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Vitamin D deficiency? Flu-like symptoms but no flu...

(27 Posts)
FanjoBanjo1989 Fri 27-Oct-17 18:59:40

For the last few weeks I've felt awful - bone-crushingly tired (sleeping at night though), flu-like symptoms, physically weak, dizzy, trembling sometimes, irritable, like I'm experiencing reality through a pane of glass, foggy brain, anxiety has been awful too. I felt so dizzy at work a few weeks back that I thought I was going to faint and I got sent home.

Went to GP, had a blood test. Everything came back fine bar vitamin D, which was 32, which is considered a deficiency (iirc). Surely my symptoms can't just be down to a vitamin D deficiency? Anyone had any experience of a vit D deficiency? What was it like for you?

I've been inside much more than usual this summer and when the sun does come out my body so desperately wants me to go outside (I get this really weird, panicky, impatient feeling) but I usually have shit to do so I don't! Am wondering if I'm not exactly helping myself blush

OP’s posts: |
Moussemoose Fri 27-Oct-17 19:02:29

Yep I had the same but my number was lower. Got cheap bit D from Boots. Feel fine now.


FanjoBanjo1989 Fri 27-Oct-17 19:05:24

Thank you Moussemoose! I'm so glad the vit D supplements sorted you out. When I look up vit D deficiency symptoms online it all seems a bit vague so I find myself wondering whether it's something else!

OP’s posts: |
KadabrasSpoon Fri 27-Oct-17 19:05:42

Yes I thought I was seriously ill! I feel so much better just from getting my vitamin D level back to normal. I'd been taking a multivitamin daily, live in the south, go outside every day for walks but still was deficient. It wasn't something I would've expected.

FanjoBanjo1989 Fri 27-Oct-17 19:12:15

KadabrasSpoon yes I feel so very ill! Had to cancel an osteo appt today (they usually leave me feeling absolutely knackered) because I couldn't deal with feeling exhausted and achy (from osteo) on top of feeling exhausted and achy. I think my anxiety is bad because I really do feel proper ill and my brain is like wtf is this?!

OP’s posts: |
3kidscrazy Fri 27-Oct-17 19:12:50

Different people cope differently with vitamin d deficiency. Did your gp give you a prescription? If so, once you start taking it you should notice a difference. Low iron levels can also make you very tired, so I'd get that checked too if you haven't already.

FanjoBanjo1989 Fri 27-Oct-17 19:16:29

3kidscrazy I was just told to buy the ones from the chemist (25ug). I was low in iron too (v noticeable around period), so have been taking Spatone with orange juice.

OP’s posts: |
Moussemoose Fri 27-Oct-17 20:08:10

Now I feel normal again I realise how crap I felt. Get yourself off to Boots!

Autumnchill Fri 27-Oct-17 20:23:57

I could have written your post!

I just wasn't right, exactly how you described and so April I went for bloods. I scored 28. Put on 800 for a month and told to go back in three months for more bloods. Started to feel worse, went back for bloods and the nurse who had the same, couldn't understand why my dosage was so low and why I hadn't been tested after one month.

Anyway, score came back as 32 and heard path lab on phone say this was within range! Educated nurse (different one) that 32 was not acceptable, so she went to talk to Dr and came back saying I shouldn't have been on such a low dose and I should have had bloods after a put on 2000 for 15 days then told to go back for bloods. Did this and went on holiday next day so when I got back, rang for results to be told I was now 105 so perfectly normal hmm

I've just had a cold that normally I would fight with Sudafed but this knocked me off my feet for 5 days and I think when I'm back at work next week, I'm going to speak to our HR department about using medical insurance for a full Bupa check up as I just don't think my Drs surgery knows what they are doing!

I don't think you can fully understand it if you haven't had it. I know people at work and a close friend of mine just kind of give me that look as if I'm making it up.

wtf2015 Fri 27-Oct-17 23:41:38

Same here, there isn’t enough strength in the sun November to March to activate vit d in your skin so you become deficient. If I don’t take it in the winter I notice by mid January, mainly as I get very low.

Bettertobehealthy Sat 28-Oct-17 12:42:09

Hi OP ,
you would probably be very interested in this thread ..

very many people with Vit D deficiency , how it affected them , what they did about it , doses etc etc. I posted quite a bit there to explain Vit D 's action . It actually influences about 2000 of your genes , upregulating some , downregulating others , turning others off and on , i.e. affecting about 10 % of your entire genome . It has a great many health effects, deficiency over the long term is associated with many conditions . You would be best advised to keep you vitamin D level above 100 for the long term. Which means supplementing , especially in winter.

