too much vitamin D?

anyone know if too much vitamin D causes muscle ache/spasms?

my endo put me on 50,000 i.u. of vitamin D every 2 weeks.

seems when i take it (within the same day or two days beyond) my muscles hurt

had a severe back spasm that left me totally immobile last time .. so fear of taking it this time.

have been taking it a while .. just wondering if it could be building up in tissues and causeing this pain (they only do blood work to chck levels (levels now in normal range)

also recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and have a frozen shoulder, sigh ... 12 months ago dx with autoimmune

any help would be appreicated


Edited April 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm

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28 replies. Join the discussion

I'm taking the same dose of Vit D as you. I have noticed a few more cramps in feet and hands but nothing unbearable and I can't say if the Vit D is responsible or not. If you are in the normal range now, how long do they want you to continue taking it?

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too much vit D builds up calcium in the body with problems from that but I havent heard about muscle spasms. As long as your kidneys can flush it should be ok while under a drs care taking that much for a brief time. from mayo clinic:

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Chalk, Thank you for posting the link to the article from Mayo Clinic.

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msgold ... good question "how long to keep taking it" ... i dont knw , the replacement endo i got was not interested in my asking questions, sigh ... will try to get that question answered next time i see her.

i decided yesterday to go to 5,000 iu every other day, instead of the big influx all at one time. Will see what happens with my levels at my next blood check.

chalk, thank you for the link also. And, i am scheduled to get a 'calcium uptake' urine test before next appt that is in a few weeks. Maybe that is how they check what my what my kidneys are doing? Will see.

Thank you both for taking time to reply!

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What I choose to believe is, vitamin D is technically a hormone "naturally" produced by the body . When for WHATEVER reason the D levels in the bloodstream aren't up to "normal," supplements are a good thing. However, it is my understanding that "vitamin" D is a fat-soluable vitamin (like A and E), which means it CAN build up in the fat cells, ( like in your liver) and becomes toxic to the body overall. What I choose to believe is, blood testing for circulating Dh3 levels, which indicate whether or not the vitamin D supplements are being happily processed between your liver and your kidneys should be done annually, ESPECIALLY if you have been diagnosed with a debilitating problem. I'm not messing around here. This is not a get -healthy vitamin supplement fad. These things which make us well can also hurt us. Doctor or no doctor.
What brand of vitamin D are you taking? Do you already use dairy products? Do you get the opportunity to go outside on sunny days? Did you have a Dh3 blood test done? Did you ask for a second opinion? Will your medical insurance even pay for this? Is your metabolic rate fast or slow? How much do you weigh? Etc. etc. etc. Good Luck, dear...

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50,000 i.u. of vitamin D every 2 weeks = 3 571iu/ daily
IMO It's time to change your endo.
Most people require in the region of 5000iu/daily D3 to maintain a 25(OH)D above 50ng/ml.

vitamin d GrassrootsHealth
The chances are that your ENDO has also prescribed the least effective form of vitamin D for humans.
Vitamin d 50,000Vitamin D2 Is Much Less Effective than Vitamin D3 in Humans

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I should perhaps have mentioned that raising vitamin D status does have the effect of quadrupling the amount of calcium your body can absorb. Most people will find that diet/water sources of calcium do meet the RDA (use an online calculator) and if it's far better to increase food sources than use calcium supplements which should be limited to 600mg/daily at most.

While most diets contain sufficient calcium it's often the case that MAGNESIUM is in short supply.
Most US adults consume about half the current (low) RDA for magnesium.
Therefore it is sensible to consider reducing calcium intake when increasing vitamin D3 and also to increase MAGNESIUM intake choosing an Albion Mineral magnesium chelate.
Dr's Best do a high absorption magnesium chelate as do Bluebonnet.
One capsule with each meal through the day is more effective than all at once.
It's also a good idea to consider Vitamin K2 MK4 to prevent excess calcium causing trouble in arteries.

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Health Input

Each Link in the information that follows should be looked at and not be skimmed over, as it systematically walks you through what you need to know:

I just had a surprise the other day, even though I run 3-5 miles 3 times a week, take 4,000 IU of Vitamin D3 and eat nothing but fat free or low fat foods. The main artery to my heart was 95% blocked, with 3 others blocked 80, 60, and 40%.

Then came the calcium report and NIH report that said that the majority of plaque is made up of calcium.

Vitamin D3 (2,000-4,000 IU) resulted in Too much calcium being in my blood. It clogged up my arteries in just 8 years. D3 puts so much calcium into my blood that it went into my artery walls instead of my bones.

NEVER take D3 or Calcium without first getting a blood test to see if your levels are within a normal range.

Taking Vitamin K2 is necessary to put calcium were it is supposed to go.

Discussion: In this pooled analysis of around 12 000 participants from 11 randomized controlled trials, calcium supplements were associated with about a 30% increase in the incidence of myocardial infarction and smaller, non-significant, increases in the risk of stroke and mortality.

