Bio-identical Hormones: Vitamin D
Vitamin D: Requirements for Healthy Living
Everyone should have his or her vitamin D level checked at least once a year (infants through the elderly).
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin (which must be consumed in the diet) and a hormone, which is made in your body. Your body produces vitamin D after sun exposure. However, we all know that sun exposure has adverse effects such as aging skin and cancer. Topical sunscreens, which we highly recommend, block vitamin D production by 97-100%. You can also get small amounts of vitamin D from food such as red meat, fish and dairy products.
What Does Vitamin D Do?
There are vitamin D receptors in your bones, brain, breasts, intestines, pancreas, immune system, kidneys, reproductive organs, adrenal glands, thyroid, pituitary gland, and spinal cord.
- Helps your body absorb calcium from the gut
- Helps your body absorb phosphorus from the GI tract
- Mineralizes bones
- Helps your pancreas release insulin
- Needed to help your blood clot
- Essential for optimal thyroid function
How Did I Become Vitamin D Deficient?
- Aging (your body makes less vitamin D from the sun)
- Decreased absorption due to gastrointestinal issues
- Medications (such as prednisone)
What are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
- Muscle spasms
- Bone disorders
- Low levels of calcium
- Decreased phosphate levels
What am I at Increased Risk for When I am Vitamin D Deficient?
|High blood pressure
||Polycystic ovarian syndrome
||Poor wound healing
Conditions that have been associated with vitamin D levels:
If your level is:
|<10 ng/mL =
|<15 ng/mL =
||Risk of rickets
|<20 ng/mL =
||75% greater risk of colon cancer
|<30 ng/mL =
|30-50 ng/mL =
| <34 ng/mL =
||2x the risk of heart attack
| <36 ng/mL =
||3x the risk of multiple sclerosis
|60-100 ng/mL =
| 50 ng/mL =
||50% reduction in breast cancer, decreased risk of all solid cancers
| 80-100 ng/mL =
||Slowing of cancer growth in patients with cancer
| >100 ng/mL =
||Increased risk of toxic symptoms (hypercalcemia)
Vitamin D Supplementation Doses
Normal dosing of vitamin D depends on your blood levels. Treatment doses for blood level ranges are:
Suboptimal vitamin D levels below <60 may require 5,000 units - 10,000 units per day. As your health care provider, we will decide what dose is right for you. Once your vitamin D levels are optimized to normal, we then recommend taking a maintenance dose of 1,000 - 2000 units per day.
If you are taking a vitamin D supplement, adequate calcium and magnesium intake are also required.
It is very difficult to get too much vitamin D. People can take up to 10,000 units per day for six months and not have any adverse effects. However, people with carcoidosis, tuberculosis, Lyme disease, lymphoma, or kidney disease have to be supplemented carefully because of an increased risk of their blood calcium level becoming too high.
Rechecking Your Vitamin D Level
It is recommended that you have your vitamin D level rechecked approximately three months after starting supplementation, depending on your medical and health condition, and then yearly thereafter.
Dr. Brenner, MD & Associates - Women's Health Care and Gynecology - is pleased to serve patients from the following towns: Anderson, Blue Ash, Cincinnati, Fairfield, Finneytown, Hamilton, Harrison, Hyde Park, Indian Hill, Landen, Lebanon, Liberty Township, Loveland, Madeira, Mariemont, Mason, Middletown, Milford, Monroe, Montgomery, Norwood, Sharonville, Springboro, Trenton, West Chester.