General Diet Plans and Questions - Vitamin D deficiency




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LovebirdsFlying
06-06-2010, 05:41 AM
Well, I've had a medical test, and the results have astounded (and in a strange way, also pleased) me. When testing Vitamin D levels, a normal reading is between 30 and 80. Mine was 5. No, that's not a typo. I mean single-digit 5.

I'm astounded it was so low, because I'm quite certain I eat a diet high enough in Vitamin D that if the cloudy weather around here were to create a deficiency, it wouldn't be as low as all that. We eat a lot of salmon, tuna, and other seafood at our house, which are high on the list. Research tells me that certain conditions such as IBS, which I have, interfere with the absorption of Vitamin D, and that makes sense. Needless to say, I'm to be started on supplements as soon as possible.

Why does it please me? Because it explains so much. Vitamin D deficiency can create muscle aches, joint pain, weakness, fatigue, messed-up sleep patterns, and depression. How many of those things do I deal with? All of them. It's a relief to be able to point to a number and say, "Here is what's wrong. I'm not making excuses. I'm not lazy or unmotivated. I'm simply malnourished." I have renewed hope now, that maybe when we bring my levels up to healthy, I might be more energetic and less, well, just sleepy all the time.

From looking into what is rich in Vitamin D, it looks as if I may have to add some breakfast cereals back to my diet. I had been eliminating them to go low-carb. Looks like a session with my dietitian is in order too.


nelie
06-06-2010, 07:57 AM
Honestly, the only reason that breakfast cereals have vitamin D in them is because they are fortified. I think you'd be better off with a decent supplement rather than relying on the breakfast cereal companies to supplement you.

I got tested for vitamin D and I was told I was low but my level was 20. My doctor prescribed a 50,000 IU vitamin D for 10 weeks and at which point we will test again. After I get back to normal, I plan to take a 5,000 IU vitamin D.

Oh 2 be me
06-06-2010, 08:16 AM
I'm vit D deficient as well, below 20. I was taking 50,000 a week. I've stopped taking those because I want to start taking cod liver oil instead vs the chemical supplement. Just havent' gotten it yet.

I have all the symptoms as well. I don't have a gallbladder, I know my digestion is not what it should be. And I was sick with sinus infection all the winter months, 4 differnt antibiotics so that didnt' help my digestion.

Were you told to take calcium w/the vit D?


LovebirdsFlying
06-07-2010, 05:20 AM
Thanks for the advice, Nelie. It's probably a good idea. I was also given the same 50,000 a week prescription, 12 weeks worth, and told to do a 1,000 a day over the counter dose after that. Others I have talked to who were as low as I am, say it took them a couple of weeks to start feeling better and a couple of months to reach normal levels. I think I will do as Nelie suggests and lay off the cereal in favor of the supplements. Being diabetic, I have to be really careful with carbs.

No, 2 be me, I wasn't advised to take calcium as well. I'll mention it to my doctor, and/or start taking it on my own. My daughter said the same thing, says that since Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, with levels that low I'm probably low on calcium too.

I'll try to find the information myself as well, but can anyone tell me what foods *naturally* are rich in Vitamin D, without being fortified?

CJZee
06-07-2010, 08:05 AM
Everything you ever wanted to know about Vitamin D:
http://nigeepoo.blogspot.com/2008/12/vitamin-d.html

nelie
06-07-2010, 09:29 AM
Natural vitamin D is really only high in certain types of fish. This is the nutritiondata info
http://www.nutritiondata.com/foods-000102000000000000000-w.html

Of course note it shows cereals and milk which are both fortified with vitamin D. But the first 11 are natural sources.

For me, I don't eat fish so I get my vitamin D from the sun and from vitamins.

JulieJ08
06-07-2010, 09:54 PM
It's really hard to get enough vitamin D from food. Even fortified foods like milk have a pittance compared to the growing evidence that optimal intake is 400 IU, 800 IU, or even 4000 IU or more.

