Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis: My Numbers

Last month, I was catching up on the doctors' visits and routine blood work. While at the neurologist's office, I picked up an order for the appropriate laboratory tests which would satisfy the needs of all three of my doctors (neurologist, rheumatologist, internist), including a test to measure vitamin D levels.

    One blood draw + One laboratory report

    = Three satisfied doctors + One happy patient

When requesting to have your vitamin D levels checked, it is important to ask for the 25(OH)D(3) or 25-hydroxyvitamin D test which is necessary to detect true deficiency.

In September 2008, I measured severely deficient in vitamin D at 7.8 ng/mL. Since then, we have been randomly checking the progress on my attempt to increase those levels. So far the highest I have obtained is 44 ng/mL.

Vitamin D Deficiency

As you begin to read the vast amount of research conducted on vitamin D and its effect on various diseases, you will soon see that finding a recommendation for optimum serum levels can be difficult. For one thing, the recommendations have changed dramatically over time. For another, there are two different measuring systems referenced in the literature.

    nanograms per millilitre (ng/mL) or nanomoles per litre (nmol/L)

For simplicity, here is a chart which summarizes the current recommendations:

    25(OH)D Levels and Health Implications

You can see how my measly 7.8 ng/mL is nonexistent. Last month's results came back at 36 ng/mL. Good, right? 36 ng/mL measures "sufficiency." Well, not really.

Read this post in its entirety:

Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis: Where Do I Stand?


  1. Wow, your level was lower than mine and you are back up to 36. Mine was at a 9 and the highest I went up after having labs twice was a 23. I had it taken again last week and I should be getting my result tomorrow. I am hoping it at an acceptable level so I can stop taking 100,000 UI of Vitamin D.

    When I get the energy I have an interesting post about MS...The complexity of MS never seems to amaze me. If it is not one thing it is another. However, I did find the stregnth to do a post to support my daughter dream.

  2. Ya, my level was really pathetic at the beginning. At first I took the prescription 50,000IU, 3x per week (1 month), then once weekly (1 month), then every other week. But at that point, my symptoms started returning so we went back to weekly. It took over a year of this to get the levels temporarily up to 44 (or so).

    Then I started using only OTC vitamin D at 2000IU at first and this winter I moved up to 5000IU daily. Even taking 5000IU let my serum levels drop to 36. So we've added back the 50,000IU weekly.

    It takes alot to get those serum levels up!!

    Hey, I saw your post about your daughter's audition for Glee. The brother of the creator of Glee blogs and runs a health-related company.

    Uncharacteristically, I left him a comment on his blog with a link to your post and your daughter's audition page. Just in case it might get her a little more attention. Probably not, but you never know.

  3. Mine was a 12 the first time it was checked, back in early 08. After two years of taking lots of vitamin d it is only up to 28. frustrating!!! Glad to know I am not alone in this struggle

  4. Thanks Lisa, the votes are coming in...over 700 gold stars as of today.