I had been taking Vitamin D supplements about 600IU per day for about 2 months, and had no ill effects and numerous positive effects which I attribute to the vit D (decreased muscle and joint pain, better moods, eliminating several minor skin conditions, better hair, better digestion, better sleep, just to name a few), though some of this might also be due to the Paleo diet.
I recently switched to a 5000IU per day gelcap from iherb, the main reason was that I ran out of my 200IU dry tablets and needed a replacement, and wanted something that came with oil. There aren't many reports of side effects at this dosage of vitamin D so I wasn't too worried about the increase.
Since the switch, I have been feeling slight soreness in my back about where my kidneys are (lower middle of my back on either side of the spine). I am not sure that this is actually kidney pain, as I've also been doing some new upper body workouts (Burpees and kettlebells) and it could just be muscle soreness from the workouts. I also had a period where I felt more sore, more moody, worse sleep, etc. basically a reversal of some of the benefits, though that has started to go away too.
I have read online that kidney stones can be caused by vitamin D (haven't found a lot of detail), though I don't think I contracted kidney stones in about 2 weeks. I have also read that increasing vitamin D can make you deficient in magnesium, and low magnesium has its own effects, including muscle soreness.
At this point I'm not really sure what is related to what, so my question is, for anyone that has started taking doses of vitamin D in the 5000IU+ range, have you had any muscle soreness or kidney pain/problems? I'm looking more for first-hand experience than something Googled up if possible, thanks.
asked byUncleLongHair (15833)
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on June 13, 2011
at 11:12 PM
Get your D3 blood levels checked.
on February 14, 2012
at 12:44 PM
I realize this post is ancient, but I have experienced this as well.
Is it a warm, sometimes burning sensation, with a dull ache, around the kidneys? Then it's probably the vitamin D.
But before you stop taking it (I sure wouldn't), do your homework. Get your serum 25(OH)D checked, and for god's sake make sure you are getting sufficient calcium and magnesium. After this first happened to me, I panicked, stopped the vitamin D and ended up deficient (21 ng/mL, 50 nmol/L) with surprising rapidity. That caused further kidney pain that was a whole lot worse, let me tell you.
If you are worried, let the lab work tell the story. In my case, there was no indication of any of the bugaboos of vitamin D supplementation: my 25(OH)D levels were well within the normal range (a peak of 66 ng/mL), calcium, magnesium and phosphate were all dead normal, creatinine and GFR were normal, and an ultrasound of the kidney turned up nothing. I also didn't have any pain on urination. I think my doctor was bemused at my panic reaction. Surprising, especially given that he'd never heard of anybody taking 5000 IU cholecalciferol a day before I came to him. The point it is, this stuff is a lot safer than it is made out to be.
I've since figured out that it responds to adequate calcium and magnesium intake.
One of the challenges of paleo nutrition is getting enough calcium. You need to eat a lot of vegetables (like broccoli, for example), and just securing and preparing the amount needed could turn into a full time job. You might try eating sardines or salmon with bones and skin. Nuts are also a good source.
Beyond that, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D are among the few things I supplement, because they have helped me so much.
on June 13, 2011
at 09:47 PM
i take 5000iu daily, and some days i take 10,000, although I will stop taking the second one now that I can get some regular sun. I have noticed no ill effects in the slightest, even taking the first 5000 on an empty stomach in the morning. But I also take Magnesium 3 or 4 days per week too. A friend here at work says if he takes one of his 2000iu D on an empty stomach he gets diareah, but thats the only ill I have heard of with it.
on December 17, 2011
at 02:23 AM
Hi -- I've been taking vitamin d to correct a deficiency and secondary hyperparathyroidism and have also noticed kidney pain. I take low doses (~1600 iu/day) but it's been bothering my kidneys pretty substantially. I haven't taken any d in 2 days and my back/kidney area feels much better. Can't tell me they aren't related. I KNOW they are. Don't know the answer though except -- not take as much. Apparently as we age, absorbing vitamin d gets more difficult.
on August 01, 2011
at 12:53 AM
I have been taking 50,000IU vitamin D pills one per week for the last 3 weeks. I too am beginning to feel a soreness across my lower back where my kidneys are. I didn't have this soreness before I started the treatment. I wonder if I am taking too much. I have just one more pill to take, so I am going to hold off taking it this week since I am going to Miami tomorrow, I will be able to get some direct sunlight.
on June 14, 2011
at 12:45 AM
Get your serum calcium checked. Sometimes repleting D can unmask hyperparathyroidism. Symptoms can include fatigue, irritability, bone pain, and kidney stones.
on June 13, 2011
at 09:48 PM
I have been supplementing with Now Brand 5000IU per day for 3 years to keep my level in the mid 80s ng/ml with absolutely no problems.
