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Vitamin D deficiency

(14 Posts)
VaguelySkeletal Fri 08-Nov-19 13:14:47

After 6m of acute illnesses and apparently unrelated chronic pain, 17yo dd has been diagnosed with borderline Vitamin D deficiency. With the NHS's usual blinding efficiency, the first she knew about it was the text from the pharmacy notifying her that her medicines were ready for collection today.

She hasn't had any letter from the hospital or the GP, and the first GP appointment available is 3w from now.

We've been browsing OL to educate ourselves, but would appreciate some advice, suggested resources, experiences etc. This is completely new to us.


OP’s posts: |
gower4 Fri 08-Nov-19 13:18:42

Hi, I've had this - felt really ill for months. Main thing is to push the GP and find out exact results so you can know how deficient she is, make absolutely sure she gets the right booster dose (a big dose for a number of weeks) and maintenance dose (daily dose thereafter). The pharmacist should be able to tell you the guidelines if you get the exact blood result.

Good luck!

VaguelySkeletal Fri 08-Nov-19 13:59:19

How soon after you began taking the supplement did you notice an improvement in your well-being?

OP’s posts: |
gower4 Fri 08-Nov-19 14:35:26

Quite a while, unfortunately. What are her symptoms?
I had bone pain which improved after a couple of months but took a good 6 months to resolve and even now it's not perfect. I'm much older though!!
I also had dizziness and occasionally get it now when run down.

VaguelySkeletal Fri 08-Nov-19 14:56:52

Bone pain is the worst for dd, but she keeps getting UTIs, too, and some depression.

OP’s posts: |
TheBridgeIsOver Fri 08-Nov-19 15:09:34

Do you know what her level is?

I was diagnosed with this 5 years ago. I had aches and pains, severe exhaustion, depression, thinning hair.

After 6 weeks of taking supplements I felt massively better. The exhaustion disappeared. I used to have to drag myself out of bed in the mornings even after a good amount of sleep and I’d (not exaggerating) be crying because I was so tired. I’d also get dreadful sleepiness in the afternoons. It was wonderful to get rid of that.

My GP prescribed 20,000 iu tablets - one a day for two weeks - and then a maintenance dose of at least 3000iu a day going forward. I have taken it religiously since, upping the 3000 iu to 5000 iu from Nov-Feb when it’s darker.

Hecateh Fri 08-Nov-19 15:54:51

I discovered a few things from reading about Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is massively unrecognised and underdiagnosed. The lower end of the NHS spectrum is just about enough to prevent rickets and is not enough for optimal health.

If you are taking vitamin D you will get better results by taking vitamin D3 in oil rather than the vitamin D2 the the NHS often, but not always, prescribes. To get the best results supplement with vit K2 as well as it aids absorption.

There is lots of information out there and it is really worth having a good read. Many experts say the NHS prescription level isn't enough, after the loading doses. I tend to agree from my own experience but that is something you need to decide for yourself.

I know taking Vit D made such a visible difference to me I influenced my daughter, sister and 2 brothers and their wives to take it and they all say they are benefitting from it.

I take 4.000iu per day in summer and in winter I take an extra one every other day. I took 10,000 for 2 years and my blood level was still only mid range after the first year. It is now in the top 25% which is where I want it.

Bettertobehealthy Fri 08-Nov-19 16:49:21

Hi OP ,

Here is a lot of information , in this thread. It could be useful.
I posted quite a bit below as well.

Lots more here ,

In those threads I have tried to give an overview of human physiology and Vitamin D. They should help you decide what to do , after your DD prescription has run out. Don't just stop taking a supplement of some kind.

Best of Luck.

If I can help with any more info, just get back to me. I have actually posted many times here on Mumsnet , all about Vitamin D , just search my nick.


VaguelySkeletal Fri 08-Nov-19 17:27:47

So the supplementation is life-long?

Do we know what causes the deficiency? I think dd gets enough sunlight.

OP’s posts: |
VaguelySkeletal Fri 08-Nov-19 17:44:15

Thanks BTBH. Very interesting and informative. Do you have any citations? (Not doubting you, I just like to read sources for myself.)

