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Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol or calcitriol)

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Altostrata

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the preferred form for supplementation. It is the kind naturally found in humans and easiest to absorb (from Dr. Weil http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02812/vitamin-d ).
 
Adequate vitamin D is necessary to good health. It is a pro-hormone for various hormones.
 
While research is limited regarding which form is best, it seems vitamin D3 in oil is better absorbed than that in tablet form http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3033429/ Sublingual may be the best way to take it; you can keep a caplet in your mouth or under your tongue until it dissolves. It also available as a liquid, with vitamin D3 in olive oil.

From US National Institutes of Health MedLine Plus http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002405.htm
 

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's fatty tissue.

Function
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Calcium and phosphate are two minerals that are essential for normal bone formation.

Throughout childhood, your body uses these minerals to produce bones. If you do not get enough calcium, or if your body does not absorb enough calcium from your diet, bone production and bone tissues may suffer.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis in adults or rickets in children.

Food Sources
The body makes vitamin D when the skin is directly exposed to the sun. That is why it is often called the "sunshine" vitamin. Most people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs this way.

Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. As a result, many foods are fortified with vitamin D. Fortified means that vitamins have been added to the food.

Vitamin D is found in the following foods:

Dairy products

  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Fortified milk (all milk in the U.S. is fortified with vitamin D)
Fatty fish (such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel)
Oysters
Fortified breakfast cereals, margarine, and soy milk (check the Nutrition Fact Panel on the food label)

It can be very hard to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone. As a result, some people may need to take a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D found in supplements and fortified foods comes in two different forms:
  • D2 (ergocalciferol)
  • D3 (cholecalciferol)
Side Effects
Too much vitamin D can make the intestines absorb too much calcium. This may cause high levels of calcium in the blood. High blood calcium can lead to:
  • Calcium deposits in soft tissues such as the heart and lungs
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Damage to the kidneys
  • Kidney stones
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, poor appetite, weakness, and weight loss
Recommendations
Ten to 15 minutes of sunshine three times weekly is enough to produce the body's requirement of vitamin D. The sun needs to shine on the skin of your face, arms, back, or legs (without sunscreen). Because exposure to sunlight is a risk for skin cancer, you should use sunscreen after a few minutes in the sun.

People who do not live in sunny places may not make enough vitamin D. Skin that is exposed to sunshine indoors through a window will not produce vitamin D. Cloudy days, shade, and having dark-colored skin also cut down on the amount of vitamin D the skin makes.
....

In general, people over age 50 need higher amounts of vitamin D than younger people.....

Vitamin D toxicity almost always occurs from using too many supplements.

The safe upper limit for vitamin D is:
  • 1,000 to 1,500 IU/day for infants
  • 2,500 to 3,000 IU/day for children 1 - 8 years
  • 4,000 IU/day for children 9 years and older, adults, and pregnant and breast-feeding teens and women
One microgram of cholecalciferol (D3) is the same as 40 IU of vitamin D.

Alternative Names
Cholecalciferol; Vitamin D3; Ergocalciferol; Vitamin D2

 


NOTE: Vitamin D is a daytime vitamin. Even if you take it in the morning, it can keep you awake at night. Be sure to start low and don't take too much.
 
What about dosage? According to respected naturopath Chris Kresser in his Aug. 2, 2016 article Vitamin D: More Is Not Better http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-d-more-is-not-better/

 

Vitamin D status is measured by 25(OH)D in blood....

 

There is little to no evidence showing benefit to 25(OH)D levels above 50 ng/mL, and increasing evidence to suggest that levels of this magnitude may cause harm.

....

Beyond vitamin D: The many benefits of sunlight

Vitamin D is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of sunlight. A recent 20-year study following 29,518 subjects found that those individuals avoiding sun exposure were twice as likely to die from all causes (21). While this study did not assess vitamin D levels, findings from other epidemiological studies suggest that this cannot be accounted for by the increase in vitamin D production alone.

Indeed, humans make several important peptide and hormone “photoproducts” when our skin is exposed to the UVB wavelength of sunlight (22). These include:

  • β-Endorphin: a natural opiate that induces relaxation and increases pain tolerance (23, 24)
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide: a vasodilator that protects against hypertension, vascular inflammation, and oxidative stress (25)
  • Substance P: a neuropeptide that promotes blood flow and regulates the immune system in response to acute stressors (26)
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone: a polypeptide hormone that controls cortisol release by the adrenal glands, thus regulating the immune system and inflammation (27)
  • Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone: a polypeptide hormone that reduces appetite, increases libido, and is also responsible for increased skin pigmentation (27)

Exposure to the UVA wavelength of sunlight has also been shown to have benefits, including increasing the release of nitric oxide from storage (28). Nitric oxide is a potent cellular signaling molecule that dilates the blood vessels and thus reduces blood pressure (29).

 

In addition to the production of photoproducts and release of nitric oxide, sunlight also entrains circadian rhythms. Exposure to bright light during the day activates neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, which sends signals to the pineal gland that regulate melatonin production. Disruption of circadian rhythm has been associated with mood disorders, cognitive deficits, and metabolic syndrome (30, 31).

....

 

Based on my assessment of the literature and my own clinical experience, I believe the functional range for 25(OH)D is around 35 to 60 ng/mL. However, I can’t stress enough that there is significant variation among populations. For those with non-white ancestry, the optimal range may be a bit lower. For those with autoimmune disease, the optimal range might be a bit higher (45 to 60 ng/mL) to maximize the immune-regulating benefits of vitamin D. Here are a few recommendations for optimizing your vitamin D level.

