Vitamin D deficiency

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Hi

I suffered from a Vit D deficiency in 2016 and was never prescribed a maintenance dose from my then doctor. I have since moved to Wales and was informed that NHS Wales doesn’t test Vit D levels so I took it upon myself to order a Thriva blood test kit. The results have come back showing that I’m indeed Vit D deficient. Would this be something that I would be able to take to my doctor in Wales for him to prescribe sufficient treatment?

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  • Posted

    Deficient by how much? Given that off-the-shelf Vitamin D supplements are so cheap, I am not sure that this is something that the NHS should be paying for but that is just my opinion. My wife and I both use a 3000iu oral spray at a cost of £6.36 for 100 sprays. One bottle more than covers the Winter season.

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    • Posted

      I agree with david - you are deficient but your GP even in England isn't really responsible for prescribing maintenance doses of any vitamin and certainly aren't going to if they won't test in the first place. They have already said recently they will discourage such prescribing of easily available supplements to save money within the NHS. Vit D supplements are very affordable - I was going to say, less than a prescription charge, but of course you don't pay in Wales do you?

      The spray david mentions used daily for a couple of months should do the trick.

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    • Posted

      PS: Normal is 20 ng/ml, under 12 is deficient so you'd probably meet resistance from your GP 

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    • Posted

      That contradicts everything I’ve read up on regarding Vit d deficiency. 13 is actually classed as deficient with anything under 12 severely deficient. I am in a lot of pain which i recognise as this is how I felt the last time. I find yours and David’s responses rather condescending. 
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    • Posted

      Obviously we read different texts. I'm sorry if our rather practical approach offends you.

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    • Posted

      Hi Try not to worry. You are absolutely correct. Your vit D is severely deficient and requires treatment from possibly an endocrinologist or rheumatologist.

      When my Vit D was severely deficient I had to take a prescribed med then have my Vit D re tested a few weeks later. This is a condition that should be managed by a dr au fait with the disorder.

      When Vit D is prescribed the calcium level has to checked and monitored on a weekly basis for a few weeks.

      A bone profile should be done to get the big picture.

      A maintenance dose of vit D is inadequate as it is only a maintenance dose and not a treatment for vit d deficiency. My endo set a target range of a minimum of 75 nnomols but some say 120nnomols.

      So I would go back to the dr asap and if u do not get anywhere see another dr and take them the Vit D Guidelines.

      ​Take care.

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    • Posted

      I was told that vit d on its own is no good you need d3, I have to say last year when I found out I was deficient (19) and causing a lot of muscle pain etc I went straight to holland and Barrett and was given great advice from the staff there but a few days later I received a prescription from my GP for vit d3 and I was quite annoyed as I just thought our NHS is under so much strain that there was just no need to prescribe something so affordable, I'm sure david was not intentionally being condescending just trying to give good advice and that maybe people are not aware of how affordable they are😊

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    • Posted

      Oh I completely understand that point entirely and will be more than happy to pay, I was purely wondering if a doctor could at least advise me on the level I should be taking based on a private blood test. 

      Did the advice you receive from Holland and Barratt match that of your doctor?

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    • Posted

      hi Vit D is not just a vitamin it is a prohormone. D3 is the one of choice but needs monitoring and this why drs are reluctant to prescribe.

      ​some conditions need managing by drs and it is dangerous to just take vit D unmonitored as it can cause Vitamin D toxicity. I trained as a nurse.

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    • Posted

      I had my Vitamin D test in October via BetterYou after I was diagnosed earlier in the year with actinic keratosis and advised to use Factor 50 sunscreen whenever I am out in the sun (even in Winter).The test was analysed at a NHS laboratory in Birmingham and it came back with detailed results and a suggested course of treatment. That said, my Vitamin D level was still in the adequate category not as low as the OP. The lab report was detailed and included this statement:

      Less than 15 - Severe Deficiency

      15 - 30  Adequate

      30.1 - 50 Insuffiency

      Greater than 50 adequate

      I queried the suggested level of Vitamin D supplement and was told:

      Regarding the maintenance dose of 3000iu daily, the NHS currently recommend that everyone supplement with 400iu. As adults have much greater nutritional requirements than that of children we do not believe this is sufficient. Our work with numerous doctors has brought us to recommend 1000iu per 25kg of body weight, with the average adult requiring 3000iu to maintain optimal levels (100-150mnol). Total Vitamin D levels above 220nmol/L are considered High and increase the risk of Vitamin D toxicity.

      I appreciate that there may be a bit of salesmanship in this; however, I was re-assured to know that taking the suggested maintenance dose alone plus a bit of sun would not get me to toxic Vitamin D levels.

      Would my GP accept the above test results?  Given that they are from an accredited NHS lab, I would have thought so. That said, she is not a great advocate of supplements.

      I will probably pay for another test next year. It came with a voucher for a 100 day spray and cost about £25.

       

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    • Posted

      I was not trying to be condescending. As I indicated in my post below, my test results came back with a treatment plan. I am guessing that a result below 15 would have come with a recommendation to visit my GP.

      If you are worried, then a GP visit is a must.

