Vitamin D Overdose Treatment
If you find out that you have a vitamin D overdose, its recommended that you stop taking your vitamin D supplements as soon as possible. The signs and symptoms of the overdose might take a while to subside because vitamin D is stored in fat and doesnt leave the system immediately.
Your doctors might also recommend that you cut calcium from your diet while they monitor the levels in the blood. This cuts down the hypercalcemia until your calcium levels return to normal.
In some instances, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids and bisphosphonates, which will prevent the release of more calcium from your bone structure. Your doctor can also give you oral calcium disodium edetate, which increases your ability to pass calcium through feces.
What Are The Symptoms Of Too Much Vitamin D
Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.
Vitamin D is a key nutrient that helps your body absorb calcium to help build strong bones. Its also important for your immune system, nervous system, and muscles. A deficiency in this vitamin has also been linked to mental illnesses such as depression and seasonal affective disorder .
About 40% of Americans may be deficient in vitamin D, with Black and Hispanic adults facing the highest risk of deficiency. Many people can benefit from increasing their vitamin D intake to sufficient levels through sun exposure, diet changes, orif neededsupplementation as recommended by a physician.
While a deficiency of this nutrient is a very common problem, its also possiblebut rareto have too much vitamin D. Too much vitamin D, also known as vitamin D toxicity or hypervitaminosis D, can pose a number of serious health risks. This is why it’s important to discuss any supplementation with your doctor to ensure you aren’t ingesting a potentially harmful mega dose.
What Causes Vitamin D Toxicity
Vitamin D toxicity is almost always the result of excess supplementation. Because your body regulates vitamin D production, you are unlikely to develop it as a result of sun exposure . Foods generally do not contain large amounts of vitamin D, so getting an excessive amount in your diet is unlikely.
People may begin taking vitamin D supplements in order to address a deficiency or to help relieve symptoms of things like seasonal affective disorder or depression. The problem is that they may go overboard or think that taking more will produce more beneficial effects.
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Getting Vitamin D From Food
Most foods dont contain much vitamin D so its hard to get enough vitamin D from food alone.
Foods which contain vitamin D include:
- oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout
- red meat
- liver and fish liver oil
- foods with vitamin D added such as most fat spreads, some breakfast cereals and some plant-based alternatives to milk. Check the labels.
- infant formula which has vitamin D added to make sure babies get enough.
As most of these foods are animal products, its harder to get vitamin D from food if you are vegan or vegetarian. Plant-based sources of vitamin D include sun-exposed mushrooms and fortified foods such as vegetable spreads, breakfast cereals and plant based dairy alternatives.
In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it isn’t fortified, as it is in some other countries. There are some yoghurts which have been fortified, but check the label as they can also be high in saturated fat and so should be avoided.
People Who Should Not Opt In
You should not opt in to receive the vitamin D supplement if:
- you are already taking, or are prescribed, a vitamin D supplement by your GP or healthcare professional
- you are already taking, or are prescribed, a medication that contains vitamin D by your GP or healthcare professional
- you are under the age of 18
- you have a medical condition or treatment that means you may not be able to safely take as much vitamin D as the general population
If you are one of the following groups or have any of the following medical conditions, you should not opt in through this process and you should speak to your GP or healthcare professional at your next appointment. There are some groups who need to be particularly careful including those under the care of a renal, endocrinology or cancer specialist. This could include people with high vitamin D levels, kidney stones, too much parathyroid hormone, cancer , severe kidney disease and a rare illness calledsarcoidosis.
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How Much Vitamin D Should I Take A Day
Vitamin D is super-important for multiple health areas including bone health, immune system function, and heart health. However, you are probably asking yourself, how much vitamin D should I take a day? After all, everyone is different, and we know that some people get more sun than others. Also, did you know that your level of body fat and genetic factors can also play a role? And how much vitamin D is too much? Well, lets dive in!
Can You Get Too Much Vitamin D
Vitamin D’s role in calcium absorption and homeostasis in the body is one essential function of the fat-soluble nutrient.* “Vitamin D increases calcium absorption in the gastrointestinal tract,” says Sina Gallo, Ph.D., RDN, a nutritional sciences professor at the University of Georgia.
At very high vitamin D doses , “this helpful vitamin D/calcium relationship can tip from normal to not-so-normal, and too much calcium can contribute to kidney stones and blood vessel issues,” Ferira explains.