  1. Don’t supplement blindly.
    If your 25(OH)D level is:
  • less than 20 ng/mL: you likely need some combination of UV exposure, cod liver oil, and a vitamin D supplement
  • 20 to 35 ng/mL: get your PTH tested. If PTH is adequately suppressed (less than 30 pg/mL), supplementing is probably unnecessary.
  • 35 to 50 ng/mL: continue your current diet and lifestyle for maintaining adequate vitamin D
  • greater than 50 ng/mL: try reducing your vitamin D supplements, and make sure you are getting adequate amounts of the other fat-soluble vitamins to protect against toxicity
  1. Get retested!
    Check your levels after three to four months to see if you have achieved or maintained adequate levels of vitamin D. If not, adjust your diet, lifestyle, or supplements accordingly and check again in another three to four months.
  1. Get sunlight or UV exposure as your primary form of vitamin D.
    Reap the many benefits of sunlight beyond just subcutaneous production of vitamin D, and reduce your chance of achieving toxic levels. Spend about 15 to 30 minutes, or about half the time it takes your skin to turn pink, in direct sunlight. Sunscreens not only block production of vitamin D, but also all of the other beneficial photoproducts produced in the skin in response to UVB.
  1. Mind your micronutrients to protect against toxicity.
    Try cod liver oil as a good source of vitamins A and D and high-vitamin butter oil or pastured butter and ghee for vitamin K. Sweet potatoes, bananas, plantains, and avocados all contain significant amounts of potassium. Consider supplementing with magnesium as it is very difficult to get adequate amounts of this micronutrient from food due to soil depletion.

 

 

The entire article bears reading, as it indicates how much good health depends on integration of many nutrients and human experience in the natural environment.

Edited by Altostrata
updated

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BentBuddha

I spent a couple of days researching Vitamin D. I have settled with the recommended dose this lady suggests. One thing I have noticed with it is it's great for symptoms of muscle weakness and mood. During WD I have felt so weak. Sometimes tired, but more accurately I would describe it as a feeling of weakness. The mood lift isn't a serotonin type mood lift. It's diferent. Not sure how I could describe it as it doesn't feel like a dopamine mood lift either. I still have all the troubles of WD but I'm more active and not so emotionally bummed about it. That's the best I can do. Oh, and I noticed I can tolerate caffeine better. I have it once a week after my daughter is picked up by her mother and it gives me a buzz without the anxiety i was getting prior supplementing Vit D. Tho the next day my head hurts like some sort of inflammation. I'm way too scared to try alcohol. Maybe in 12months

 

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Nikki

Hi.... I just did some research online for my BFF who has to take mega doses of Vitamin D with Calcium for a bad case of osteoporosis in her hip.

 

I may consider taking some with Calcium, a small dose because I do live in Florida. I don't have my usual tan and haven't had one in awhile. Need to spend a Saturday on Juno Beach.

 

There is something so healing and relaxing from a day in the Sun and the Salt Water.

 

Is there a Magnesium that does not cause the runs? I have Magnesium Glycinate.

 

Hugs

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alexjuice

Hi Nikki,

 

I've been taking Vitamin D on recommendation from my doctor. And am being monitored. I am gradually building up to the recommended dose, which is a guideline I try to follow.

 

Too much vitamin D can cause toxicity so, if you plan to supplement (2,000 or more a day), the typical medical advice (I'm neither typical nor a medical professional) is to get a baseline reading and follow up after several weeks. Once your D is up to desired level, dose to maintain level is much lower.

 

25-hydroxy vitamin D is a blood test your doc can order. If you don't have insurance or a cooperateive doc, you can order the lab yourself for around $50, unless you live in a state (MA, RI, NJ, NY) which requires a doctor's visit, by using a prepaid lab.

 

Alex

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Altostrata

How much vitamin D to take in a supplement depends on the individual. Perhaps you get a lot of sun, or vitamin D from other sources. Like all supplements, more is not better!!!

 

The Mayo Clinic on the function of vitamin D http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-d/NS_patient-vitamind

The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. It is used, alone or in combination with calcium, to increase bone mineral density and decrease fractures. Recently, research also suggests that vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.

The Mayo Clinic on the maximum dose of vitamin D for adults http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-d/NS_patient-vitamind/DSECTION=dosing

Vitamin D is included in most multivitamins, usually in strengths from 50 IU to 1,000 IU (international units), as softgels, capsules, tablets, and liquids. Since 2000, discrepancies have arisen regarding the benefits of vitamin D and how much is sufficient. Safety research supports an upper limit of a dose of vitamin D to be more than or equal to 250 micrograms daily (10,000 IU of vitamin D3). The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has reviewed and updated the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). The IOM found that there is strong evidence to support the use of vitamin D with calcium for bone health but that it was lacking for other health conditions. The new recommended daily allowance (RDA), as set in 2010, is based on age, as follows: for those 1-70 years of age, 600 IU daily; for those 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; and for pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily. The IOM further recommended that serum 25(OH)D levels of 20ng/mL (= 50 nmol/L) is adequate, and levels > 50ng/mL (= 125 nmol/L) could have potential adverse effects. This level can be achieved through substantial daily skin exposure to sunlight.

Dr. Andrew Weil on vitamin D supplementation http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02812/vitamin-d

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the daily Adequate Intake (AI) for adults is 5 mcg (200 IU) daily for males, female, and pregnant/lactating women under the age of 50. People 50 to 70 years old should get 10 mcg daily (400 IU) daily, and those over 70 should get 15 mcg daily (600 IU). Based on recent research, Dr. Weil recommends 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day. Look for supplements that provide D3 (cholecalciferol) rather than D2 (ergocalciferol). Anyone with vitamin D deficiencies should discuss intake levels with his or her physician.

The Mayo Clinic on vitamin D risks http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-d/NS_patient-vitamind/DSECTION=safety

Excess vitamin D intake may increase the risk of falls or fractures. Other potential adverse effects include increased risk of urinary tract infections, decreased appetite, weight loss, an elevated international normalized ratio, hypercalcemia (increased calcium in the blood), hypercalciuria (increased calcium in the urine), hypervitaminosis D (high blood levels of vitamin D), elevated creatinine levels, gastrointestinal complaints, and increased cancer risk.