Also reminds me that I need to restart my own VitD, which I take over winter and spring. Dermatologist told me to take animal-origin D, as it is more bio-available than vegetarian D, and to take double the dose recommended on the bottle.

OP’s posts: |
Bettertobehealthy Fri 08-Nov-19 20:33:23

hi OP,
Low vitD can be caused by many things.
Primary amongst them.
1) We just are not exposed to enough of it . Either through sunlight on skin , or through food. I explained in those above threads that we are tropical animals , where UVB radiation was available every day. Our physiology evolved in a high Vit D climate, now we hardly get any from sunlight. You need to be outside in strong sun , sometime between the hours of 11 and 3 pm , exposing large areas of skin. The period of 6 months , Mid-Oct to Mid- April , simply does not have UVB in sunlight , here at our latitude of 50+ degrees. It only takes 20 mins to saturate any particular area of skin , in strong sunlight. When sunbathing , we can make 10,000 to 20,000 IU per day. BUT there is no need to burn . definitely NOT advisable. It is very unlikely that your daughter gets enough sunlight , under those above conditions. IF she did , she most likely would not be deficient in Vitamin D . The reason you might think that she only needs light on face and hands , perhaps , is because a few years ago , it was thought that our requirement was for only 200 IU per day. Which was widely promulgated, and widely believed. You could get that , from a 10 min walk to a bus stop. We now know much better. That is incorrect. It is not nearly enough.

Foods contain very little vitamin D , natural foods like fruit and veg have none whatsoever ( unless artificially fortified . ) That's why vegetarians and vegans are at risk. Years ago , pig lard had lots of Vit D , nowadays we use veg oils , which have none. Wild oily fish has some , but farmed fish is much depleted. e. g. farmed salmon only 1/4 the amount. Vit D3 is a mammalian hormone. Technically it is a seco-steroid pro hormone. We need vitamin D quite frequently , to go 6 months over winter with not much , is not a good idea.

2) It is possible that you might be getting some Vitamin D through food , but not absorbing much of it. For instance , if the subject has IBS , Coeliacs , Crohns, bile or other gut problems.

3 ) Genetic Problems , For example, we may not be able to utilize what we have , for instance the CYP2R1 gene may be less effective in some people. VitD receptors on cells may be less effective in some people.

4 ) ..... the list is rather long . It includes , lack of co-factors , such as magnesium , that might be a reason, etc etc.

I'm glad you want to read up on the subject. Here is a site which gathers together a great number of the published medical/research papers on that and closely related subjects.

Here is another site , which has myriad references , details of research etc.

IF there is any specific area that you want to know more about , then just get back to me, and I should be able to find it. PubMed is another great resource , it has many of the worldwide publications , gathered together in one American database ( National Centre for Biotechnology Information) 30 million refs. of Biomed literature.

hope that is useful,

TheBridgeIsOver Fri 08-Nov-19 21:38:13

I will definitely be taking it daily for the rest of my life, as I never want to feel like that again!

My level when I was diagnosed was 12. After 6 months it was 60, another 6 months 85 and my last test (a year ago) was 102.

I don’t ever want to get low again, as I felt like I had some sort of serious auto immune illness or similar...really desperately low and unwell. Such a simple thing to fix.

I knew why mine was low, though. I work in an office 9-5 and for months of the year I don’t get any natural light. I also always wore factor 50 & big sunglasses <vain>. I now make sure I get out in bright sunshine when ever I can or 20 mins or so first thing without sunnies and before I apply sunscreen, to soak up a bit of natural Vit D.

PollyFeather Fri 08-Nov-19 21:43:27

I was diagnosed about 5 weeks ago with a deficiency. I was about 27 which is properly deficient

I've taken 4000iu of vitamin D a day along with a K tablet (apparently gets the D where it needs to be!) for five weeks now. After 3 weeks, I had a repeat test. I was up to 73. So it works and it works quickly

@Bettertobehealthy was very very helpful to me

PollyFeather Fri 08-Nov-19 21:45:26

Oh and mine was low because I'm vegetarian, work from home so don't go out much and I actively avoided the sun over the summer

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