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Vitamin D Defficancy
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Vitamins are substances that your body needs to grow and develop normally; if you have low levels of certain vitamins, you may develop a deficiency disease. Supplements can also be important to provide your body with extra nutrients depending on the activities you do. Discuss topics including vitamin deficiency, food to counter vitamin deficiency, sufficient vitamin levels, and supplements.

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Vitamin D Defficancy

My doctor just recently ran a new blood pannel and found that I have a vitamin D defficancy (sorry if that's spelled wrong). I'm now on vitamin D once a week to make up for what's missing.

I wondering if there's anything specific that causes this? Medications, medical problems, anything?

I'm on gabapentin (nerve pain), amitriptyline (low dose for GI pains), and provera (for PCOS), along with some OTC stuff. I've got a liver disorder, electrolyte embalances, fainting/dizziness problem, tremors (hands, arms, torso sometimes) PCOS, chronic nerve pain from a surgery I had two years ago, and a gluten intollerance. The surgery wad for a benign dermal fibrous histiocytoma on my upper right arm. I was told that I should stay out of the sun without protection to keep the tumor from coming back, and I've been careful, but I haven't kept myself locked in the house all the time, I just use a lot of sun screen.

I guess I just would like to make sure I didn't do something wrong and bring this on myself...

Thanks!
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1972289_tn?1325881410
Many, many people are deficient.  It's very common in many areas of the country.  I would ask your pharmacist if any of your drugs inhibit vitamin d.
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay, thank you :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Do you know what your D level number is?  Gabapentin is a drug that interferes with the absorption of Vitamin D.  Because of this, you should be on 50000 UI per week until your level is normal.  After that, if you are still taking Gabapentin, your maintenance dose should be at least 5000 per day.  I am also deficient due to a drug.  I have been on 50000 for 8 weeks.  Waiting for results of 2nd testing, should receive next week.  If they are still low, I will be taking 10000 per day.  When did your symptoms begin?  Could take longer for symptoms to fade depending upon how long you have been deficient.  Many docs do not check D levels and are not aware of the  seriousness of severe D deficiency.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh my goodness. I didn't know this. I wasn't even told this by my doctor!

They never told me my number. My doctor literally came in to the appointment one day and was like, "You should take vit D". So I just went with what she was telling me. I didn't even think about the drug because I really haven't had problems with it lately. I had some stomach pain and dizziness in the beginning, but that went away within the first two months.

All my weird medical stuff started when I was in 5th grade. Now things are getting a lot better with exercise and diet changes, and my numbers are looking good. But I feel weird when I don't take the Vit D, I've noticed it.

I'm only on 2000 right now. Should I up the dosage? Or should I wait to talk to my doctor? I take an all-natural kind that I got at the health food store that I shop at.

Thank you so much for the help! Gosh, I didn't even know the gaba could do that...
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Avatar_f_tn
Posted a response earlier, but it did not show.??   So, here I go again.  I am not surprised that you were not told about the absorption issue with Gabapentin.  Unfortunately, many docs are not interested in Vit D and are not aware.  I am also on a drug that interferes with D.  Over the past 12 years I have seen many docs attempting to find out why I was feeling so horrible without an answer. None did a D test.  Went to an Endocrinologist who should have caught it.  Went to a Neurologist who should have told me about the drug interaction, as he prescribed it.  PCP had no idea.  The Neuro just shrugged his shoulders and told me he had no clue.  PCP told me I was no "spring chicken".  Yikes!  2 months ago I went to my OB/GYN and told her I was tired of feeling sick and tired and my symptoms were worsening.  I could barely get up a flight of stairs.  She thought I might be D deficient, did a test and it showed my level was 18ng.  She immediately put me on 50000IU once a week.  I could have avoided years of feeling horrible if any of the other docs had done a D test.  You should call your doc and find out your level number.  Below 30 is deficient, below 20 is seriously deficient, below 10 is severely deficient.   5000 per day is not going to harm you, however it will not help much if you are seriously or severely deficient.  1000-2000 is only a maintenance level for those who have reached a normal level and have no drug interference.   You should also take a Calcium supplement, needed to replenish bones and teeth that have suffered due to lack of D.  How long it will take to reach a normal level depends on many factors.  The lower your number, the longer it will probably take.  Could take 3-12 months.  Also, try to spend a little time in the sun whenever you get a chance.  D overdose is extremely rare.  You would have to take mega doses daily for a long period to get a toxic effect.   I have heard since D is stored in your body, you will have to replenish the store before your body uses it.  That is why it takes so long to begin to feel better.  Some symptoms hang on for a while even after you have achieved a normal level.  Recovery takes a lot of patience.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much!

Yeah, none of my doctors told me my number, just to take the pills. And then I was talking to my aunt about it at a party, and she says she's also got Vit D defficency. Then my grandma comes around the corner and tells me it's a genetic thing. Like awesome, would have been nice to know, guys... haha :)

But I wasn't told about the gabapentin. I looked back over the packet thing the pharmacy gave me and I found it listed in there. I am going to call my doctor and ask about upping the dosage, and I will get some Calcium tablets, as well.

I was amazed, once I started taking the Vit D, how fast I started feeling better. I have more energy, I'm happier, I don't have head-aches like a I used to. I dance, too, and I've noticed I can go longer with more strenuous routines than I used to be able to! It's crazy how different your body can be with only one vitamin being low.

