1

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Vitamin D Deficiency

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 18, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I just got my blood work back from my doctor along with a prescription for a vitamin D supplement for 50,000 units twice a week. My vitamin D levels are 18.7.

From sussing around the internet I'm finding this could be (most likely?) the reason behind my constant 'blue' feeling (depression), horrible fatigue, brittle hair, etc.

I'm trying to find the reason behind having such a low level.

Truths:

  1. I'm about 30-40 pounds over a good weight. Weight came on when I began eating grains along with now-husband. Previously I was mostly a grain-free person.
  2. I live in Minnesota.
  3. I work indoors near no windows and rarely get natural light during 9-5.
  4. I have blue eyes and use sunscreen on my face.
  5. I'm a 50+ female on bio-identical hormones.
  6. I do not get the exercise I need. This started a couple of years ago when I ripped my meniscus and had knee surgery.

I'm exhausted all the time, blue as blue can be, and wanting my old self back.

I do feel like there is a real reason behind such a low level of vitamin D and want to know anyone's experience with this.

Thoughts?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 31, 2012
at 05:46 PM

You know what my doctor prescribed? 25k IU every 2 weeks. I can't believe how low that was. I'm now taking 10k IU daily.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 14, 2011
at 09:28 AM

My level was 9 after a harsh winter :D. It was the most horrible experience I ever had. I'm now 5 months later (I only knew about my deficieny 2.5 months ago) and I'm feeling 100x better. Right now I'm trying to find what the deal is with cod liver oil : I take it, but is it bad?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 21, 2011
at 01:41 AM

Good luck, Deborah!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 19, 2011
at 08:53 PM

A lot of the big name websites are fronts for major corporations - especially pharmaceuticals and food companies. WebMD, health.com, etc. - just see what ads they have. Hmm, a lot of prescription drug ads and healthy whole grain Fruit Loops? Well, just know who's paying for the site - directly or indirectly. And caveat emptor (let the buyer beware), I was really surprised at the amount of good info they have about vit D...

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 19, 2011
at 05:10 PM

Yes! I started taking 10K IU of D3 a couple months ago to make up for lack of sunshine. I didn't expect any immediate results at all -- it was purely prophylactic against cancer. Within a week I noticed I hadn't used my rescue inhaler once. Since then I've used it a total of 5 times, each time involving a dog or lawn-mowing (my two big asthma triggers). And I had been using it nearly daily, sometimes several times a day. This was totally unexpected. I've tried every dietary tweak I could think of to knock it down, and it turned out to be D3. I'm still amazed, I really am.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:32 PM

20 mgs. For higher doses I generally put them on Carlsons brand. For severe osteoporosis I go up to 45 mgs q d.

Medium avatar

(572)

on June 19, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Do you mean 20 mgs of K2 or 20 mcgs?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:38 PM

I would take D-3 supplements, take your blood test, then go to the doctor and show your higher D-3 level.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:51 PM

I wouldn't say it is worthless. After all, it provides you vitamin D and would get your levels up. Going to your doctor and saying that they screwed you would be counterproductive. What exactly did they prescribe? I didn't see that in the thread, so we're making assumptions here.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:35 PM

There is rarely a single reason as to why vit D would be so low, usually it's a cumulative effect. As is mentioned below supplement vit D daily, get your nutrition on track, and make sure to get adequate sleep, stress affects the entire body and can manifest in many ways. Vit D, K2 & vit A all are synergistic. This is not medical advise, just based on personal experience & knowledge.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:30 PM

My son was born with asthma & eczema (has spent a lot of time in the hospital), he takes approx 5000IU vit D daily and has for a couple years now, both asthma & eczema are all but nonexistent now.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:26 PM

My N=1 so far is not getting sick. Prior to supplementing, I'd get sick 2-3 times/year, and either get sick or feel crappy after travelling by air (flying cross country for work, con flu, etc). I'm in front of the computer all day and practically never get any sun.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 05:48 PM

I have a long history of upper respiratory infections just like my dad (persistent head colds, strep, tonsillitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infections) and I haven't had more than a mild 3-day cold since I started a]not wearing much sunscreen and soaking up as many rays as I can without burning and b]supplementing with D for all the months I don't get lots of sun. I also started eating much better than I had been for a few years around the same time, but my parents fed us pretty well growing up and I was still sickly as heck (we lived in the North, and I was sedentary/indoors as a teen).

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on June 18, 2011
at 04:31 PM

The other variables include vit A and vit K.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on June 18, 2011
at 03:31 PM

I agree with this. People are taking massive doses of Vit D thinking more the better. Read Dr. Harris's take on Vit D. I don't think you need Vit D higher than 50. There seems to be some other variable at work here.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on June 18, 2011
at 03:29 PM

So where is the double-blind, placebo-controlled study for Vit D? No clinical trial? Why not? It's not a patented drug? Oh, okay.

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on June 18, 2011
at 02:50 PM

I don't have a baseline for a starting point, but I am a 64 yr. old woman...with beginnings of osteoporosis few years back. been supplementing with Carlson's CLO for several years..1 tsp daily and for the last 2 months 1000 IUs D3 Had calcium and D checked last week at annual physical. D3 was 44. Doctor was amazed!