 

Vitamin D toxicity can result from regular excess intake of this vitamin and may lead to hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, and excess bone loss. Individuals at particular risk include those with hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroids), kidney disease, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, or histoplasmosis (examples of immune disorders). Chronic hypercalcemia may lead to serious or even life-threatening complications and should be managed by a physician. Early symptoms of hypercalcemia may include nausea, vomiting, and anorexia (appetite or weight loss), followed by polyuria (excess urination), polydipsia (excess thirst), weakness, fatigue, somnolence, headache, dry mouth, a metallic taste, vertigo (dizziness), tinnitus (ear ringing), and ataxia (unsteadiness). Kidney function may become impaired, and metastatic calcifications (calcium deposition in organs throughout the body) may occur, particularly affecting the kidneys. Treatment involves stopping the intake of vitamin D or calcium and lowering the calcium levels under strict medical supervision, with frequent monitoring of calcium levels. Acidification of urine and corticosteroids may be necessary. To return vitamin D levels to normal, the supplement is discontinued.

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Altostrata

....

Is there a Magnesium that does not cause the runs? I have Magnesium Glycinate.

 

Hugs

 

Mag glycinate is one of the best absorbed forms. Try taking less of it. Personally, I can tolerate only about 50mg-75mg at a time.

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Nikki

Thanks...I find that it does have a soothing quality.

 

Hugs

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BentBuddha

Try not to let the numbers scare you. There's been much more learned about D3 in recent years and the toxicity levels. Will paste some more when I'm home. I'm at the library at the moment. The previous recommended levels have been woefully inadequate.

 

It only take about 15mins your bathers on a sunny day to get up to 20,000IU's.

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alexjuice

For about 2 weeks I've been supplementing D3 to correct deficiency. I've had to back off twice already due to some suspicious side effects. I've not yet come close to my endocrinologist's target but haven't been able to tolerate the original goal which was 5,000IU/day.

 

(I'll probably not even need that high due to sensitivities, but my prescription is in 50,000IU pills and I'll not be using them b/c that dosage seems unwise.)

 

In doing some research, I've learned of risk of hypercalcmia on high dose d3. Proper magnesium levels are necessary but insufficient. Additional supplemenation with Vit A and K is recommended.

 

I am backing off for a bit and working to add these co-factors in proper proportion for best d3 utilization.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17145139

 

"Physicians and other health care practitioners would be able to treat patients with doses of vitamin D that possess greater therapeutic value than those currently being used while avoiding the risk of adverse effects by administering vitamin D together with vitamins A and K."

 

On the adrenals message board, a patient there (not a doctor) said he uses: 10,000IU VitA, 1mg VitK(2) per day.

 

Alex

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BentBuddha

I know someone who's been taking 10,000IU's for a long time and is somewhat a health professional. Not sure exactly his title but I know he's not a qualified Naturopath Doctor. I think it's a good idea to get your levels checked, tho I don't feel it would be wise from a doctor. Reason being is that when they tell you your levels are 'good' they're judging that on numbers from their education - which is the same education that suggested taking antidepressants is medicine. I don't trust the paradigm they're stuck in and unless I'm in an emergency situation, I personally would only go to a Naturopath Doctor (like the woman in the first clip) as they seem to be much more up to date with studies and more extensive in their testing. To each their own but that's what I believe. Could be my paranoia of doctors after the damage they did to me. I'm admittedly terrified of them.

 

 

I've got a number of websites and youtube clips on D3 but I won't paste them all. I've chosen 5000IU's as my personal daily supplement and it's probably wise for ppl to do their own homework rather than go by my biases if i paste a lot of links and clips. Anywhere between 1000IU's and 10,000IU's would be safe in my opinion but if you can get your levels checked and know what the up to date recommended levels are then that would be the wise thing to do obviously.

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Altostrata

I'm very wary of megadoses of vitamins for anyone, and especially if your nervous system is injured by withdrawal.

 

BB, as ever, you seem to want to push the envelope with dramatic health interventions. (If you get a lot of sun, I question whether you are doing yourself any good by taking a lot of supplemental D3 anyway.)

 

I have to say again that I would not recommend megadoses of vitamins for anyone tapering or experiencing withdrawal syndrome.

 

alex has a certified deficiency; he's a special case (in so many ways!)

 

alex, you might want to try food betacarotene instead of synthetic vitamin A. Betacarotene is a provitamin A: Your body can convert what it needs to vitamin A. Plus, food betacarotene contains a bunch of other associated nutrients.

 

I took Natural Factors BetaCareAll food betacarotene supplement for a few months because I thought it would be good for my gut (repairs mucus membranes). I don't know if it helped, but my gut did get better.

 

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamina-HealthProfessional/

Provitamin A carotenoids such as beta-carotene are generally considered safe because they are not associated with specific adverse health effects. Their conversion to vitamin A decreases when body stores are full. A high intake of provitamin A carotenoids can turn the skin yellow, but this is not considered dangerous to health.

Note all the foods containing vitamin A, including liver. (Can you tolerate soups made from pumpkin, squash, or carrots? They're very easy to make, and even taste good cold.)

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Rhiannon

I have a friend (who is NOT on psych drugs, never has been, and not in any kind of withdrawal) who swears that D3 supplementation has helped his mood and optimism and ability to cope with stress.

 

Another thing about D is, unlike psych meds, you don't have to take it every day, you can skip days. I think. It's fat soluble so your body holds onto it.

 

I wouldn't compare D3 the body makes with the oral supplement, as far as safety. We don't know enough about how that compares. Might be fine but it's apples to oranges.

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alexjuice

I think limiting supplementation is ideal for surviving antidepressants, or any of the psych meds.

 

We are all impatient, us as humans, with being sick. And w/d symptoms are hard to predict. That's a bad combination because, speaking for myself, when I am struggling I do not care much about unwanted consequences, I just want relief.

 

However, since our process is nonlinear, often some struggle will resolve or improve independent of extreme intervention. But I can't know that in advance and I read of some supplement and rush out and try it in my desperation. But then maybe a new instability, one unnecessary, arises. in periods of distress it is hard to rationally consider downside.

 

Basically, I think of a line by Bob Dylan: When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more...

 

I'd think I'd be more aware of downside potential, if I could relive the last 2 yrs. knowing what I know now. Maybe others, finding themselves in an earlier stage than I find myself, will benefit from hearing that.

 

Vitamin D supplementation might be hugely beneficial for mood and other things in people not as criss crossed as I am. I wish I was better off, I could try it with less issue.

