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Joint pain, poor sleep, clumsiness - vitamin D deficiency?

(17 Posts)
KittyB52 Sun 15-Oct-17 20:30:02

I have been reading an older thread on Vitamin D deficiency since I went to my GP about possibly starting perimenopause (aches, joint pains, dizziness, poor concentration, sleep issues). My FSH is high but not enough to clearly indicate menopause, and vitamin D levels were low (39 six months ago) so I was prescribed 800iu D3 per day.

However, I still have the same symptoms, along with back and joint pains, weak hands, and assorted other problems. I saw an osteopath who said I 'fit the profile for fibromyalgia' but I don't have the exhaustion that seems to accompany it - fibromyalgia sounds more severe than what I am experiencing. I mean, I'm knackered, but I have a 7 month old daughter - I am able to get out of bed and look after her (until my back 'goes', anyway).

There are lots of other symptoms too (including clumsiness, stiff neck, tension/sinus headaches, plantar fasciitis) so I need to go back to my GP.

Should I be asking for more blood tests and if so, what? Should I be taking a higher concentration of D3?

Looksprettybad Sun 15-Oct-17 21:59:49

Definately higher vit d needed. You're only on a maintenance dose and this time of year you'd need a higher maintenance dose anyway. I would takw 2000 for 3 montgs then retest. I think you should also get other tests such as iron and thyroid.

KittyB52 Sun 15-Oct-17 22:21:17

Thanks, Looks. I think I did have my iron levels done, but not sure how recently. Will look at my records tomorrow and check.

Out of interest, how soon would the higher dose of D3 take effect? Is it a couple of months like other supplements?

Looksprettybad Sun 15-Oct-17 22:59:18

If you've been out in the sun alot (though not had much this summer in the uk!), that will have helped your levels. I actually took 5000 a day for a month when i knew my levels were 31, but yours haven't been tested for a while. I was advised to take k2 with d3 dose.
It will take a could of months at 2000 and it would be wise to test b4 you raise the dose just so you can work out your long term maintenance dose.

KittyB52 Mon 16-Oct-17 07:58:47

No, not been out in the sun (what we had of it) much at all. I wouldve been out and about on walks with DD but the back pain/joint pain/plantar fasciitis made that difficult.

Just looked back in my records and I haven't had a thyroid test done recently. I did notice that my vitamin D level was also checked this time last year and it was 36 then, so it would be interesting to see what it is now.

Bettertobehealthy Mon 16-Oct-17 11:27:10

hi OP ,
your vitamin D level is around the maximum for the year in October. This is because sunlight in the UK, only has UVB content from April to October. It is your skin which makes the majority of the Vit D that you have from UVB radiation ( unless you are supplementing with large amounts ). Just sunbathing for 20 mins or so , in direct sunlight , in the middle of the day can produce 10,000 to 20,000 IU in your skin. However even in the summer , we cannot make vit D from sunlight outside the hours 11 to 3 pm. This is because at our latitude , ( 50+ degrees) when the suns elevation is below 45 degrees , the UVB in sunlight is absorbed by the atmosphere. The suns elevation does not go above 45 degrees November to March , and only a very short time around solar noon in April and October . That is 1pm BST.

From the above explanation you should see that your normal Vitamin D , without supplementation, is going downhill from now till next April. There is very little vitamin d in food. Some in oily fish , but you would need to eat wild caught ( not farmed ) every day to get a reasonable amount. None in fruit or veg , only a tiny amount in eggs etc. meat does have some , depending upon how the animal was kept or supplemented.

It is quite likely that your levels, throughout most of the year are deficient , and by remedying that situation , you could very well help yourself. It has been noted , by vitamin D researchers , that up to 50% of people diagnosed with Fibromyalgia symptoms , do in fact have a Vit D deficiency , which clear up or are greatly reduced when vit d levels are corrected.

Have a look here

and here

Where others with very similar problems to yourself discuss the vit d problem. What they did, how it helped etc etc. A long read , but very useful.

I have posted quite a bit here on Mumsnet re Vit D , search my nickname, for further info , or just get back to me. !

hope this helps and best of luck


KittyB52 Mon 16-Oct-17 20:03:52

Hi BTBH, I have started reading the second thread you linked to - lots of information on there. I currently have an 800iu supplement which my GP prescribed me - I assume that should give me a level of around 65, which isn't high enough. Could I double (or triple) the dose, or is it better to buy tablets which already have a high dose and take both (e.g. a 2000iu tablet plus the existing 800iu ones)?

holdthewine Mon 16-Oct-17 20:42:30

Rheumatoid arthritis is also a possibility.

WristBitch Mon 16-Oct-17 20:53:06

My level is 35 and I am on 4000 units a day so 800 seems low.

KittyB52 Mon 16-Oct-17 21:13:57

holdthewine I was tested for RA last month and the results came back 'normal'. I also had the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) test done, and that came back within the normal range, as far as I can gather.

WristBitch - the 'normal' range on my records is 50-100, so I am guessing my GP thinks that the 800 dose will bump me into that range so it's 'enough'.

holdthewine Tue 17-Oct-17 07:37:10

Kitty the trouble is that there isn’t a definitive test for RA, it’s a value judgment. You will have been tested for Rheumatoid factor but by no means everyone with RA has it. In fact my Dr says some of the most severe RA cases he knows don’t have it and there are people who are found to have it who never develop symptoms, so that’s not definitive.

They will also have tested your inflammation markers like CRP and that will normally raised in RA but also in other diseases.

Classically, RA starts in the small joints like the hands. Just keep it in the back of your mind as a possibility and ask to be referred to a rheumatologist if you’re still experiencing symptoms.