(Scroll Down to Discussion)
Note: Logic says it is not just the supplements that you must consider but your total intake from all sources especially milk

From the National Institute of Health:

Increased Blood Calcium and Vitamin D in-d.html - inbox/12d6879d14506649

Our nutritionist showed us what she believed to be the best calcium on the market, derived from Algae or plant derived. See link for Bone Strength below, if you scroll down you will find the contents… Remember it is the balance of the nutrients contained in this product that is important since they work without the other can be bad news. - IngredientFacts

Who Will Tell the People? It Isn't Cholesterol

Vitamin K
By FAR THE MOST INFORMATIVE INTERVIEW I HAVE EVER LISTENED TO ….A MUST LISTEN (Set aside about an hour to listen to this interview):
Go here to listen to an interview of Dr. Vermeer……if it stops an starts, turn your volume off, minimize and let it run all the way through (about and hour and 15), then when you key play again, it will be in your cache so it will play without stopping and starting: dance-between-vitamins-d-and-k.aspx memberid=5263319 lood.html =BJN&volumeId=102&issueId=08&aid=6371256&bodyId=&membershipNumber=&societyE TOCSession=&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0007114509382100 - cjotab_tab2

IP6 Info. age=1

Resveratrol Info. ?source=nextag&utm_source=nextag&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=RESV#pricegrid

CBS News presentation

Plaque Removal in-d.html

Hope this info helps and pls pass on to help other...Phil

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The Vit d you are most likely taking is Vit D2, that is the prescription Vit D . You should be taking Vit D3. My Dr. says that NO ONE should take D2. I would advise to take liquid D3 drops, you can get at any good Vitamin shop, and take around 5000 iu daily, but this summer when you can get in the sun, do that. You can't overdose on Vit D from sunlight, and it is the best way to get your Vit D everyday. 30 minutes is enough time with no sunscreen ( that is another story)

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I had bone pain too at first.

My vitamin D was very low, I scored 12 and I was put on a similar therapy. I took 50,000 iu D2 (prescription) weekly for 6 weeks and was retested and my levels improved to 38. My doctor (internal medicine) now has me on 1500-2000 D3 (over the counter)daily. My doctor does not want me to go over D3 2000 iu daily and is not in favor of calcium supplementation either - due to the effects on the heart. I had my calcium and magnesium checked when I was retested to be sure that things were not out of balance. I am to continue with this amount of Vitamin D3 for 3 months and I am to be retested again for not only my D but other levels to insure that nothing is out of balance. My parathyroid is also being checked. I reccommend you ask your doctor to keep track of your situation on a regular basis so as not to upset the apple cart. Most doctors will start you on D2 prescription because they can control the situation better (the amounts) and they can target your progress. Most will agree that in the long run D3 is better.

When I initially started the high amounts of Vitamin D I had awful bone pain, and I was concerned. I hurt all over. I did a lot of reading about it and this is what I found out. I am quoting this from Kerri Knox who is a registered nurse and functional medicine practioner:

Muscle and bone pain is a side effect of vitamin d that is not so easy to remedy and is actually a sign that you really NEED TO CONTINUE taking the vitamin d. If you experience Pain from Vitamin D this very likely means that your bones have become somewhat demineralized from having vitamin d deficiency for a very long time. When your bones are demineralized and you begin Vitamin D Therapy, this can cause calcium to begin to go back into the bones. When the calcium goes into the bones it drags fluids with it. This fluid can actually cause a small expansion of the 'collagen matrix' inside the bones and this expansion pushes out against the exterior covering of the bone which is very inflexible and has extensive nerve endings.
When this occurs, you can experience this as bone pain or even muscular pain. If you experience new or worsening pain from taking vitamin d, it is NOT Vitamin D Contraindication, a reason to be scared or to stop taking the vitamin d. If you continue with the Vitamin D Therapy, the pain should subside in several weeks. While uncomfortable, you will be better off in the long run if you manage the pain for this time and 'get through' to the other side.
Her website:

My doctor verified this information when I asked.

Also Dr. Susan Brown of "Women to Women" and the "Better Bones" website reiterates this in her writings. She has a lot of information to weed through but I highly reccommend you read through her site as she is not only an MD but an Anthropolgist. She has the right credentials IMMHO.

Phil is correct. High amounts of supplementation can be tricky and should be monitored and balanced.

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Re "Most doctors will start you on D2 prescription because they can control the situation better (the amounts) and they can target your progress. "
There is absolutely no evidence to support the above statement.
Doctors use ERGOCALCIFEROL D2 because it is a licensed and patented medicine BECAUSE drug companies can sell it for more money (because it is patented) it's worth them getting it licensed as a medicine.
Because CHOLECALCIFEROL is a NATURAL substance it cannot be patented therefore people (drug companies) cannot make money out of limiting/controlling it's supply, therefore it isn't worth their while applying to get it licensed.
The truth of the matter is that
Vitamin D2 Is Much Less Effective than Vitamin D3 in Humans
and it is far harder to control because it isn't the form human bodies use. We cannot predict who will be able to convert D2 to D3 and there have been several people on this forum reporting escallating doses of D2 up to 3 x 50,000iu//daily/ergocalciferol on doctors orders because they are unable to metabolise it, whereas common sense would be to use the human form in the first place. D2 ramps up the rate of vitamin D usage so the more D2 you take the faster your body gets rid of it. The situation is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the claim made.