 

Alex

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alexjuice

Alto,

 

I got some chicken liver from the market and plan to try your recipe for pâté. I'll let you know, but it sounds tasty.

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Altostrata

Watch out for overcooking -- those suckers cook fast.

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BentBuddha

5000IU's is dramatic? I'd have to disagree. Not trying to be argumentative, just sharing my findings and experiences of what up to date, and trusted experts recommend, and what's working for me and of course recommending ppl do research and make up their own minds.

 

D3 causes gene expression amongst other things. It's not a stimulant like caffeine or 5htp. It's elevated my mood without causing the stress on my brain that stimulants would and I have far less of those days where my head hurts coupled with body weakness. Maybe 1 in 10. Far less than previous. My brain is so sensitive that if i eat chocolate or drink a cup of tea i go into major anxiety, yet even 20,000IU's of D3 (which i was taking at the beginning to get my levels up) had no effect on anxiety or any thing like that. If anything, it's somehow made caffeine less 'stressful' and I got a buzz off it. Was nice. I didn't get anxiety but the next day my head hurt.

 

I don't care what levels ppl take as I have read days worth of info on how safe d3 is. Even 2000IU's a day would give a noticeable effect.

 

Dr. Michael F. Holick is Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics; Director of the General Clinical Research Unit; and Director of the Bone Health Care Clinic and the Director of the Heliotherapy, Light, and Skin Research Center at Boston University Medical Center. He wrote the book "The Vitamin D Solution" and I consider him the authority in D3, and even he takes a minimum of 3000IU's a day while his levels are up and checked regularly to keep them where he wants them. That's on top of daily sun exposure he gets on his arms and legs while bike riding (and he's white as a ghost so he would absorb D3 from sun well).

 

"The Vitamin D Solution, I suggest that for children during the first year of life, up to 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day is safe. Children from age 1 to 12 years 5,000 IU of vitamin D a day is safe. All teenagers and adults can easily tolerate 10,000 IU of vitamin D a day without concern for toxicity."

 

Quoted from one his interviews.

 

5,000IU's a day for an adult I don't regard as dramatic. I consider it a safe amount and that's the level I've settled on.

 

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alexjuice

Hey BB,

 

As someone who is highly sensitive and currently experiencing a dramatic reaction to about 5,000iu taken off and on for only two or so weeks, I speak from experience.

 

I think part of this disagreement is that you are quoting experts touting safe doses while I am expressing doubts about those doses for people with compromised nervous systems. Two glasses of wine in the evening once a week pose essentially no health risk and there is surely an expert somewhere who wrote a book about the miracle of wine. But for a person in acute w/d, imagine benzos, wine could be horrifically destabilizing.

 

That's why we can't quote experts in a lot cases or trust doctors. They aren't modeling with brains like ours.

 

And if you feel that d3 at x dose is a good idea for you, nobody will stop you from taking it. But how can you say it's safe for people in w/d right after I posted I had to stop and scale back due to unwanted effects. And, btw, I didn't share these effects, I've shared enough on here believe me. That said, trust me no man on earth would continue on x,000 iu of d3 if they experienced what I experienced and continue to experience.

 

Alex

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BentBuddha

I'm also in WD, in hyper sensitive state taking these doses with only benefits. Even 20,000IU's had no negative effects. Different strokes.

 

Wine is a stimulant, D3 is a hormone natural to the body. Not really comparable but i get the point you're making.

 

Sorry to hear you're having a harder time with it. Just sharing info, ppl know their own bodies and will have to experiment.

 

On an unrelated topic Alex, I brewed my Kefir (500ml) for 48hrs with grains left in and no itchiness. It must have predigested the casein properly.

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Skyler

Hi all.. there are different strokes given the varied way we respond to vitamin D3. In addition, the recommendations have also been readjusted in the last couple of years. I took 5,000 units a day with no problems, but adjusted the dose down on reading newer research findings. link

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Altostrata

Whatever dosage of D3 you choose to take, titrate up slowly from a low dose (i.e. 200-400IU) to see how your nervous system responds. Don't buy the 1,000IU or 5,000IU capsules to begin with.

 

Results in people whose nervous systems are hypersensitive are unpredictable. A large slug of D3 all of a sudden at once may well make your symptoms worse.

 

Also, in case it is activating for you, don't take D3 in the evening.

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alexjuice

Some thoughts on Vitamin D:

 

With Vitamin D, like supplements generally, it is important to start low and build up. Gradually. I hope Alto's point on this is taken.

 

My experience with D has caused some unwanted effects that are still unresolved, namely pain in certain body parts and rigidity of certain blood vessels. I am discouraged by these effects, another uncomfortable reminder that I must go sloooowly as they are the result of a cautious, but notcautiousenough administration schedule.

 

Since I think I have absorption problems, I am/was deficient in several co-factors necessary for optimal assimilation. My hypersensitivity due to CNS topsy-turvyness probably worsened my reaction.

 

My bloodwork shows low vitamin D, below 30 units/xVol. My doctors prescribed high dose d3 which I know will be untolerable. Still, I need to raise these levels.

 

Working to correct both the deficiency and the effects caused by d3 supplementation, I've found some recommendations worth passing on.

 

For anyone following GAPS, the protocol recommends fermented natural Cod Liver Oil, specifically the Blue Ice Brand for those able to get it (Americans can but I'm not sure about those elsewhere.)

 

According to the book GAPS Guide:

 

Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil is a tremendous source of EPA, DHA, Vitamins A, D, E, & K, Omegas 3, 6, 7, & 9, as well as Price Factor X (Vitamin K).

 

Weston A. Price Foundation makes following recommendations regarding CLO and the fat-soluble vitamin A and D.

 

Brand Recommendations - Updated 2012

 

Most brands of cod liver oil go through a process that removes all of the natural vitamins. The resultant product contains very low levels of vitamin A and virtually no vitamin D. Some manufacturers add manufactured vitamins A and D to the purified cod liver oil and until recently, one manufacturer added the natural vitamins removed during processing back into the cod liver oil. Fortunately, we now have available in the U.S. a naturally produced, unheated, fermented high-vitamin cod liver oil that is made using a filtering process that retains the natural vitamins.

