for Vit D deficiency

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Hi,

I was recently diagnosed with a VitD level of 20. My GP gave me the results over the phone and told me to 'go to the chemist and get some supplements' .. I did a bit of research and it appears i should be on approx 50,000 units per week for 6 weeks. I have bought D3 tablets, 1000iu strength and I'm taking 7 a day. Is this sufficient?

What do I do then? How soon should I be looking for a retest?

I'm also taking magnesium citrate.

How long to when I feel normal? I had gone to my GP thinking my thyroid had become underractive as I suffered with post partum hypothyroidism after the births of two of my children but it was happily normal. The VitD thing was a surprise as I'd never considered it. I work nights so I'm going to have to rely on supplementation going forward.

Thanks in advance

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  • Posted

    I would make an appt.with your GP and insist on some advice and treatment if i were you.

    I have been on 20,000 iu 2xweekly for 9wks now. More bloods due soon. Also folate def. On 5mg folic acid daily. Are you in UK ?

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    • Posted

      Oh really? I assumed it was simply not getting it .. what reasons could there be?

      Actually I was surprised when I read the symptoms of VitD deficiency (many of which were my exact complaints), I had thought it was a fact that most people this side of the world were deficient. If so, how are we all functioning?

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  • Posted

    It will take at least three months normally for you to start to push the readings up. I had my reading three months on. I should ask the pharmacist for a recommendation of daily dosage.
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    • Posted

      Knowing RDA is no use for repletion purposes. They just say about 800 IU which will take forever to raise a 20 to the optimum range!
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    • Posted

      My pharmacist suggested quite a high RDA. I assumed that was because he was trying to up the company profits!
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    • Posted

      Haha! lol  That's OK then! I still meet people who'll say it is "dangerous to take more than 800 IU/day"! 
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  • Posted

    All sorts of reasons. Could be diet but also malabsorbtion. After my result i was tested for coeliacs,several cancers,had an mri and colonoscopy booked next week.
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    • Posted

      Thanks. I actually had a colonoscopy and endoscopy with all the accompanying bloods last summer so I think I'm ok thankfully
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  • Posted

    The usual dose given by doctors is high dose vit D, 20,000 IU  to be taken 3 times a week over 8-10 weeks and then checked. So what you are doing is about the same - and what was advised by the report on one of the first surveys to be done in the UK, by an Oxfordshire GP in fact.

    But it does need to be checked after that time (8 weeks) to be sure you are absorbing it and the level is going up but has not gone up too far. The optimum level in blood is 75 nmol/L (30 micrograms/L) or more and shouldn't go above 150 nmol/L (do check the units carefully). Then it should be checked about 6 months down the line to be sure you have still got good enough levels - sometimes it falls again. Which is perfectly normal if you are not making it yourself - you need vit D every day and there is very little in your diet so the stores fall with time over the winter.

    What the doctor has done is enough for the moment - only if it hasn't gone up and/or the symptoms don't resolve will you need more testing. If vit D is very low and the rest of the blood tests they have done are all OK, the first thing to do is replenish your vit D. If that still doesn't make a difference or you don't absorb it then other causes must be sought of the sort Jane mentions.

    There are all sorts of reasons for vit D becoming low - and the most common is simply not being out in the sun enough or using high factor sunscreen/wearing clothes - even Factor 8 is enough to reduce the amount of vit D you make by over 90%. Getting older is also a reason - the skin production slows as you age. In the UK you can only make vit D in skin between the hours of 11am and 3pm from May to September - less the further north you are. Once you develop a suntan you also make less - and anyone with dark skin (from India, Indonesia, Middle East, Africa) makes almost none in the UK and in fact are often deficient in their homeland because they don't go out in the sun as much because it is too hot. I live in Italy - far enough south to make vit D all year but we don't go out in the midday sun as it is plain too hot and 80% of the locals here are said to be deficient. Our local vit D medical expert orthopaedic doctor suggests 2000 IU a day at least during the winter, for some people in the summer as well.

    You can only get about 10% of what you need from diet unless you eat enormous amounts of oily fish, eggs and mushrooms. In Europe foods are NOT supplemented with vit D except margarines/spread which have it added to make them the same as butter. In the USA and I think Canada vit D is added to flour, milk and orange juice amongst other things so it is possible to get more from food but the entire need is still not covered and obviously not if you don't eat/drink those products.

    Not everyone responds to a low vit D in the same way - but a lot of people who are tired all the time or have aches and pains quite possibly could do with more. Lots of people say they feel much better in the summer or after their holiday in the sun. It used to be thought that the normal range found in the population was OK - but what is found normally is not necessarily the OPTIMUM level: your body works but it isn't working as well as it could. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks Eileen, lots of my questions answered there.

      I am a freckly redhead and I work nights so it's probably that I just don't see enough of the sun. 

      I eat eggs daily and love mushrooms but I have added extra oily fish to my diet so that will help too.

      I'll continue with the 7,000iu daily so and see how I go. Fingers crossed as it looks like an easier fix than my feared hypothyroidism which is great.

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    • Posted

      Someone once estimated you needed 17 eggs or a couple of kilos of mushrooms or over half a pound of salmon a day if you wanted to get vit D just from food. I like mushrooms and omelettes but not that much wink

      But yes - redheads with freckles who work nights are pretty likely to be vit D deficient! My younger daughter was found to have a vit D of 11 - her skin just burns in the sun and fades to white again - and she's a brunette! She does 50% nights as a paramedic - and a paramedic unitform doesn't expose much skin for the other 50%!

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