MamaP
06-07-2010, 10:10 PM
I was diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency last August. I was put on the 50,000 iu every other week from August to mid-April. My number was in the low teens in August and in April I was just barely below normal. My doctor switched me to 3000 units a day then. I have to go back soon and have my levels checked again. I, too, suffered from fatigue, (years of severe) depression, body aches, joint pain, sleep problems, etc. I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which I believe was an incorrect diagnosis. It took awhile to feel better, but I feel so much better. I was barely functioning before.

chickybird
06-08-2010, 12:23 AM
Thanks for the great post--I think I'll talk to my dr. about adding Vit. D to my diet. I have IBS as well, and low energy.

LovebirdsFlying
06-08-2010, 05:29 AM
I've heard reports from several people who have been diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency and have felt much better after treatment. Hope is shining. I'm so looking forward to feeling better.

nelie
06-08-2010, 10:11 AM
Yeah I agree with Julie, my husband and I haven't had fish in nearly 3 years but his levels were normal and mine were a bit low. I have been trying to get sun (especially eye exposure) to help but yeah I may just need to supplement with vitamin D.

ohmai
06-09-2010, 07:37 AM
I've been diagnosed with this as well. It's been a few years. It's the new epidemic :) My doctor explained that food is generally not enough and along with 8000iu per day, he prescribed a dose of afternoon sunshine. (That's with out your 50 SPF coating your face and your arms, etc.) It's the downside of all our years of being taught to shun the sun. And the downside of conventional foods that no long hold the same vitamin and mineral content as they once did.

Vitamin D affects the absorption of calcium and magnesium too. If you're so low on the D, you're likely low on the other 2 as well. Magnesium level isn't something that's easily tested; I'd supplement it though. (And I plan to. =) )

Watercolor
06-09-2010, 10:19 AM
One of the smart TV doctors put it succintly -
If you live north of Atlanta, Georgia
you do not get enough vitamin D.
Take a supplement.

ScarletBloodDoll
06-09-2010, 11:09 AM
Even though I live in Southern California and avoid all things sun - related (I'm deathly allergic), I was diagnosed after my 17th Birthday. I wasn't told until a few weeks ago. Even then I wasn't told what to do.
I know I have to obviously take Vitamin D but does anyone know how long it takes to feel better and how long it takes to get your vitals to a normal range?

LovebirdsFlying
06-09-2010, 11:14 AM
Even though I live in Southern California and avoid all things sun - related (I'm deathly allergic), I was diagnosed after my 17th Birthday. I wasn't told until a few weeks ago. Even then I wasn't told what to do.
I know I have to obviously take Vitamin D but does anyone know how long it takes to feel better and how long it takes to get your vitals to a normal range?

I was told, by an elderly gentleman who tested about as low as I did, that it took him two or three weeks to start feeling better. It's been six months since his first test, and now his levels are not-quite-normal, but he feels better. He had a medication that was interfering with his absorption. It was discontinued.

I'm guessing that how long it takes would depend on how high the dosage, and how well your body processes it.

ScarletBloodDoll
06-09-2010, 11:28 AM
LovebirdsFlying -
What is the highest dosage, if you happen to know?

LovebirdsFlying
06-09-2010, 01:27 PM
LovebirdsFlying -
What is the highest dosage, if you happen to know?

I'm on a prescription dosage right now. It's a 50,000 IU (international unit) capsule to be taken once a week. After that, I switch to over the counter. At our local pharmacy, those come in 400, 1,000, 2,000, and 5,000 IU's. I'm going to take the 5,000.

What the maximum recommended is, I don't know.

FloridaGirl1970
06-10-2010, 11:33 PM
This thread is very interesting. I was reading a few weeks ago about different symptoms of Vit D def. I have all of them!! I work from home and alot of time I never go outside, and my diet is pretty lacking! :) I was going to talk to my dr at my next appt to see about checking my vit D level. I have been spending more time outside lately, especially on the weekends, and whether or not it is related to vit D, I have been feeling better. Alot of my muscles cramps have gone away, and my mood is definitely better. It might just be a mental thing, lol, but I will take what I can get. :-)