When I was initially tested for a suspected vitamin D deficiency, my serum level was 7.8 ng/mL which is practically non-existent! I was having a lot of pain, including very tender bones and achy muscles. In fact, my bones almost felt “squishy” when squeezed. Vitamin D, in conjunction with Calcium, is necessary to maintain bone density. It took two years, close monitoring, and certain experimentation to find the amount of supplementation I needed to raise my serum levels from 7.8 ng/mL to 61 ng/mL.
The amount of supplementation you might need to take varies upon your age, body weight, BMI, skin pigmentation, the season, and amount of sun exposure. I have a larger BMI and do not get much direct sun exposure. To maintain a current serum level of 68 ng/mL, I take 10,000IU daily of vitamin D3 which is an amount considered to be safe based on various studies using even higher levels. (see Hathcock JN, Shao A, Vieth R, Heaney R. Risk assessment for vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(1):6-18.)
Please note that you should consult with your doctor and be tested before beginning supplementation or altering current supplementation. Your needs will vary depending upon your current situation.
One concern with taking higher levels of vitamin D, with or without extra calcium, is the development of a condition called hypercalcemia. In a new case study published in the January 2012 edition of Archives of Neurology, researchers share that “overexposure to vitamin D produces symptomatic hypercalcemia, with possible weakness, fatigue, depression, confusion, stupor or coma, polyuria, nephrolithiasis, renal failure, ectopic calcification, conjunctivitis, fever, chills, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and constipation.” (see Marcus JF, Shaley SM, etc. Severe Hypercalcemia Following Vitamin D Supplementation in a Patient With Multiple Sclerosis: A Note of Caution. Arch Neurol. 2012;69(1):129-132.)
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Vitamin D Supplementation, MS Patients, and Hypercalcemia