In rare cases, this calcium buildup can cause soft tissues throughout your body to harden, which can cause severe concerns. That’s why “vitamin D research studies measure calcium levels in the blood and urine,” Ferira says, “to ensure the healthy balance doesn’t tip to unhealthy, which is very rare in healthy individuals receiving normal doses of vitamin D.”
So why the conservative messaging? “Public health guidance, such as that coming from the Institute of Medicine , needs to be conservative to balance the risk of toxicity in a population,” adds Gallo. “A number of other factors affect vitamin D status, including endogenous production , adiposity, age, latitude, age, etc., which makes one recommendation for all individuals difficult.” A fair reason, but lo and behold, you are an individual and the research is evolvingand we are seeing a slight shift in perspective.
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What Is The Best Dose Of Vitamin D3 For Dogs
The toxic dose of this vitamin is estimated to be 2,272 IU per pound of dry dog food. It is very important to ensure that your dog does not consume too much vitamin D, as this will disrupt your dog’s health balance and can seriously worsen his condition with irreversible consequences.
When is the best time to take vitamin dHow much vitamin D should I take? For adults, the recommended reference dose for vitamin C is 65 to 90 milligrams per day, with an upper limit of 2,000 mg per day.What is the best vitamin D supplement?The best form of vitamin D as a dietary supplement for adults and children is vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, because this is what your body makes in your skin.What vitamins should you no
Vitamin D Supplementation On The Rise
Between 2006 and 2014, the number of people taking over 4,000 IUs daily rose from less than 0.5% to over 3%. That was according to a 2017 study in the Journal of American Medicine, which pulled data from 39,000 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The study also found that over the same period, those taking more than 1,000 IUs per day jumped from less than 1% to over 18%. This amount is not known to cause immediate health problems, but the findings indicate that more people than ever are seeking out extra vitamin D and may be at risk of overdoing it.
This doesn’t mean that no one should take a vitamin D supplement. Other than infants and those over 70 who likely require supplements, people should get their blood levels checked routinely to determine if supplements are advised.
Taking Vitamin D Safely
Please make sure you read and comply with the instructions set out on the product label.
Each 1-A-Day vitamin D supplement contains 10 micrograms of vitamin D. This is equivalent to 400 international units of vitamin D. This is the daily amount recommended for the general population by government for general health and in particular to protect bone and muscle health.
If your GP has recommended that you take a different amount of vitamin D, you should follow your GPs advice.
Do not exceed the recommended dose equivalent to 400 international units). This is a safe level of intake, designed to meet your nutritional needs. Taking more is not currently recommended.
For most people taking up to 100 micrograms equivalent to 4,000 international units) per day is considered safe. In a few people, taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body . This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart. NHS.UK has more information about vitamin D, including advice on intakes.
While some medications may interact with high doses of vitamin D, there are no issues associated with the 10 microgram vitamin D supplement. They are intended to supplement the diet and should not be substituted for a varied diet.
Muscle Problems That Are Thought To Be Caused By Statins
Its possible that muscle aches and pains that are often thought to be caused by statins are actually caused by a lack of vitamin D. Too little vitamin D can cause muscle weakness and tenderness in the bones these muscle problems seem very similar to the ones linked to statins.
Because a lack of vitamin D is so common, its likely that many people who are taking statins dont have enough vitamin D.
Your doctor can check if you have enough vitamin D in your blood using a simple blood test.
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What If I’m Not Getting Enough Vitamin D
There can be many circumstances where one person may not get enough vitamin D. First, sun exposure may be limited, or even protection from the UV rays by using sunscreen can create a barrier in getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D in a day.
Second, the foods that provide vitamin D are few and far between. Eggs, fish, mushrooms, fortified soy milk, fortified orange juice, as well as fortified dairy products, are sources of vitamin D. But if you follow a plant-based diet, getting enough vitamin D from dietary intake can become complicated.
In order to get a sufficient amount of vitamin D from the sun, you need to expose your skin to sunlight twice a week for 5 to 30 minutes at the sun’s strongest timesbetween 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you find that you are getting enough through dietary sources as well as semi-regular exposure to the sun, then you likely don’t need supplementation at all.
However, if this is difficult for your lifestyle, talk to your doctor about your current vitamin D intake and if supplementation is neededespecially given that a true vitamin D deficiency can cause an increased risk of colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, falls at an older age , and even higher risk of mental illness. Low vitamin D has also been linked to increased symptoms of COVID-19.
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Will Vitamin D Really Prevent Falls Or Fractures
Good question. Some studies have suggested that vitamin D reduces the chance of these serious health events, but these results have been questioned by later studies.