 

The high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil is sold as a food so does not contain vitamin levels on the label. However, after numerous tests, the approximate values of A and D have been ascertained at 1900 IU vitamin A per mL and 390 IU vitamin D per mL. Thus 1 teaspoon of high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil contains 9500 IU vitamin A and 1950 IU vitamin D, a ratio of about 5:1.

 

The link goes on to provide recommendations for the "BEST" and "GOOD" brands available in the US and outside the US.

http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/cod-liver-oil-basics#brands

 

For those who are unfamiliar or disinterinted in GAPS as a referrer. The Vitamin D Council comments on co-factors, here:

 

In order to receive the most health benefit from increased levels of vitamin D, the proper cofactors must be present in the body. Vitamin D has many cofactors, but the ones listed below are the most important. Magnesium should be considered the most important one of all.

 

Magnesium

Vitamin K

Vitamin A

Zinc

Boron

 

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-cofactors/

 

Also, since vitamin D is stored in the body, you may find you get an adequate amount at levels below those recommended.

 

I got positive results at first with very low doses. I took this as an "all clear" to increase towards doc's "target". This was a mistake. My doc's "target" was set without regard to my hypersensitivity. As a result, I got undesired effects so I wish I had been more patient with the low dose for a longer period.

 

I take comfort that others might learn from my impatience.

 

Assuming I can tolerate it, I may try these GAPS-approved natural sources of vitamin D and its needed co-factors to address my diagnosed deficiency.

 

I fully intend to start off at a low dose.

 

best,

Alex

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Altostrata

Thanks for the info, alex.

 

I'm happy to hear a little bit of vitamin D made you feel better.

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Rhiannon

I just found a liquid vitamin D3 at Walgreen's that's 400 IU per teaspoon. Brand name is "Finest Natural."

 

Might be an option for people who want to add some D3 but be able to control the quantity carefully...?

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Altostrata

Good find, Rhi.

 

My impression is that Walgreen's Finest Natural is a reliable brand.

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Christiana

Hi Friends, I've been having one of the most horrible relapses ever. I've had a really bad reaction to too much vitamin D, but not too much, as in too much for a normal person, just too much for me. Unfortunately, I feel as though I'm nearly back to where I was with my symptoms at the start of my withdrawal and tomorrow will be a week, since it all started. Not long ago, my doctor tested my vitamin D and it was found to be extremely low. I was advised that's a really bad thing, as it can cause a host of health problems, even make the symptoms of my withdrawal worse, and I should do my best to try to get it back within normal range as soon as possible.

 

A few weeks ago, cautiously, I consumed 200IU of vitamin D3 and that left me feeling really bad for about a week or so, thus I didn't take anymore of it. Exposing myself to the sun for 20-30 minutes a day doesn't seem to pose a real problem for me though, but it's been in the triple digit temperatures here, so getting it that way has posed a problem for me, since the high heat makes me feel really bad. As a last resort, my doctor said to go to the tanning bed for just 5 minutes at a time and to start very slow with building up my frequency and duration. I had 2 free coupons for a place nearby, so I figured I didn't have anything to lose by trying. I went twice in one week, but I separated my visits by 3 days in between. The manager, then the owner, put me in what they called a "mild" bed and assured me that 10 minutes of exposure would be just fine, so that's what I did. I burned a tad bit on my back, yet my body remained hot all over for quite awhile afterwards. Needless to say, I haven't been back since, as my withdrawal symptoms have been so intensified I can barely function. Not just physically, but mentally too.

 

I don't understand the mental part, especially the horrible depression I'm having right now, as I thought vitamin D was supposed to help with that. I realize it's not really a vitamin, but a hormone, so what it's done to me, I have no idea. I did start my period a few days late in the midst of all of this, but I haven't struggled this much with it in quite some time, although it's always guaranteed to make my withdrawal symptoms worse for 7-10 days out of the month. I phoned my doctor, explained what's going on with me, and not knowing for sure how much vitamin D my body took in each time I went to the tanning bed, their best guess is several thousand IUs. Ugh! 

 

When I asked what I could do to feel better and how long it would take for it to leave my body, knowing it's fat soluble, I was told to eat foods rich in antioxidants (colorful fruits and vegetables) and it could be a few weeks, but each day I should feel slightly better, until it resolves and I return to the baseline of my withdrawal symptoms, which still remain very bothersome. They admitted it's a powerful hormone capable of even raising glutathione in the body, which can lead to a detoxification reaction. That I didn't know. I was pleased they said it could aggravate my withdrawal symptoms though.

 

They also mentioned the electromagnetic frequency the tanning bed bulbs emit could cause me problems too. Electromagnetic frequencies and people having health issues from them is something I know a bit about, but need to learn more to fully comprehend all the issues surrounding it. I feel so sad and overwhelmed from my withdrawal symptoms, just knowing I've done this to myself and it's going to take awhile for this needless extra suffering I'm having to lessen, but I also feel validated to hear them say vitamin D is capable of aggravating my withdrawal. It's been 3 years and almost a month now, since I started having withdrawals, so it's nice to know they're finally connecting my increased sensitivity to vitamins, herbs, minerals, supplements, medications, etc. with my withdrawal.

 

I just never, ever thought I'd have such a severe reaction to a tanning bed, given exposing myself to the sun doesn't seem to cause me such a harsh reaction, although I do notice somewhat of an increase in my withdrawal symptoms, but not enough to make me feel this sick.

 

During this time, I also took 2 Percocets, at different times on the same day, because my back was hurting me so very bad, but the only thing I noticed, at the time I took them, was a little nausea, which went away after they started working. As well, I took 1 Zofran for nausea, which was several days after I took the Percocets. My withdrawal symptoms which have either recently came back or increased in intensity because of all of this: Nausea Diarrhea Stomach cramps Lack of appetite Lack of thirst Urinating more Headache Head pressure Back of head burning Extreme fatigue or insomnia Achy body pain all over Awful anxiety Sweaty hands and feet Rapid or slow heartbeat Racing thoughts Severe depression Daily multiple crying spells Night sweats Waking up gasping for air Thoughts of fear, doom, and gloom Sensitivity to anything the least bit stimulating Low blood pressure Either too cold or hot Horrible lack of motivation or interest Depersonalization and derealization Excessive swelling, especially in legs, ankles, and feet Cognitive difficulties ...and probably more I just can't think of at the moment Am I right to assume this is all part of the autonomic nervous system instability and central nervous system hypersensitivity from withdrawal and time is the only thing which will eventually settle my symptoms back down some?

