Surprising Truth About Excess Of Vitamin D

Why is Vitamin D Important Vitamin D Deficiency

Surprising Truth About Excess Of Vitamin D

Hello All!!

Have you ever heard about vitamin D toxicity? It is something pretty rare but it does occur when one consumes extreme doses. It doesn’t happen all of a sudden but develops over time. Mostly vitamin D overdoses result from consumption of high amounts of vitamin D supplements. It is not possible to get excess of vitamin D from the sun or from food.

Surprising Truth About Excess Of Vitamin D

Why is Vitamin D Important Vitamin D Deficiency

Let us have look at it in detail

How does vitamin D toxicity happen?

Vitamin D toxicity means that vitamin D levels are so high in the body that they can cause harm. It is also called hypervitaminosis D.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. Unlike water soluble vitamins, it is not easy for the body to get rid of fat soluble vitamins. This is probably why excess of it gets built up in the body.

Hypercalcemia is the main symptom of vitamin D toxicity, which refers to elevated calcium levels in the blood. High levels of calcium can cause a lot of health issues.

How much vitamin D is excessive?

As much is not known about vitamin D toxicity and how it works, it is difficult to define the precise threshold for safe or toxic vitamin D intake. The Institute of Medicine says that 4000 IU is a safe level of daily vitamin D intake. But even doses to the tune of 10,000 IU have not shown symptoms of vitamin D toxicity in healthy people.

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As already mentioned, vitamin D toxicity is caused by consuming excess of vitamin D supplements and not by sun exposure or diet. Though this condition is rare, the recent increase in usage of supplements had lead to an increase in cases of vitamin D toxicity. Toxicity in humans is seen when there is a daily intake ranging from 40,000-100,000 IU i.e. 1000 to 2500 micrograms for 1 to several months. It is 10 to 25 times the recommended upper limit. In several cases the toxicity is due to errors in manufacturing of the supplements, when they have 100 to 4000 times higher vitamin D than what is stated on the package.

Vitamin D toxicity is by large reversible but when it is severe, it may cause kidney failure and calcification of arteries.

Vitamin D Toxicity- Symptoms and Treatment

Hypercalcemia is the main consequence of vitamin D toxicity. The early symptoms of hypercalcemia are nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and weakness. People may also develop excessive thirst, high blood pressure, a varied level of consciousness, calcification of kidney tubes, kidney failure and even loss of hearing.

It may take a few months to resolve hypercalcemia as vitamin D gets stored in the body fat and is slowly released into the blood. Treating vitamin D toxicity involves avoiding exposure to the sun and eliminating dietary as well as supplemental vitamin D. Your doctor may also help in correcting your calcium levels by increasing salt and fluids.

Large vitamin D doses can cause harm even without showing symptoms of toxicity

At times the symptoms of toxicity may not appear right away. It may take months or even years for the symptoms to show up. This is probably why it is difficult to detect vitamin D toxicity.

To be on the safer side, don’t exceed the 4,000 IU upper limit of vitamin D without consulting the doctor.

The bottom line

Different individuals respond differently to high vitamin D doses. It becomes hard to evaluate what dosage is safe and what is not!

More is not always better. So, before supplementing yourself with vitamin D consult your doctor.

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