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little-peanut .. thanks for your reply! was good to know that what i 'thought' might be going on surely could be. .. bones rebuilding.

everyone else .. thank you .. i have come back here and read the replies many times and want to reply to each .. i find it soo overwhelming to 'think of the right words' that i end up saying nothing .. i feel agitated with self for that. I do want you to know that you stimulate my body and brain to take care of myself and continue the fight for health (which is hard for a person that feels worthless a lot) .. all i can say, is a BIG thank you for being here : )

i was again today trying to find a place locally to get the MK4 only. It is ahard quest. Not much energy left to expend with all the 'stuff' going on right now in life. Little by little, with sure-footedness, i lean into the wind and strive.

Thank you for the support.

and btw, anyone see my post about beeswax allergy?

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oh, i forgot to say ..

i did double check with my pharmacist (very trusted) and he said i am on vit D3, not D2. I was sure i asked that several months ago when my endo prescribed 'D3' and i did confirm it today. Get blood levels checked again in about a week.

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While there are plentiful sources of 5000iu D3 I am not aware of many sources of the 50,000iu version where you say
"my endo put me on 50,000 i.u. of vitamin D" The only licensed 50,000iu available for prescription is ERGOCALCIFEROL. So whatever your pharmacist is telling you if it looks like either of these it's D2.
vitamin D2
The reference numbers should match though the colour hue varies slightly and some are more on the blueish side rather than greenish.

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Thanks Ted,

You inspired me to go back and look up the original printout included with the rx and read it (happy i save those). You are indeed right! The 'trusted' pharmacist just got lowered to 'not so trusted' pharmacist. When i see him, i will let him know that what he told me was incorrect.

I will be converting to the 5,000 D3 daily. I am still looking for a local MK4 that will work with it (and does not contain beeswax).

Thanks again : ) .


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I have aches and pains with low vitamin d then when I take too much they come back again. It's a trial and error with the d.

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TEST YOUR BLOOD LEVELS FREQUENTLY AND RULE OUT HYPERPARATHYROIDISM. I assume your endo did this. You can get drops or gel caps of D3 over the counter. If you are having cramps, be sure to take magnesium. Without magnesium, I get cramps in feet and legs that have occasionally made me have to pull over and stop driving and walk them out.

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I had hyperparathyroid and had it removed in December 2010. My calcium levels are perfect but my d is Low. I still have the achyness so I take 2000 units of d and then I feel good for a few weeks then it starts over again. I had blood tested again calcium good d still low. I have been reading that too much d gives the leg cramps so today decided not to take any d at all and so far I feel good but I seem to have the most discomfort at night so will see tonight. If I should try magnesium how would you recommend taking it. I used to take calcium with magnesium and it worked wonders but with the hyperparathyroid having too high calcium I stopped. Not sure if I started again If it would be too much calcium. I try to eat nuts and flax seed and flax seed oil that is a good source of magnesium not sure if that is enough though. It is so frustrating trying to get this figured out.

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Thanks Ted. You make some very good points.

Also Millie that is good information that cramps can be a magnesium deficiency.

I like the fact that we have this forum to help us figure things out.

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Hi Cheeks1112,

i am using the search box at this very moment to check out how to get magnesium

i have constipation (use metamucil at nite after dinner presently).. so i am trying to find the type of mag supplement that helps with that (because the magnesium doesnt get absorbed well)

i am also looking for what kind of, and how to get, magnesium that IS absorbed well .. for help with muscles and Vit D3 absorption ... looks like there is a way to make a spray for skin .. i found this in another post (forgot which one) :

"Swanson Vitamins also sells a large bottle of Mg chloride flakes for about $12. You put about 1/3 of a cup in 1/2 cup of water in a jar (don't use a metal lid), then apply about a teaspoon on your skin every day - anywhere, it doesn't have to be on the feet. There is nothing wrong with dilutiing it if your solution is a little too strong, and the exact amount isnt critical."

I am ready to take MK4 (a type of K2) to also help with the D3 absorption .. am having prob finding a MK4 locally .. all the K2 i am finding is MK7 .. think i will have to break down soon and order th MK4 by internet (i am stubborn about finding things locally so i can go back to the store if unsatisfied) .. i may have to give up control over that one lol

ok, my neck hurts being on computer for soooo long today (research research research) .. ending for now

oh, wait there was another post i started where ppl were very helpful regarding the magnesium .. was .. ummm .. 'vitamin d cause muscle spasms' i think .. tango replied there and i remember it being very helpful

ok .. that's all i got for now .. hope it helps .. remember to breathe while researching .. it's impt too!!

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