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 18, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Yes. I've had amazing changes un my mood and immune system since I started supplementing. I'm no longer depressed and I haven't got sick in almost 5 months. I swear I used to get a cold every 6 weeks or so.

D064af8cab4e04cb5e1dea7b990f3948

(134)

on June 18, 2011
at 02:29 PM

Excellent links, thanks. I'm new to the Paleo thing and am working on dialing in my supplement dosages now, with D at the top of my "new stuff I"m taking" list. Thanks for the useful info.

Ec4b1350e688c347c42637258750da6b

(20)

on June 18, 2011
at 01:07 PM

I was really seeking the causes for Vit D because I was curious and sure enough, food allergies is one of them. And thanks for the heads up on webmd because I didn't know!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 18, 2011
at 12:34 PM

A surprisingly good article, considering the source is WebMD. They are a notorious shill for big Pharma and I wouldn't trust anything they say without a lot of additional research. However, the recommendations for the amount of D supplementation and levels to determine deficiency are WAY to low. Raising the RDA from 400IU to 600 or 800 is a joke and deficiency defined as 20ng/ml is not even close to optimal. Most in the paleosphere say to shoot for 35-50, and some even recommend up to 80ng/ml. I would say that getting above 35 is essential and closer to 50 is better.

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8 Answers

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4
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 18, 2011
at 05:14 PM

I would not go that route. 50k a week is close to worthless. Anyone who is below twenty in my practice I place on 10000 IU of D3 and 20 mgs of K2 with a multi that has some vitamin A in it. I then recheck at eight weeks. I'm shooting for triple .....54 in that time Span. The target is to keep most of my patients between 70 and 100. Good luck

Medium avatar

(572)

on June 19, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Do you mean 20 mgs of K2 or 20 mcgs?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 19, 2011
at 02:32 PM

20 mgs. For higher doses I generally put them on Carlsons brand. For severe osteoporosis I go up to 45 mgs q d.

5
3f5bbb444498a24f1a9720d75fa7c903

on June 18, 2011
at 12:58 PM

The Vitamin D prescription your doctor gave you is probably for Vitamin D2 which is not the optimal form. Doctors prescribe it because they can - Vitamin D3 is not available through prescription since it is readily available as a supplement. You should be taking Vitamin D3 (and getting as much sun as you can). I get my Vit. D3 levels checked through this organization: http://www.grassrootshealth.net/ They will check your levels every 6 months and the results are entered into their longterm study. My levels have remained consistently between 55 and 80 during the last two years. I get sun during the summer months but I also take 6000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. It is also important to get enough K2 if you are taking Vitamin D3, since you want calcium to be deposited in your bones, not other places in your body. Dr. Cannell produces a Vit. D3 supplement that contains 5000 IU of D3, K2, boron, Mg, Zn, taurine, and quercitin that I alternate with the plain D3. http://www.purityproducts.com/purityEcommerce/control/productDetail?productId=dr-cannells-advanced-vitamin-d Note: I am not affiliated with either of these organizations - I just like their services/products.

2
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on June 18, 2011
at 01:13 PM

You are deficient for all the reasons you said. And, you are in good company; many people who do not work outside or get lots of weekend sunlight have similar numbers to you.

The doctor's prescription shows his/her ignorance and/or complicity in greed. Do NOT take vitamin D2 (it is a much less healthy synthetic form that happens to be patented). Also, I wouldn't take vit D in such big 1-time doses. Take vitamin D3 (available in any supplement store, most pharmacies, and many supermarkets) every day in a smaller dose. Take anywhere between 2500IU - 5000IU (perhaps start at the upper end here to see immediate results) and get your levels checked again after 3 monnths of your current routine (i.e., little actual sun). If you get sun this summer, still get your levels checked in 3 months and adjust dose accordingly but do the test again in the winter. Your target level should be between 40ng/ml and 50ng/ml. If your lab uses another common unit of measurement, nmol/L, your levels should be between 100nmol/L and 125nmol/L.

Good luck.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on June 18, 2011
at 04:31 PM

The other variables include vit A and vit K.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on June 18, 2011
at 03:31 PM

I agree with this. People are taking massive doses of Vit D thinking more the better. Read Dr. Harris's take on Vit D. I don't think you need Vit D higher than 50. There seems to be some other variable at work here.

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 18, 2011
at 01:01 PM

I think you answered your own question regarding why your vitamin D levels are low.

A. You live in the far north where last I heard the snow hasn't finished melting.
2. You get no sun to make Vit D, and even if you did, your age and the sunscreen can make it difficult for your skin to manufacture D.

A really excellent primer on vitamin D by Dr. Kurt Harris

http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2009/8/9/vitamin-d.html

You should read these posts by Dr. Mike Eades - he's been advocating vitamin D for years.

http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/important-information/vitamin-d-and-influenza/ http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/supplements/sunshine-superman/

D064af8cab4e04cb5e1dea7b990f3948

(134)

on June 18, 2011
at 02:29 PM

Excellent links, thanks. I'm new to the Paleo thing and am working on dialing in my supplement dosages now, with D at the top of my "new stuff I"m taking" list. Thanks for the useful info.