 

How can I be 3+ years into withdrawal and what seems like such a minor thing carry such a big bang?

 

I would like to think I'd be more able to handle things now. I guess this proves I have a long way to go then, huh? I'm so alone, sad, and scared. I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel like my life is literally hanging by a string. Any insights and/or suggestions from any of my fellow suffers here? I consider you all the experts, since you all are going through a long withdrawal also and can relate to what I say and feel. I hope this finds each and every one of you here having a much easier time with withdrawal than I am right now. (((((big hugs))))) Love, Light, & Health, Christiana

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alexjuice

I'm terribly sorry all of this is happening to you. I've been there. I had a problem with D as well. I don't know why. It's great that your doctors at least recognize your reaction. More than one doc has told me my reaction wasn't possibly due to the D, impossible. Then I'd try it again and get same response.

 

You are definitely believed!

 

How low is your D?

 

I don't have any specific advice -- except hang in there! But I guess, I'll share what I might do in your situation. I'd avoid the tanning bed. If 200IU made me sick, I'd have to accept supplemental D is not possible for right now. (I was prescribed 25,000IU gelcaps, which I never dared to take.)

 

Can you take fish oil? It has nothing to do with D supps but is helpful for me in some overlapping ways. After my adverse reaction, I took some antioxidants as well, mainly because my reaction was vascular. Things slowly get better.

 

It's odd to have this reaction; you're only the second I've come across us (inluding me). I think maybe other issues predispose me to the sensitivity besides simply being in w/d. I have a lot of trouble digesting and processing the crap I consume, for instance. You mentioned some stomach or bowel troubles too. How is your diet? I've found what I consume has the most effect on my symptoms. And I've had to move my diet around a lot, on the fly. There are some diets many have reported great success with such as the specific carbohydrate diet and GAPS. Are you familiar with them?

 

Any other health stuff going on? Not to alarm you, as w/d could be the first and sole cause of all, but that is a potent cluster of symptoms. Your doc must know of these, what sorts of tests did your doctor run? Not trying to scare you but the stress of withdrawal has affected me in all sorts of unforeseen ways. That said, the outcome will not change, in my opinion. I'll get better and recover in time. But this whole process has caused other health challenges -- digestive, immunocolgcal, hormonal, etc -- all related to the w/d but some needing their own treatment and allotment of my patience, time and best energy. (Treatment is not typically another Rx, unless there are no other options.)

 

I hope you have a better day soon. I am in Texas so I know what hot summers are like. The good news is that, wherever you are, summer heat should begin to abate in a few weeks and you might be better able to get some sun.

 

best,

Alex

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Brandy

I had to introduce vitamin D extremely slowly after having a bad reaction to it but my levels so low it had to be addressed. (Sunlight not an option in my case.)

 

I took 1/10 of the contents of a capsule daily and increased by another 1/10 every 4-7 days or more.

 

I don't know if that would work for you, but you could go even slower if you need to - if it's tolerable. Wait until you recover from the bad reaction though. It will leave your system soon. My bad reaction didn't last long. Very different from bad reactions to meds - fortunately!

 

A couple of other considerations -- what other ingredients (including inactive binders and fillers) are in the D3 you take? And what was your level - is it just slightly low, or significantly?

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solida

Christiana,alexcjice,

 

first of all I wonder if the low levels of Vitamin D in our cases has something to do with withdrawal!!!????Because I never ever had this before and I also can t understand,because I m outside a lot every day .....

 

(sorry for my bad english ,but I have really horrible brain fog today...

 

 

I also tried very little of Vit D-I posted it already-it was about last year-and I had a very bad reaction.I tried it a few times.also cod liver oil(one trop) and light therapy which both left me with crushing depression.So for me it is not possible.But I believe the levels of Vitamin D will get better and I think it has something to do with withdrawal....

 

lg solida

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Christiana

Gosh dern it.

 

I just wish the SEVERE depression this has caused me would let go now. Ugh!

 

I'm a complete and utterly useless big bawl bag right now. Multiple times a day, I'm having crying fits at the drop of a hat and for no apparent reason. This has been going on for a week now and although my emotions at the moment are much like they were at the very beginning of my withdrawal, they had settled down some.

 

It just HAS to be the additional vitamin D my body has absorbed causing me to feel this way! I really haven't done anything else all that different. It seems as though the vitamin D has altered my hormones, which is, in turn, aggravating my already hypersensitive nervous system.

 

I guess I am having a relapse of sorts, as my symptoms do share some of my normal relapse characteristics. Added to that though is this new symptomology of just way over the top SEVERE depression, muscle weakness, and lack of motivation. I reckon you could say it's still a horse, but just of a different color right now. In other words, those are the symptoms which I still suffer from because of withdrawal, but they have just REALLY heightened. They always do so when I relapse too, but nothing near as bad as what I am feeling at the moment.

 

I will say I do know I am peri-menopausal and have never been able to take the birth control pill without it causing me severe depression (interestingly, my mother reacts the same way to taking it). Since I also know vitamin D is not really a vitamin, it is a hormone, I think it is quite logical to believe that my exposure to too much of a good thing is causing me to feel these really bad symptoms right now.

 

Does anyone know if there is anything I can eat which will latch onto the vitamin D that is being stored in my fatty tissues and allow me to eliminate it quicker? Surely, that would help some.

