I am a healthy 28 year old male, living in NJ, USA. For the past three months, I had been feeling fatigued/sluggish and a bit off. My main symptoms were brain fog(a spacey/hazy feeling with a difficulty in concentrating) and fatigue. I had been reeling from a long bout of antibiotic associated diarrhea/ibs which was slowly reducing (and has mostly resolved by now) only to be hit by this. When this ill feeling persisted despite getting more rest/sleep and relaxation to reduce anxiety/stress, my GI suggested that I see a neurologist as the main symptom was the brain fog.
The neurologist had me tested for vitamin D, B, a CBC and also got an MRI. The vitamin D came back as quite low (16.5 ng/mL) and B12 as 437 pg/mL (which though normal is slightly on the lower side). I got a call from the nurse who suggested that start taking vitamin D (400IU) and vitamin C (1000mg) a day. On reading the posts here I realized that 400IU is barely adequate, and I have slowly upped the dose to 800IU and then to 1200IU a day. I am planning to up it to 2000IU gradually. It has been two weeks since I started the dose and I can't say that I have seen an improvement, though the fatigue seems to be slightly less. I am scheduled to see the neurologist again in 10 days and I will definitely talk to her about upping the dose, possibly to 50000IU/week as well as supplementing with calcium and magnesium.
My symptoms terrified me a lot initially, though reading posts here I am somewhat convinced that this might be a correct diagnosis, as people seem to have similar symptoms. However, I am not 100% convinced that vitamin D deficiency is the only reason for my symptoms. Mainly because my symptoms started somewhat suddenly, I can pinpoint the week that I had my first "off" day and the number of "off" days started increasing as time went by. Did anyone else experience this? My reasoning is that if you are not getting your required vitamin D intake your vitamin D levels should gradually fall and the symptoms should slowly build up over time? Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this.
I am still looking at the possibility of gluten intolerance (I have tested negative for celiac through blood tests and endoscopy) as brain fog and fatigue seem to be common in gluten intolerant/celiacs when ingesting gluten. However, I will wait for my vitamin D levels to come back up before trying a gluten free diet. I am also planning to visit an endo to see if something else is out of balance. Another thing that I am worried about is whether the vitamin D deficiency is isolated or if it is simply a symptom of a more serious problem. Anything I should be worried about?
Here is an update, I heard back from the nurse, the MRI seems OK. My brain fog continues though, I guess I have to be more patient and hang in here for a couple of months at least. I have an appointment with my neurologist on Friday. I will try to talk to her about increasing my vitamin D dosage.
Many people here have mentioned supplementing with magnesium, is there a test for checking for magnesium deficiency or did you just start with it?
Another update, I have upped my intake to 6000IU daily after discussing with the neurologist, Although she didn't seem very positive that Vitamin D deficiency was the reason for the symptoms. I will get tested again next week. In the meanwhile any insights/comments/suggestions would be welcome :)
1) Sudden onset of symptoms. This was not my experience. It may be tied to your other treatment, as for example those who have had gastric bypass surgery cannot absorb vitD as well. My onset was very gradual over long-term.
2). Vit D cannot work without magnesium. Other co-factors are vitA, vitK and boron. I started taking Mg last week after slowly regressing in my symptoms (fatigue / confusion) in month 2 of my 3 month 50,000 U D2 prescription. I started feeling better right away. Make sure you take a soluble form of Magnesium, not magnesium oxide which does not dissolve. vitD absorbs better with oil and fiber inhibits absorption. Protein also affects vitD absorption.
Here's a good site for reputable, up-to-date medical info: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminD/
I got tested last week for Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium. My D levels increased to 31 ng/ml (up from 16.5) after 4 weeks of supplementation - 3 weeks on 1200IU and 1 week on 6000IU. So it looks like my body is absorbing Vitamin D quite well. I plan to be on 6000IU for about a month more, which, at this rate, should take me to beyond 50 and then reduce it to 2000IU for maintenance. I seem to be slightly better, fatigue is less and the mental fogginess is slightly less (at least the worst days are fewer). Now that my levels are normal and increasing, if I don't feel significantly better in a month, I might have to start looking into other causes.
My Calcium levels went up from 9.1 mg/dL to 9.7 mg/dL, which is expected as vitamin D increases Calcium absorption. However, I am also a little concerned that increased D levels might cause hypercalcemia, so I plan to taper down after a month. I also got my Magnesium levels tested and they were 2.0 mg/dl (normal range 1.8 - 2.6), so I seem to be doing fine on that count.
beckyscience, Thanks for your reply. What Mg supplement/brand do you use? I did consider supplementing earlier, but all I could find in the local CVS was Magnesium oxide.
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