1
Ec4b1350e688c347c42637258750da6b

on June 18, 2011
at 12:07 PM

I had low vit d. In fact, mine was a 13 and was told to take 50,000 units for 5 days a weel total for a few months [think it was 3].

Here's a link I found from WebMD on the subject matter and check out the symptoms.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-d-deficiency

Food allergies may be causing this. Diary? Grains? What kind of diet to you follow?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 18, 2011
at 12:34 PM

A surprisingly good article, considering the source is WebMD. They are a notorious shill for big Pharma and I wouldn't trust anything they say without a lot of additional research. However, the recommendations for the amount of D supplementation and levels to determine deficiency are WAY to low. Raising the RDA from 400IU to 600 or 800 is a joke and deficiency defined as 20ng/ml is not even close to optimal. Most in the paleosphere say to shoot for 35-50, and some even recommend up to 80ng/ml. I would say that getting above 35 is essential and closer to 50 is better.

Ec4b1350e688c347c42637258750da6b

(20)

on June 18, 2011
at 01:07 PM

I was really seeking the causes for Vit D because I was curious and sure enough, food allergies is one of them. And thanks for the heads up on webmd because I didn't know!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 19, 2011
at 08:53 PM

A lot of the big name websites are fronts for major corporations - especially pharmaceuticals and food companies. WebMD, health.com, etc. - just see what ads they have. Hmm, a lot of prescription drug ads and healthy whole grain Fruit Loops? Well, just know who's paying for the site - directly or indirectly. And caveat emptor (let the buyer beware), I was really surprised at the amount of good info they have about vit D...

0
Medium avatar

on June 18, 2011
at 06:05 PM

Thank you everyone for all of this info. I've been online nearly since I received my lab results and everything is so confusing.

In a nutshell the prescription is worthless and won't do me any good. I need to get in the sun. Of course we've been having a very wet spring with not much sun.

I'm going to get the D supplements The Quilt and others recommended and forgo the one given to me by my doctor.

I could just scream though. The only good news is knowing the reason I've been in such a funk for the past few months. Too bad I can't get any real answers from my own doc. So sad!

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:38 PM

I would take D-3 supplements, take your blood test, then go to the doctor and show your higher D-3 level.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:51 PM

I wouldn't say it is worthless. After all, it provides you vitamin D and would get your levels up. Going to your doctor and saying that they screwed you would be counterproductive. What exactly did they prescribe? I didn't see that in the thread, so we're making assumptions here.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 21, 2011
at 01:41 AM

Good luck, Deborah!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 18, 2011
at 02:28 PM

Anyone out there really have big improvments from taking Vitam D regularly?

D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on June 18, 2011
at 02:50 PM

I don't have a baseline for a starting point, but I am a 64 yr. old woman...with beginnings of osteoporosis few years back. been supplementing with Carlson's CLO for several years..1 tsp daily and for the last 2 months 1000 IUs D3 Had calcium and D checked last week at annual physical. D3 was 44. Doctor was amazed!

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:30 PM

My son was born with asthma & eczema (has spent a lot of time in the hospital), he takes approx 5000IU vit D daily and has for a couple years now, both asthma & eczema are all but nonexistent now.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on June 18, 2011
at 03:29 PM

So where is the double-blind, placebo-controlled study for Vit D? No clinical trial? Why not? It's not a patented drug? Oh, okay.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:26 PM

My N=1 so far is not getting sick. Prior to supplementing, I'd get sick 2-3 times/year, and either get sick or feel crappy after travelling by air (flying cross country for work, con flu, etc). I'm in front of the computer all day and practically never get any sun.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on June 18, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Yes. I've had amazing changes un my mood and immune system since I started supplementing. I'm no longer depressed and I haven't got sick in almost 5 months. I swear I used to get a cold every 6 weeks or so.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 05:48 PM

I have a long history of upper respiratory infections just like my dad (persistent head colds, strep, tonsillitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infections) and I haven't had more than a mild 3-day cold since I started a]not wearing much sunscreen and soaking up as many rays as I can without burning and b]supplementing with D for all the months I don't get lots of sun. I also started eating much better than I had been for a few years around the same time, but my parents fed us pretty well growing up and I was still sickly as heck (we lived in the North, and I was sedentary/indoors as a teen).

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 19, 2011
at 05:10 PM

Yes! I started taking 10K IU of D3 a couple months ago to make up for lack of sunshine. I didn't expect any immediate results at all -- it was purely prophylactic against cancer. Within a week I noticed I hadn't used my rescue inhaler once. Since then I've used it a total of 5 times, each time involving a dog or lawn-mowing (my two big asthma triggers). And I had been using it nearly daily, sometimes several times a day. This was totally unexpected. I've tried every dietary tweak I could think of to knock it down, and it turned out to be D3. I'm still amazed, I really am.

-1
Medium avatar

on June 19, 2011
at 12:51 PM

With such a low level youre gonna need 50,000 units twice a week or more to get your level up. Then you can do 5-10,000 a day. This is what my doctor advised for me.

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