 

Love, Light, & Health,

Christiana

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Barbarannamated

Christiana,

 

Im sorry I havent been following your journey, but did read of your response to Vitamin D. Are you feeling EMOTIONAL/heightened sensitivity or low mood? You mentioned that you arent sure what you are crying about so I wanted to try to clarify. I've cried -sobbed, wailed- more in the last year than I did in 15 drugged years. Much of the time, it was without cause or a minor cause. We used to joke about crying over Hallmark commercials. When Whitney Houston died, I sobbed daily for a few weeks when I heard her one song. I didnt even remember being a fan!! These drugs block our natural emotions and, as they come back online, the triggers can be minimal and unexpected.

 

I'm sharing because I think it's important to differentiate natural emotion from diagnoses.

 

Perimenopause throws things to an entirely different level. :o

 

EDIT: I apologize... I just read farther up where you list more symptoms. Gloom and doom, especially. I'm too familiar with that. I'm sorry, Christiana. So wish I had some wise advice for you but I see you are farther along than I am.

 

{{{HUGS}}}

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Christiana

Thank you very much for responding, Alex. I always appreciate how kindly, generously, and insightfully you respond to my posts. Actually, more than just mine, as I do read many of your posts all over the board to so many people where you're trying to help them out in some way. I admire you for that. I wish I could help more, instead of need help. I surely don't have it in me right now, but when things finally turn around for me, I'll be sure to pay it forward.

I'm terribly sorry all of this is happening to you. I've been there. I had a problem with D as well. I don't know why. It's great that your doctors at least recognize your reaction. More than one doc has told me my reaction wasn't possibly due to the D, impossible. Then I'd try it again and get same response.

 

You are definitely believed!

 

I'm so sorry to hear you've reacted poorly to taking vitamin D also. (hugs)

 

How low is your D?

 

If I remember correctly, it's in the single digits. I believe it was 8, the last time it was checked.

 

I don't have any specific advice -- except hang in there! But I guess, I'll share what I might do in your situation. I'd avoid the tanning bed. If 200IU made me sick, I'd have to accept supplemental D is not possible for right now. (I was prescribed 25,000IU gelcaps, which I never dared to take.)

 

Thank you very much for the encouragement and advice. Yes, I do believe the best thing for me, right now anyway, is to put going to the tanning bed and taking the supplement on the back burner.

 

Can you take fish oil? It has nothing to do with D supps but is helpful for me in some overlapping ways. After my adverse reaction, I took some antioxidants as well, mainly because my reaction was vascular. Things slowly get better.

 

I've never tried taking it. I've read it can really rev up symptoms for some people is why. It may be worth me trying to take a small amount of it though. What amount and source of it do you recommend? Can you explain how taking it is helpful to you? What antioxidants did you take and if they helped or didn't help, in what way(s)? What do you mean when you say your reaction to taking it was "vascular"? How much vitamin D did you take each time and for how long, until you quit taking it? How long did it take for things to get better for you?

 

It's odd to have this reaction; you're only the second I've come across us (inluding me). I think maybe other issues predispose me to the sensitivity besides simply being in w/d. I have a lot of trouble digesting and processing the crap I consume, for instance. You mentioned some stomach or bowel troubles too. How is your diet? I've found what I consume has the most effect on my symptoms. And I've had to move my diet around a lot, on the fly. There are some diets many have reported great success with such as the specific carbohydrate diet and GAPS. Are you familiar with them?

 

I think I have other issues, yet to be uncovered, which are complicating my withdrawal also. What they are, how to find them, and what to do about them is another issue alone. Unless I'm having a really bad relapse, my stomach and bowels are semi-okay, I guess you could say, yet I still have troubles with them that come up out of nowhere, more often than not. I don't eat out much at all. My diet is pretty simple and non-acidic. Anything acidic I consume tends to bring on a worsening of my nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. When my symptoms are at their worst, I turn to plain crackers and Ensure, along with yogurt and kefir, as well as bananas. Sometimes I eat just because I know I have to. Sometimes time is the only thing that settles an increase in my symptoms. I've read some about the diets you mention. I haven't tried them though, as I just haven't felt well enough.

 

Any other health stuff going on? Not to alarm you, as w/d could be the first and sole cause of all, but that is a potent cluster of symptoms. Your doc must know of these, what sorts of tests did your doctor run? Not trying to scare you but the stress of withdrawal has affected me in all sorts of unforeseen ways. That said, the outcome will not change, in my opinion. I'll get better and recover in time. But this whole process has caused other health challenges -- digestive, immunocolgcal, hormonal, etc -- all related to the w/d but some needing their own treatment and allotment of my patience, time and best energy. (Treatment is not typically another Rx, unless there are no other options.)

 

If you read some of my introduction here, you'll find I wasn't really in the very best of health, when I started withdrawal. I'm fortunate in that I have a very good doctor who will run just about any test I ask for. With that being said, as far as I feel right now, I don't know what other tests they could run that haven't already. Perhaps some of them should be ran again to see what, if anything, may have changed? I go back for a follow-up appointment with them in August. I reckon I should start making a list of some of the more critical ones I feel might need to be redone. Unfortunately, I'm without any medical insurance, at the moment, so I don't know what the outcome will be, but I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

 

I hope you have a better day soon. I am in Texas so I know what hot summers are like. The good news is that, wherever you are, summer heat should begin to abate in a few weeks and you might be better able to get some sun.

 

I'm in S.W. KY, so I'm not too far from you. I will be so glad when Fall gets here!

 

best,

Alex

 

I hope this finds you having a good day today! (hugs)

Love, Light, & Health,

Christiana

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Altostrata

Christiana, your bad reaction to vitamin D should lessen in time, as your body uses it up. When you have withdrawal syndrome, your body can be hypersensitive to a lot of things.

 

Vitamin D is stored in the tissues and can last a couple of months.

 

In a month or so, you may wish to get a little more vitamin D. Try to get some sun in the early morning, before it gets hot.

 

Later, as Brandy suggested, you may wish to take fractional doses of a supplement.

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alexjuice

Thank you very much for responding, Alex. I always appreciate how kindly, generously, and insightfully you respond to my posts. Actually, more than just mine, as I do read many of your posts all over the board to so many people where you're trying to help them out in some way. I admire you for that. I wish I could help more, instead of need help. I surely don't have it in me right now, but when things finally turn around for me, I'll be sure to pay it forward.