It might be worth posting in the Health/autoimmune diseases pages where there is lots of support and info across a range of similar diseases.

KittyB52 Tue 17-Oct-17 10:04:14

That’s interesting, holdthewine. I also have fertility issues which were caused by an immune problem - they’re probably not linked though.

I will look at my records to see if there’s a CRP test, and will have a look at the other section too. Thank you.

Bettertobehealthy Tue 17-Oct-17 20:10:28

Assuming you are trying to get over 100 nmol/L , then yes 2000 IU plus extra may be needed. (assuming you are around 40 now.)
If you read that previous thread , you will see that we all have different responses to vit D supplementation. Some of us cannot absorb through the gut very well, others are just fine. The key point , is to raise your level , BUT also check that your supplement has done the job. i.e. check your blood level after 2 to 3 months of continuous daily supplementation. IF you think that your intestinal absorption is less efficient , then a sublingual spray may be a good idea as it goes directly into the blood stream.
I wonder if you are on Fultium ? , that does contain BHT a controversial preservative , whereas many over the counter preparations are just a carrier oil such as virgin olive oil, with VitD3 , and a bovine gelatin capsule. Some sprays are similarly free. Try and choose a good quality product, gel caps are cheap and popular. many are to be found on Amazon. A full years supply for £15 or less.
You have mentioned that you have autoimmune problems ... vit D could very well help with that,as it is an immune system modulator. You would be very well served by increasing your blood levels up to 120 -140. For that reason , I would say you would need at least 3000 IU per day , possibly more , 4 or 5000 IU would not be unreasonable. But do check your blood levels after a few months. You should also try to ensure you are getting other nutrients , particularly magnesium, make sure you get some magnesium rich foods, it is a known co-factor of Vit D , eg, dark greens..! Failing that , a magnesium supplement. Although it is always a good idea to get your nutrition from food , rather than supplements , if you can, fresh vegetables and some fruit.

Here is one of the lowest cost Labs , that can test your blood level of Vit D , from a bloodspot on blotting paper, a postal service. . it is an NHS lab, they do charge £28 , if not doctor ordered.

I hope this is all useful with regard to vitamin D , best of luck


KittyB52 Tue 17-Oct-17 20:50:22

Yes, I am on Fultium. I will have a look online at some higher level supplements. I don’t know if my intestinal absorption will be less efficient - are there signs of this I could look for, or would it be a case of taking supplements for a couple of months and then testing?

I am already taking a magnesium and B6 supplement - just one from Sainsburys. I do need to improve my diet, so will look into magnesium rich foods. I am a vegetarian, so quite happy to eat plenty of veggies.

Thank you so much for all your help. flowers

holdthewine Wed 18-Oct-17 08:04:23

I agree with Kitty about Vitamin D.

Also all immune problems are connected (presuming you mean auto-immune ie the body attacking itself) sadly, when you have one you’re more likely to get others, you’re also more likely to have other auto-immune diseases within your family. For example, I first had Hashimoto’s then developed RA and we have covered most of the conditions in our family confused

holdthewine Wed 18-Oct-17 08:06:51

This is the Vitamin D my doctor recommends and you can buy it on ‘subscribe and save’ in Amazon

Bettertobehealthy Wed 18-Oct-17 20:05:48

Hi again kitty ,
you asked whether you might possibly have an absorption problem. Well there is a possibility ... but not a probability. As holdthewine says , autoimmune problems tend to cluster.

Some diseases associated with autoimmunity problems can lead to poor absorption , i.e crohn's disease , coeliacs disease, pernicious anaemeia etc. The latter can lead to B12 deficiency.

Yes , you are right , in my opinion , it would be a good idea to check your Vit D blood level say 3 months after you have been DAILY supplementing, whether gel capsule,a spray or tablet.
The possibility of poor absorption would be a consideration if you have a diagnosis of any of the above , or even IBS or gut problems of a similar nature.

There is quite a lot of evidence that higher levels of vitamin D , are potentially helpful, in many of those conditions. IF you have any reason to suspect a gut absorption problem , then , in my opinion , a spray is better , because it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream , bypassing the digestion. It does tend to be a little bit more expensive. BUT , it tastes nice ..!

With regards to magnesium , the least absorbable form is Magnesium Oxide ( MgO ) . If you are taking the supplement route , then magnesium citrate or glycinate , or malate may be preferable.

I think I have mentioned that veg have little or no Vit D , so as a vegetarian , you are limiting yourself to the amount you might get from diet. And as previously described , sunlight in the UK , is too weak to provide any Vit D from sunlight after mid October , or before mid April. ( So you will be having a lower and lower blood level for 6 months , unless you supplement. ) The supplementation of 800 IU , is just too low to raise your level significantly.

When your blood level reaches 100 , it is then that your liver slows down it conversion of VitD3 supplement , to 25 hydroxyD3. This enables your body to store some VitD3 for autocrine use , whereby your cells convert the VitD3 internally in the cell, when required, to the hormone form 1,25 dihydroxyD3, ( for gene transcription) and then the cell can respond as it needs to do . i.e. say for instance a white blood cell can attack an infiltrating bacteria. You can get the picture ... A good blood level of Vit D , ( over 100 ) will enable your cells to do their job without struggling. Suffice it to say , that this has been shown in numerous scientific and medical papers.
Sorry to go on a bit .... but at least you and any other readers of this thread have the information needed.

hope this is helpful


PS. As you are a vegetarian , if you are having blood tests , then check B12 , many vegetarians are low , as this vitamin is almost exclusively found in animal products. A deficiency can cause all sorts of problems. In addition - It is sometimes not appreciated , that low Vit D , can lead to autoimmune problems , one of which can be pernicious anaemia , which leads to B12 deficiency.


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