       

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    • Posted

      My problem with the GP is that in Wales, they don’t test for Vit D at all - funding problems I imagine. My thriva test only gave me my reading and no further advice other than to see my GP however, the test you describe seems much more comprehensive. If it’s as simple as fixing it with a 3000iu spray that I can get over the counter then I will of course do that rather than be a drain on the NHS and get something on prescription 
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    • Posted

      Hi I know the hospital you mention.

      The range is incorrect according to my endocrinologist .IMHO this hospital is now fitting in with the standard rhetoric from the NHS. It used to be independent. I guess the idea is that we mugs pay for the test and then get the bum advice anyway.

       was set a target level of at least 75nnomols .

      I ws prescribed D3 drops and took 20,000 i.u ecery week.

      I know someone who takes a supplement of 5,000 iu each day and his Vit D level rose. I understand that taking magnesium aids absorption of the vitamin D.

      Drs are reluctant to prescribe supplements not because of their cost but because they do not wish to monitor blood levels etc.

      ​I had a great deal of trouble convincing my |GP to do a vitamin D despite having a known deficiency. I got a copy of the Vitamin D pathway, sent it to him and the hospital lab and they monitored my Vit D level. The old chestnut from some drs is that if you take supplements then you do not need your Vit D monitoring!!!!!!

      My response to that illogical statement was well if y6ou do not mmonitor the levels then how do you know if it is effective, being absorbed or whether I am becoming toxic?

      I know the NHS is struggling but so am I in pain thru osteomalacia and osteoporosis

      Thanks for replying and the info.

       

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    • Posted

      You are not a drain!

      Vit D def is serious and needs professional treatment and supervision including monitoring. May I ask you how much the Company charged for the blood test?

       

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    • Posted

      It was £49 in which they also tested my liver function and thyroid (both came back normal). Silly I know but I was fed up of my very resistant GP whilst getting increasingly upset with the pain that I am in. 

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    • Posted

      Also. What was your original reading before you were given a target? Mine works out to be 32nmol/l which is classed as insufficient and on the cusp of being severely deficient 
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    • Posted

      Hi My original reading was 9.

      Then given an optimal target of at LEAST 75 nnomols. I blame the PPI;'s and statins for this as they prevent nutrients being absorbed via the gut.

      ?£49 seems cheap for the tests that were done. If u can afford it may be worthwhile going to another company who send results to a doctor for commenting on. I tried to send u a link to Vitamin D testing in Wales but it does not seem to have reached you.

      ?However if you google it you will see very interesting contradictory info to what your GP told you!!!!!.

      The thing is with tablets there is no gurantee they are being absorbed hence sub lingual or sprays of vit D3. You need calcium to absorb vitamin D but BUT BUT BI?UT is has to be monitored. I would ask your dr for a referral to a rheumatologist ,. If you ask him or her if you can have a dexa scan as well.

      U wrote that your dr  does not like giving supplements......

      Well you need to educate the dr I am afraid as to the value of supplementation as todays foods are treated with pesticides etc and their is hardly any nutrients left in them.

      Obviously your GP may take exception but there again a dr should listen to their patients and take what they say on board.

      yoi

       

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    • Posted

      It is estimated that 25% of the population is vit D deficient to some extent and it is reckoned everyone should take vit D over the winter. I cannot see doctors testing for vit D but they will just tell people to buy some over the counter.
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    • Posted

      Hi sorry to interject but just interested in why you say that you cannot see drs testing for Vit D def when reports say that low vitamin D has been shown in studies in London to be linked to hypertension, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
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    • Posted

      Hi Harriet, because they are all cutting back on spending at the moment. My surgery are not allowing X-rays even and I had to go privately. 
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    • Posted

      Hi again

      ​Not allowing x rays!!!!

      May I ask you if you are also in Wales?

      If you had to go privately that proves in itself that the x rays were necessary. Hope you got on ok.

      I read about some drs on twitter exposing that the NHS is being privatised. 

       

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    • Posted

      I don’t live in Wales but my sister does! When I went privately the surgeon said if I did not have a hip replacement within six months I would be in a wheelchair. I told my GP that it had cost me a lot of money to go privately. He said why are you complaining you have had a diagnosis. 
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    • Posted

      Unbelieveable! How very uprofessional and rude of a dr to respond like that.

      ?Have u had surgery? 

      I would. You cannot keep on taking steroids etc and pain killers.

      ?The GP should have known what the diagnosis was or at least had a good idea. Some drs get freebies from drugs companies for prescribing. Big profits for Big Pharma.

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    • Posted

      I never received any advice from either my doc or my rheumatologist just a letter saying I was low, the amount my doc prescribed (can't remember right now) gave me stomach cramps so I cut them back by half, I mentioned this in holland and Barrett and they agreed it was probably to much, I have to say it takes around 3 months to see results but my shoulder pain and chronic fatigue definitely improved, I was told vit k2 should be taken also, something to do with the calcium? But you'd have to check with your doc or a professional (just thought it's worth a mention )

      This was over a year ago and no one seems to be bothered about checking my levels so maybe worth a mention next time I'm at docs.

      Good luck I hope you get sorted😊

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    • Posted

      Hi, I was given this advice from a professor who studies vitamins and all I can say is it was more advice than I got from any doctor, just passing on what I have learnt along the way.
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