 

Well, thanks. Don't worry about helping, that's for sometime down the line. Right now just put your efforts into yourself and your recovery, as best as able.

 

You know, I dont really have a lot of answers to your questions. I dont know how to expedite a vitamin out of your body. Trying to "detox" yourself, removing a vital compound you're deficient in, I don't have any good advice.

 

For me I had problems with my blood vessels. Pain, hardening, swelling. Stuff like that. I took some vitamin K to help my blood vessels. K is an expensive supplement. And it doesn't expel D. I also took a range of antioxidant foods and supps, from vitamin c to garlic. Just keeping my blood flowing really helped. Fish oil helps with that and also is anti inflammatory and immune modulating, or so I've read. Again, I wish I could be more helpful but I don't know have good answers.

 

I think eating right is a terrific idea. I eat mostly cooked veggies, and i add a dressing with fat to better digest and absorb certain of the nutrients. Usually I add some olive oil.

 

Yes, some people do have trouble with fish oil. Typically it's best to buy a brand with a lot of DHA & EPA per pill, say 1000mg combined. Those can be pricey if money is an issue, especially if you fear atoleration. (atoleration is a word I just inventing meaning failure to tolerate...) Most fish oils come in gel caps or liquid. If you buy the caps you can puncture and remove some oil to start. Make sure you don't buy cod liver oil, this has vitamin d, sometimes a lot of it. Dbl check any fish oil label to make certain it has no vitamin D.

 

Hopefully you will start to feel better soon. I wish I had more, but hang in there.

 

Best,

Alex

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Christiana

I had to introduce vitamin D extremely slowly after having a bad reaction to it but my levels so low it had to be addressed. (Sunlight not an option in my case.)

 

Hi Brandy. I'm so sorry to hear you've had a bad reaction to taking it too. May I ask why sunlight isn't an option for you?

 

I took 1/10 of the contents of a capsule daily and increased by another 1/10 every 4-7 days or more.

 

That sounds like a great suggestion. Thank you very much. Next time, I will just stick with the supplement and proceed extra cautiously. I may wait another 6 months or so though. I'm going to talk to my doctor about it.

 

I don't know if that would work for you, but you could go even slower if you need to - if it's tolerable. Wait until you recover from the bad reaction though. It will leave your system soon. My bad reaction didn't last long. Very different from bad reactions to meds - fortunately!

 

Do you remember what your bad reaction was like and how long it lasted? Also, how much you took and for how long?

 

A couple of other considerations -- what other ingredients (including inactive binders and fillers) are in the D3 you take? And what was your level - is it just slightly low, or significantly?

 

I'm not sure, because I took it back and got a refund. I got it at Walgreen's and believe, if I remember right, it was in a green bottle with a light colored cap. My level is significantly low at an 8. I'm going to ask my doctor to check it again though, when I go to see them soon, just to see where it is at now, with me having overdone it with my exposure to it.

 

Thank you so much for taking your time to try to help me. It means a lot.

 

Love, Light, & Health,

Christiana

 

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Christiana

Christiana,alexcjice,

 

first of all I wonder if the low levels of Vitamin D in our cases has something to do with withdrawal!!!????Because I never ever had this before and I also can t understand,because I m outside a lot every day .....

 

I wonder the same thing.

 

(sorry for my bad english ,but I have really horrible brain fog today...

 

I'm so sorry. I hope it gets better for you soon.

 

I also tried very little of Vit D-I posted it already-it was about last year-and I had a very bad reaction.I tried it a few times.also cod liver oil(one trop) and light therapy which both left me with crushing depression.So for me it is not possible.But I believe the levels of Vitamin D will get better and I think it has something to do with withdrawal....

 

How far were you into withdrawal? How much did you take and for how long? What was your reaction and how long before it left?

 

I wonder if we have dormant viruses that reactivate, due to the stress of withdrawal, which use up a lot of our necessary nutrients leading to depletion?

Interestingly, my mom doesn't have withdrawal, but last year, after going through a very stressful time for quite awhile, her epstein barr virus reactivated and when her vitamin D was checked it was low, even though she spends quite a bit of time outdoors. She supplemented with high dosages for a while, without any problems, per her doctor's orders, and her vitamin D is normal now, plus her virus has become dormant again. She still takes a maintenance dosage of vitamin D, but is feeling a lot better now.

 

Thank you very much for giving me some food for thought and sharing your experience. It certainly helps to be validated and know you're not alone.

 

lg solida

 

Love, Light, & Health,

Christiana

 

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Christiana

Christiana,

 

Im sorry I havent been following your journey, but did read of your response to Vitamin D. Are you feeling EMOTIONAL/heightened sensitivity or low mood? You mentioned that you arent sure what you are crying about so I wanted to try to clarify. I've cried -sobbed, wailed- more in the last year than I did in 15 drugged years. Much of the time, it was without cause or a minor cause. We used to joke about crying over Hallmark commercials. When Whitney Houston died, I sobbed daily for a few weeks when I heard her one song. I didnt even remember being a fan!! These drugs block our natural emotions and, as they come back online, the triggers can be minimal and unexpected.

 

I'm feeling all of that and more, since overexposing myself to the vitamin D. I'm so sorry you are struggling with this too.

 

I'm sharing because I think it's important to differentiate natural emotion from diagnoses.

 

I agree.

 

Perimenopause throws things to an entirely different level. :o

 

You betcha! <sigh>

 

EDIT: I apologize... I just read farther up where you list more symptoms. Gloom and doom, especially. I'm too familiar with that. I'm sorry, Christiana. So wish I had some wise advice for you but I see you are farther along than I am.

 

I thank you very much for sharing your experience and trying to help me.

 

I, too, have several endocrine disorders, so I can relate a lot to what you write, which I do read quite a bit of. If only I had whatever it is that is missing within me to respond to all the posts I read here in the way I would like to. That's why I asked about having a phone friend (or even a few), as I can seem to convey what I want to a lot more conversing than by writing. I hope, in time, this will change and I will be able to help those suffering here a lot more.

{{{HUGS}}}

 

(((((hugs)))))

Love, Light, & Health,

Christiana

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