Best of luck ,

If you need any more information , I have posted quite a bit here on mumsnet about Vit D , search my nickname , or get back to me ...


FanjoBanjo1989 Sat 28-Oct-17 13:19:14

Thank you very much Bettertobehealthy!! I am convinced that I need to be on 25ug of vit D now for, well, forever! I don't ever want to feel like this again, and I do wonder if my recurrent cystitis could be linked to my low vit D levels (I've always had dry skin and dodgy nails, the latter def not fungal as I had that investigated). I've had recurrent cystitis for years, since I was 19. My asthma has been better since taking the vit D, interestingly. Still feel super tired though.

OP’s posts: |
tobee Sat 28-Oct-17 13:22:01

I’m blaming this on my vit D deficiency (grin) but I keep confusing myself when trying to work out what is a safe daily maintenance dose. Can anyone help please?

Bettertobehealthy Sat 28-Oct-17 15:15:07

hi FanjoBanjo ,
25 ug ( microgram ) is 1000 IU . If you are an average responder your blood level will rise by 25 nmol/L . SO if you want to reach 100 or above then 3000 IU per day would do it , after about 2 to 3 months supplementation. However if you then stop , your level will then drop , going down towards your starting point after about 6 months. Unless you take other steps. . i.e sunbathing , sunbed etc. Sunbathing cannot produce Vit D in the UK from NOV to MARCH , as there is no UVB in sunlight in winter. Even in summer , there is UVB in light only between 11 and 3 pm. Outside these times the suns elevation is too low ,( below 45 degrees ) and then the atmosphere absorbs the UVB , so your skin cannot make it. Your skin is generally your primary source of Vit D. Normal diet hardly contains any Vit D at all. it really does make a great deal of sense to ensure your level becomes normal ...i.e. those levels found throughout human evolution , up above 100 , preferably around 120 - 140. You will see that even the NHS considers these levels normal , because we westerners do reach them , when we live an "ancestral" lifestyle , outside a lot , etc. However , the NHS also considers 50 normal , which is a mistake, it is however a very common level in this country. have a good read of that thread above ..!!

tobee you asked what is a safe daily dose of Vit D , Well, the American Institute of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, ( I O M ) have recently brought out a report saying that 10,000 IU daily is a No Adverse Event Level. NOAEL . and that 4000 IU is their TUIL ( Tolerable Upper Intake Level). for healthy adults. Nobody has ever been reported as suffering toxic effects from Vitamin D , at doses below 30,000 IU per day , or blood levels below 500 nmol/L, in the medical literature.

A healthy human can make approx 10,000 IU to 20,000 IU per day. from sunbathing in direct strong sunlight , any particular area of skin is saturated and cannot make more after 20 mins in strong sunlight. So there is no point in burning for hours on a beach ..! but these figures should enable you to see that small doses like 3 or 4000 are not physiologically harmful , they are in fact what you need to maintain a natural blood level in the region of 100 - 150.

Hope this is helpful.




tobee Sun 29-Oct-17 12:02:09

Ah thank you so much! I think all the 000s make me worry I’ve got it wrong! smile

FanjoBanjo1989 Mon 30-Oct-17 07:25:28

Thank you Bettertobehealthy, very helpful! I'm now taking 3000UI (75ug) a day and will keep on doing so for the next couple of months. With regards to a long-term maintenance dose, will 1000UI per day suffice do you think?

OP’s posts: |
Bettertobehealthy Mon 30-Oct-17 19:57:59

If your blood level was 32 at the end of summer , when your vitamin D is notionally at maximum from summer sunlight , then you are quite likely to be even more deficient over winter etc.
Your body requires about 70 IU of Vit D per kilogram per day, of your weight. That would be from all sources , food, supplement , sunlight, sunbed, if any.
Whenever your blood level is below about 100 your liver quickly converts your supplement ( Vit D3 - cholecalciferol ) to 25hydroxyD3. You body cannot efficiently use whatever D3 you have, in the autocrine and paracrine cellular system. It would be to your great advantage to maintain a level above 100 ... preferably 120 - 140. At these levels you will start to store cholecalciferol, it will be available to your cells to fight infection , etc. You have about 200 anti-microbial , anti viral peptide "receipes" in your DNA ( genes) . In order to make these defensive proteins you need Vit D available to the cell. Without sufficient Vit D3 - cholecalciferol diffusing throughout your body you are cannot fight infections as effectively. So, yes you may very well find that bouts of cystitis will reduce. Vit D also has immune system regulatory functions. IF your asthma is due to overactive immunity/allergy , then, yes , it could help with that as well.
In order for you to maintain a blood level above 100 , you are likely to require about 3000 IU permanently .... every day. People do respond differently ... some with much greater response , others with less, on AVERAGE 1000 IU per day , permanently , will raise your blood level by 25 nmol/L above the level that your normal lifestyle seems to produce . i.e.32 nmol/L . I am referring to a 75 kg adult .