I have an Adolescent Health appointment coming up next month---this is the one who caught the defficiancy. Do you think I would be able to request getting my levels checked so I can see where I'm at? And is this the doctor I should talk to about upping the levels?
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow - I was not aware the deficiency could be genetic.  If that is the case, then you have a fight on your hands with the genes and drugs.  I take it you are under 25?  If so, your body will recover quicker than someone older.  Probably why you started feeling better quickly.  Also, if you have not been deficient for long, your recovery will not take long.  As far as asking those who caught your deficiency - absolutely YES!  If they did the test and told you about the deficiency, they had to have your level number to determine you were deficient.  They will have your level number on file.  You need to know the number to know how deficient you are and how much it needs to increase to reach a normal level.   Example:  If your level is 28ng, it should not take long before you have a normal level - depends on your dosage.  If your level is 15, it will take more time.  Plus, since it is genetic, you will probably want to take a D supplement your entire life.  Ask them about that too. You mentioned you were taking only 2000 IU once a week, that does not even equal the minimum requirement set by the FDA - which is super low.  My level was 18ng and was told to take 50000 IU once a week for 6 weeks..  Mega doses need to be taken to replenish Vitamin D store - then I will go on a maintenance dose.  Tell them you think your dose should be adjusted to offset the genetic and drug factors, not to mention gluten intolerence - which can also cause D deficiency.  Do ask them to do another level check so you can compare it to your first test results.  Hopefully, your level has increased.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, I'm under 25---I'm 16 right now, I'll be 17 next month.

I will make sure to talk to my doctor about getting those levels checked, then. And seeing about if I could take the dosage up a little bit.

I've noticed a change in my dancing already, I can move so much easier. And my shins don't hurt as much as they used to.
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Avatar_f_tn
OK - you are a "spring chicken"!   Since you have so many risk factors for deficiency, you will want to keep on top of this.  Don't let what happened to me, happen to you.  My deficiency was not caught for over 12 years despite many doc visits.  When it was finally diagnosed, I was almost unable to function.  Things like:  muscle weakness, difficulty walking, extreme fatigue, weight gain, memory loss, skin and hair issues - just to name a few.  Lack of D can wreak havoc on a body.  Since you are young and diagnosed early, you have not developed many of the symptoms deficiency can cause over time.  Your recovery should be fairly quick.  The key is keeping track of your level number.  Once you are no longer deficient, have your level checked at least once or twice a year.  You will want to keep it between 30 - 100.  Don't forget to tell your doc about your drug, genetic issue and gluten intolerance.  Doc might not even be aware that these all inhibit D absorption  - so educate him/her.  Keep me posted on how you are doing.  
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Avatar_f_tn
My doc knows about the gluten, and she's the one who suggested this homeopathic pill I take that lets me eat some gluten. It's like Lactaid, but for gluten, it's called GlutenEase.

The only symptoms I've noticed is feeling tired, and sometimes dizzy, but I haven't felt those since I started the Vit D. I cracked a tooth last summer---before I was diagnosed---and when I told my dentist recently about the Vit D, he said that explains why my tooth broke so easily...

I'll be getting my levels checked next month, and hopefully everything will pan itself out soon :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Remember to watch on your D levels from now on, even after you have reached a normal level.  Since you are genetically inclined to deficiency, you will not want to slip back.  Ask your dr what your maintenance dose should be considering your genes and medication.  Even if you stop taking Gabepentin, you still have a risk factor.  Might want to have your levels checked at least twice a year to be sure they remain in the normal range.  Don't wait until you have deficiency symptoms.  You have youth on your side.  You will probably heal faster.  Take care of your health.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much :) I talked to my nutritionist the other day and she said they plan on looking at the levels. I go in to them in a few weeks again, so they said we're probably going to do labs then. I need labs for GI anyway (gluten allergy and liver problem) so we figured we would knock them all out at once.

I'm hoping to be off the gabapentin within a year, but I don't know if that's possible. I'm going to be a senior in high school next year, and after that I'll be out East for college. I don't want to have to worry about multiple perscriptions. I would rather just be on the Vit D (if I have to be still) and my vitamins and gluten enzyme pills that I buy at the health food store. I'm also on amitriptyline for pain, but I wanna be off that one, too. I just don't know if that's actually possible, medically speaking, for them to take me off so fast, especially since I just started the amitriptyline
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello again, first post didn't work or was not complete. I related to your story as I was also found to VDD at a level 18 by my ob/gyn. That was after complaining to my family physician for 3 years. Seeing a neurologist for headaches and neck pain and a rhuematologist. I can't imagine suffering for 12 years, hopefully relief is in site now for you. I was wondering about your comments regarding calcium supplements. I had a  CBC done a few days prior to D test for my yearly physical. It showed my calcium to be in the normal range. So I don't know if I should be adding that. I have added 250 mg of magnesium daily along with the 50,000IU D2 prescribed. Unfortunatley I was given no other info. Doctors office just called and told me to take the scrip. One funny thing is that about 4 years ago I went to an herbal specialist for fun with a friend who takes it very seriously. They told me to take calcium and magnesium way back then. Ouch, guess they knew something just by looking at me. Haven't told my friend yet about this, LOL.
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay, thank you!  I'm definately considering adding those two to be careful.

I'm feeling better now, that's for sure. I can feel the energy coming back in to me. It literally is like coming back to life, I feel myself getting stronger, I can dance and run longer. I've also noticed I don't get as worn out after I perform on stage... Maybe it's psychological, but I didn't notice these things until I started the vit D
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Avatar_f_tn
I was just told my  vitamin D level is 4.  Been taking Gabapentin since last fall for whAt I believed to be neuropathy...which has been under control since diagnosed last June...being told by an assistant that bs had been high 2 yrs early but not informed til June 2013.  Symptoms muscle and foot pain, preventing sleep.  Now I am told I have osteoporosis and should start Fosamax and taking 50,000 units do D to bring levels up.  Now I wonder if my soupy proms were more due to a Vitamin. D deficiency than type 2 neuropathy.... Feel that if Gabapentin prevents absorption that this could be my real problem.... Depressed and completely confused on what to do..
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