What Is Hypervitaminosis D?
D is a rare but potentially serious condition. It occurs when you take in too
much vitamin D. It’s usually the result of taking high-dose vitamin D
vitamin D can cause abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood. This can
affect bones, tissues, and other organs. It can lead to high blood pressure,
bone loss, and kidney damage without treatment.
What Are the Causes of
aren’t getting too much vitamin D from the foods you eat or exposure to the
sun. Hypervitaminosis D is usually due to taking more than the recommended
daily value of vitamin D. If you take a multivitamin, look at the amount of
vitamin D in it. You may not need to take additional calcium and vitamin D if
you’re getting enough vitamin D from your multivitamin.
prescription medications used to treat high blood pressure (thiazide diuretics)
and heart diseases (digoxin) can cause an increase in vitamin D in the blood.
therapy, taking antacids for a long time, and isoniazide, an antituberculosis
medication, can also cause elevated levels of vitamin D.
The Mayo Clinic states that the recommended
dietary allowance of vitamin D for most adults is 600 international units a day
(IU). Doctors may prescribe higher doses to treat medical conditions such as
vitamin D deficiency, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease for a short period
of time. Daily use of high-dose vitamin D supplements for several months is
You are more
likely to develop hypervitaminosis D if you take vitamin D supplements and have
other existing health problems such as:
What Are the Symptoms of Hypervitaminosis
amounts of vitamin D in the body can cause calcium levels in the blood to rise.
This can lead to a condition called hypercalcemia (too much calcium in your
blood). Symptoms include:
in the ear (tinnitus)
complications of untreated hypervitaminosis D include:
(hardening) or arteries and soft tissues
increased blood calcium can cause abnormal heart rhythms.
How Is Hypervitaminosis D
will review your medical history and may ask about any prescription and
over-the-counter medications and supplements you’re taking.
may also perform a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms. If your
doctor suspects that you may have hypervitaminosis D, they may order several
tests to check vitamin D levels, calcium, and phosphorus (to determine if
kidney damage is present)
tests to check for excessive amounts of calcium in the urine
X-rays to determine if there’s significant bone loss
What Is the Treatment for Hypervitaminosis
will likely advise you to stop taking vitamin D supplements immediately. They may
also recommend that you reduce the amount of calcium in your diet temporarily.
In some cases, corticosteroids or bisphosphonates may suppress the release of
calcium from your bones.
will monitor your vitamin D levels frequently until they return to normal.
How Can I Prevent
or lowering your intake of high-dose vitamin D supplements can prevent
hypervitaminosis D. The tolerable upper limit, or the maximum daily intake of
vitamin D that is unlikely to result in any health risks, has been set at 4,000
IUs (international units) per day. Adverse effects have been seen in those
taking less than 10,000 IUs per day over an extended period of time.
may also recommend that you lower the amount of calcium in your diet. Careful
monitoring is necessary until your vitamin D levels are back to normal.
vitamin D naturally, you can eat foods that contain small amounts. Some of
these foods are:
fish, such as salmon and tuna
You can also
find foods fortified with vitamin D, including milk, orange juice, and yogurt.
Moderate exposure to sunlight is another source of natural vitamin D. Fifteen
minutes or less with your extremities exposed in direct sunlight, before
putting on sunscreen, is a great way to improve your vitamin D level naturally.