Vitamin D supplements. Stop when level is normal?

Megrose489
Megrose489 Member Posts: 745
edited 27. Mar 2015, 06:50 in Living with Arthritis archive
In June last year I was found to be very deficient in Vitamin D - 22.2nmol/l. I was prescribed a high dose by a gastroenterologist and bought supplements from the chemist as a maintenance dose, at the instruction of my GP. A blood test last month showed that my level was now normal.

My GP has now told me that, as my level is normal, I don't need to take any more supplements and, only if I feel under the weather before my next annual blood tests (February 2016), will I need to add Vitamin D to the list of blood tests taken. He has told me to eat healthily.

I feel a little unsure about stopping the supplements. I am a pale-skinned redhead and am definitely not a sun-worshipper. I was shocked to find how low my level was last year. I got the impression that the GP believes that if the level is low, then one would feel unwell. Is this the case? Also, I'm sure I've read that low Vitamin D levels can be connected to various illnesses. So, I would rather not become so deficient again.

I'd be grateful for comments and points of view, please. Thanks. :)

Meg

Comments

  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis and the gp prescribes Vit D tabs for me. I had my Vit D tested and the result was good but I am still prescribed the Vit D. Most Vit D is obtained from the sun. Like you I am not a sun worshipper although I used to be. There are not many foods that provide Vit D. Eggs do for instance but you would have to eat an enormous amount of them or so I understand. Rollmops are a good source of Vit D and I do like them! I am not sure that one feels unwell if one if not getting enough Vit D. I often feel tired but that is not because I am not getting enough Vit D. I probably do too much and go to bed late and get up early!

    Elna
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 745
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks, Elna. Yes, I remember reading that Vitamin D is mostly obtained from the sun, but it threw me when my GP said just to eat healthily. I have been taking 25 micrograms of Vitamin D3 daily, but am now wondering whether to lower the dose to 10 micrograms, which is the recommendation for the over 65s on the NHS Choices page, and just carry on.

    I'm seeing my physio again next week, so may well ask her opinion, too.

    Meg
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,098
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think you have a very valid point. I take a combined calcium / Vit D supplement for my osteoporosis. I've never been told my Vit D was low but the two came combined and I am over 65 so I'm happy to take it. If you are over 65 and following NHS guidelines I don't see that you can go far wrong. Your pharmacist might be a useful source of info but, at the end of the day, if it's still nattering you, go back to the GP and make sure you end up doing what's best for you. It's possible to take too much as well as too little.
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 745
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Sticky. I've just ordered some Vitamin D3 10 micrograms. I was a little concerned about the 25 microgram dosage I was taking, as I also take Bendroflumethiazide and I understand that this combination can raise the calcium levels, which was why I asked at the surgery in the first place. The GP rang me last night, which was good of him, but I was surprised to be told to stop taking the supplement altogether!

    Anyway, I'm happy to take the NHS recommended dose. I'll discuss the possibility of future blood tests when I see the practice nurse for my next medication review. I didn't agree with the GP's comment about only being eligible for a blood test if I feel ill.

    Meg
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am taking a Vit. D supplement bought in Sainsbriz (not a huge dose version but requested by my rheumatologist) and will take it throughout the year: I am fair-haired, on meth, bendro and other 'junk'; my skin now tends towards photo-sensitivity thanks to the drugs so my exposure to sun has to be limited. I may reduce the dose come the summer (e.g. by taking a tablet every alternate day) because I do sit out for ten minutes twice a day, uncovered, to get the natural stuff but I still think it worthwhile to carry on with the supplement. I haven't noticed much difference to my energy levels but natural sunlight improves my morale. DD
  • AnnaMilton
    AnnaMilton Member Posts: 44
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes, that’s great move Meg. Instead of stopping them altogether, switching to lower dose sounds better. Especially if you are above 65, and not getting enough sun exposure, taking a supplement is an effective way to get the vitamin D your body needs. It’s true that, lack of vitamin D is related to not only to many major illness like diabetes, but also mood swings and feeling of tiredness even after good night’s sleep. So I am not much agreeing with your GP’s statement on blood test eligibility only when you are “ill”.

    Continue taking healthy diet as an additional support. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mushroom, and tofu can be good source of vitamin D. but relying solely on diet to get enough vitamin D is unlikely to give you the vitamin D you need. Only thing is keep your GP/pharmacist in loop. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means your body has a hard time getting rid of it if you take too much.

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