My current take is that vitamin D might help with falls and fracture risk, especially for certain older adults. Since it has a low chance of harm and possible helps some people a least a little, I recommend it.
However, I usually tell people to not have overly optimistic expectations of vitamin Ds effects. In most older adults, problems such as pain, fatigue, and/or falls are due to multiple underlying causes, so theres often no easy fix available.
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How Can I Help Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency
The goals of treating and preventing the lack of vitamin D of treatment and prevention are the sameto reach and keep an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. Your healthcare provider will let you know if you need to take or keep taking vitamin D supplements. If so, they will also let you know how much you should take. You might also want to consider:
Eating more foods that contain vitamin D: See the vitamin D food sources table included in this article. Keep in mind that foods alone usually don’t meet the daily recommended levels of vitamin D.
Getting some exposure to sunshinebut not too much: Exactly how much sun exposure is needed isnt clear. 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week to the face, arms, legs or back may be all that is needed to absorb a suitable amount of vitamin D. You might need more sun exposure if:
- You are older.
- You have a darker skin color.
- You live in northern climates.
The use of sunscreen, and standing behind a window, prevents vitamin D from being produced in the skin. However, you should remember that too much sunshine increases the risk of skin cancer and ages the skin. That is why taking an appropriately dosed D supplement is far safer than intentionally getting routine sun exposure.
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Vitamin D is crucial to the overall health and wellbeing of the body. It helps to keep your bones and teeth strong, while also maintaining healthy muscles. But it’s also crucial that you avoid taking too many supplements.
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Does The Intake Of Other Fat
It has been hypothesized that two other fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin A, may play important roles in vitamin D toxicity.
Vitamin K helps regulate where calcium ends up in the body, and high amounts of vitamin D may deplete the bodys stores of vitamin K (
Keep in mind that these are just hypotheses, but it may be wise to make sure youre getting enough of these nutrients if youre going to supplement with vitamin D.
If youre supplementing with vitamin D, then it may be important to also ensure sufficient intake of vitamin A, vitamin K, and magnesium. These may reduce the risk of adverse effects from a higher vitamin D intake.
What New Research Says About Vitamin D Toxicity
Here’s what we know today: Unless you’re taking mega, mega amounts of vitamin D, toxicity isn’t really a concern .
As one 2018 review recounts: “In statements released over the last decade, the Institute of Medicine and the Endocrine Society have both concluded that acute vitamin D toxicity is extremely rare in the literature, that serum 25D concentrations must exceed 150 ng/mL, and that other factors, such as calcium intake, may affect the risk of developing hypercalcemia and VDT.”
One key point here: that 150 ng/ml mention. That’s three times higher than the healthy range clinicians typically recommend for vitamin D sufficiency.
Meanwhile, another 2014 study found that taking a whopping 20,000 I.U. of vitamin D3 daily successfully increased whole-body vitamin D levels without participants even coming close to levels associated with toxicity. So, successful, not scary.
Let’s also debunk the notion that fat-soluble vitamins are “dangerous,” simply because they can be stored in the body. According to Ferira, this is simply untrue. “Just because vitamin D is fat-soluble by design doesn’t mean it’s toxic at clinically useful doses, like 5,000 I.U.,” she says. “In reality, true reports of frank vitamin D toxicity with clinical evidence have occurred at 200,000 to 300,000 I.U. per dayyes, you read that correctlyin vulnerable populations like infants or folks with medical issues.”
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Vitamin D Side Effects
When it comes to vitamin D, its almost always easier to find someone with a deficiency than one with an overdose. However, there are rare cases of people with too much vitamin D in their systems. These present with various side effects, including:
This is the most common side effect of too much vitamin D. Its a condition where there is too much calcium in your bloodstream, which places stress on the digestive tract. This can manifest as nausea, vomiting, and a tummy ache. You will also feel thirsty and urinate frequently.
- Compromised bone structural integrity
Too much vitamin D in the body reduces the amount of vitamin K, which is responsible for keeping calcium bound in the bone structure. If vitamin K is lacking, it will cause the bones to lose calcium, making them weaker.
- Kidney failure
When you take too much vitamin D, your kidneys may not be able to work optimally and are at risk for ultimately failing. The elevated calcium levels brought about by the high vitamin D levels can harden the tubules in the kidney, causing kidney stones. Kidney stones are extremely uncomfortable and can interrupt your sleep with a strong pain in your lower back and abdomen.