My advice would be to measure your level , say after 3 months , on 3000 IU , perhaps here at this NHS Lab , , or ask your doctor . Often your doctor will not be forthcoming ... you may need to organise the test yourself.

Bearing in mind that your level became so low , I would not drop down to 1000 IU per day , until you know your levels after 3 months of supplementing , IF you did drop down , I would test your level 3 months after dropping , to make sure that your blood levels does not fall below 100. If it does , then increase supplementation again , until your level is well into the 120 - 140 range.

Are you by any chance vegetarian ... or do you have any gut maladies .... that may be the reason your levels are low , i.e. you are not absorbing very well the small amount available in animal products. IF that is the case , then a sublingual spray bypasses the digestive system and may give better results than say a tablet or oil filled gel cap.
As others on this thread have suggested , it may prove helpful for you , if you were to check blood levels of , folate, iron, Vit B12, thyroid . Although low Vit D can have a great many effects , there may be other causes of your symptoms. A great starting point of your investigation however will be to get your Vit D to where it should be, and keep it there. Try to ensure that you are getting your other vitamins and minerals , particularly magnesium, a know co-factor of Vit D. i.e. plenty of veg , particularly dark greens , some fruit etc.

Best of luck , hope all that is helpful. smile


shewolfmum Mon 30-Oct-17 20:43:26

Haven't read everything but don't take high levels of d on it's own it is a hormone and can be troublesome in least take with K2...better still magnesium..better still balanced multi vit or via cod/fish oil

cathyclown Wed 01-Nov-17 19:03:07

I have said this on another thread about Winter and that.

The dosage is so confusing on the containers.

At the moment I am looking at a Boots D3 10ug. I take one a day as recommended on the pack.

There is no information about IUs there at all, or the conversion of ug to IU!

Iu, ug, wtf is the right dose for a person who just might not get a lot of exposure to natural sunlight in Winter, i.e. most of us, not talking about deficiencies here, just a precautionary dose. Thank you.

starfishmummy Wed 01-Nov-17 20:29:16

Did your doctor test thyroid op?

Bettertobehealthy Wed 01-Nov-17 21:07:40

Hi cathy

10 ug ( 10 microgram ) is 400 IU ( International Units )

IF you respond as an average person , your blood level of vitamin D will rise by 10 nmol/L if you supplement by 10 micrograms (10 ug )

Just out of interest , this is the same daily dose as recommended by the US Government , for a newborn baby that weighs say 3 kgs. Here in Britain we recommend 300 IU for a 6 month old. It is pretty obvious that there is some disagreement about the optimal dose , particularly for a 75 kg adult. The Norwegians recommend 800 IU , the Italians 1000 IU , Even the Asda brand recommends 1000 IU per day.
If I was you, I would go for the highest one you feel comfortable with. We actually need enough to keep our blood levels up at least above 75 nmol/L as determined by some medical organisations , and above 100 as determined by many Vitamin D researchers.
The natural , normal level for humans and primates , over evolutionary time , in Africa , for millions of years has been 120 - 140 . In this country .... UK .... many of us are deficient, with levels around 30 - 70 , depending upon time of year sunlight exposure, skin pigmentation etc.

Hope this helps.


cathyclown Wed 01-Nov-17 22:25:53


Thanks for the information.

Still not enough clarification on the bottles of pills though for the layperson. All I have seen so far have been in ug.

I appreciate your response, but it is just so confusing!

I will speak to the pharmacist in Boots before the weekend. That is not to say that your advice is not helpful, of course it is, it gives a guideline. Unfortunately the bottles/packs often do not speak in IUs!

Ljlucock Mon 27-May-19 15:59:16

I know this is an old message. Ive been diagnosed with severely low vitamin d. How long to feel completely better? Especially the aches and pains xx

Oldmum55 Mon 27-May-19 18:10:02

About Vit D. Up to not so long ago we were told not to take supplements unless prescribed by GP as it could be easy to overload the system, as Vit D is not water soluble therefore the excess cannot be excreted from the body in urine. Now everybody is talking about talking supplements even for people living in hot countries! What's happened?

Autumnchill Mon 27-May-19 20:23:05

@Ljlucock I felt better within weeks on a high dosage

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