Sounds as if you have a strain that you need to heal. The Vit D3 is not the cause.
You do want to take D3 in the morning as it can affect sleep patterns.
on July 04, 2016
at 07:03 AM
Lucas, you mention you found the cure! You said to take Beta Carotine, magnesium citrate and eat raisins. But can you please share the doses of each that you take (and the dose of vit d3 you usually take as well) please? I'd like to use it as a base and adjust it to my personal levels. It's been a solid month now and I'm in a constant state of pain. But in trying to produce healthy eggs (which takes three months) so I really need to NOT be vit d deficient. Thanks. Hope you are still here.
on August 07, 2013
at 01:14 PM
I found remedy! I have been on 4000 IU D3, and I had the same problem. Lower back pain. I thought it was spine or kidney. I was looking for remedy for long time because I didn't wanted to stop taking vit D3. It helped me with my hairloss and my skin problems (and meny, meny other benefits). Finally I FOUND the answer! You have to take other things with D3, but not only magnesium. I was taking magnesium along and pain was still there. Ladies and gentelman: Beta Carotene was the remedy. I found out that it was muscle pain and vit D3 needs a bit of vit A, magnesium, K2, and a bit of boron to work properly. (Too much boron is harmuful especially for men so watch out!) on the other hand if you take to much vit A (retinol), vitamin D3 will be neutralised. So Beta Carotene is the best solution because our liver will make vit A (retinol) out of Beta Carotene, but only as much as we need. So I takie D3 (3000 IU), vit K2, magnesium, a bit of boron (raisins), and Beta Carotene (carots and apricots) and the pain is gone!
on June 26, 2012
at 06:48 PM
Vitamin D can cause pain in the kidneys and too much can cause problems. Too much vitamin D can place a strain on these organs and may provoke kidney stones. On the other hand, vitamin D deficiency is associated with chronic kidney disease and doctors use vitamin D supplements to treat the disease...
on June 18, 2012
at 02:02 AM
I've been having intermittent kidney pain and recently lower back and leg pain. I have arthritis and thought the pain was due to this but this pain is very different. It is more neuropathic and recently also started having muscle spasms. I take vit d 10,000Units about 3 times per week and I really think this is the cause. Now I'm seeing this online on various sites and the symptoms remind me of my own. One site said to keep taking the D because the pain is telling you you're deficient. Also I've seen that it could be linked to magnesium deficiency r/t taking the D. All interesting and I'm unsure what I should do. I just know I can't take the pain any more.
on March 13, 2012
at 03:48 AM
I have also noticed a signifigant amount of kidney pain, and it seems just since I started on a 4000 IU dose of vitamin D3. I have had several bouts of blood in urine and kidney stones. Never really connected the two until now ! I will lay off the vitamin D3 and see what happens....... Will let you know in a few weeks if anything has changed.
on December 27, 2011
at 04:32 AM
I never noticed any pain and I started vitamin D 5000iu's from 0 about a year ago. I'd definetely attribute it to the training, especially since you were already taking 2000iu a day.
on December 27, 2011
at 03:42 AM
I always notice kidney soreness when I start up on any new aggressive supplement regime. I've always (foolishly!?) regarded it as normal, and it tends to dissipate within a day or two. I always take a few tablets of Cranactin (a vitamin C tablet purported to aid kidney and bladder function) a day when this happens, just in case (: I'm always paranoid because I've suffered from 1-2 UTIs-cum-bladder infections per year since I was 12 (haven't had one since January though, yay!). Even if it doesn't do much to help, it doesn't hurt!
Of course, if the pain is unbearable, worsens or doesn't go away even if you cease the D supplementation, definitely see a doctor!
on December 26, 2011
at 04:32 PM
I took a vitamin D supplement for the first time (only 4000IU) and later that night I had terrible back pain around the area of each kidney. I later vomited several times. Probably coincidental but it made me wonder enough to do a Google search and I would up here.
on June 13, 2011
at 11:06 PM
I agree with Dexter, I think it's your burpees and kettlebells that are giving you that pain. Those will definitely strengthen muscles you didn't even know you had. I've been taking 5000-10000 iu for several months and I've never had any ill effects.
on June 13, 2011
at 08:56 PM
Cut the Vitamin D supplements out and get plenty of direct sunshine instead and see what happens. I read somewhere that your body will produce enough Vitamin D with just 15 - 20 minutes of direct sunlight a day. It is summer.