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I'm Vitamin D Deficient / Blood Test Results

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I got my blood work back yesterday and all my levels are normal except my Vitamin D. The range is 30-100, my level was 19. This doesn't surprise me at all, I rarely go outside. I knew before my results came back (common problem in America), I had picked some supplements up shortly after I did the test. I'm taking 5,000 IU now, maybe 5 times a week or so. I hope that once my levels are up, my mood goes up. Anyone have experience raising their levels? What dosage and for how long?


I also got my cholesterol tested and it's higher than it was before.

Total (100-200 is normal): 176
Triglycerides (0-150 normal): 87
HDL (>39): 63
VLDL (5-40): 17
LDL (0-99): 96


My last results (from 09) were 144 or so, my HDL about the same, my LDL in the 60's. I eat restaurant food up to 6 times a week, that's my problem. I'm going to start making better choices at work, that's my downfall. The problem is the high fat foods are the only ones that keep me going my entire shift. If I eat "healthy," I'm STARVING 2 hours later. I need to figure out what to do. Also, I'm going to start cooking more meals at home, I rely on a lot of processed food because of my work schedule. I will eat better, I'm disappointed in myself for the results.
post #2 of 26
What sorts of healthy things are you eating that leave you starving two hours later? Lots of people recommend a grazing eating style, where you would eat smaller amounts of food six times a day. There is nothing inherently bad about getting hungry every two hours as long as you aren't over eating, but your job might make grazing difficult.
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post #3 of 26
i'm vit d deficient too but i'm at 16ish and i live in the sunshine state. i don't really want to supplement, hoping actually going out in the sun will solve it.
post #4 of 26
Danakskully, those results are not bad at all! Your LDL is the only thing that seems a little higher, but your total cholesterol is nice and low. Your high HDLs, common in young women, are great, balancing the ldls. And the deadly VLDLs are low too. Did they put a ratio on there like 1 to 5 or something? They take your hdl and ldl and do some math and come up with a ratio of risk of developing heart disease. I think your risk would be in the low zone. So many people are deficient in Vitamin D, I'm glad you got it checked and are going to supplement. Plus you were brave enough to get the labs drawn!
post #5 of 26
The general rule of thumb for Vitamin D supplementation is that each 1000IU of D3 you take per day will raise your level by about 10 points so your current dosage seems about right to get you back up into the safe zone. I'd get retested in six months and adjust accordingly. As to how long you will need to supplement, I've had to take 2000IU every day rain or shine just to keep my levels where they should be so it seems I will probably need to take it indefinitely.
post #6 of 26
My vit. D level was 9 last time it was tested. (about a month ago)

I'm hoping better nutrition and the sun will improve it without the need for supplements.

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post #7 of 26
Regarding the cholesterol:
- eat more fiber
- exercise more
- eat less saturated fat

About D:
You may also want to spend time outdoors in the sun if you can tolerate it. Natural sunlight is an incredible mood-lifter.
post #8 of 26
That sounds really high to me, but I have been having issues understanding supplements. I was very low as well and my doctor said to take 1000 IU per day. I read on the bottle not to exceed 2000 IU per day. I suppose a nutritionist would know better than an MD. I get the food thing pretty well, but those darn vitamins are tripping me up.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomebodyElse View Post

What sorts of healthy things are you eating that leave you starving two hours later? Lots of people recommend a grazing eating style, where you would eat smaller amounts of food six times a day. There is nothing inherently bad about getting hungry every two hours as long as you aren't over eating, but your job might make grazing difficult.

Sometimes salads. Often I'll get brown rice, Gardein chik'n, and some stir fry veggies. I only get one 30 minute break, if that (if I work more than 6 hours). If it's a weekend, I'll often start at 4pm, get my break around 6:00 or 6:30 (depending on a lot of factors, could be earlier or later), then I won't get off until close to 11:30. I'm a waitress and when I'm looking at the computer, deciding what to order, I have to keep in mind that I won't eat for another 6 hours and I'll be running around like crazy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zirpkatze View Post

i'm vit d deficient too but i'm at 16ish and i live in the sunshine state. i don't really want to supplement, hoping actually going out in the sun will solve it.

I know myself and know I don't go outside I try to, but it never works out.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post

Danakskully, those results are not bad at all! Your LDL is the only thing that seems a little higher, but your total cholesterol is nice and low. Your high HDLs, common in young women, are great, balancing the ldls. And the deadly VLDLs are low too. Did they put a ratio on there like 1 to 5 or something? They take your hdl and ldl and do some math and come up with a ratio of risk of developing heart disease. I think your risk would be in the low zone. So many people are deficient in Vitamin D, I'm glad you got it checked and are going to supplement. Plus you were brave enough to get the labs drawn!

I looked online and had a hard time grasping the difference... is a high VLDL more dangerous than the LDL? They didn't put any ratio on the lab work. I hope my risk is low

Thanks I survived the lab work, I was worried I wouldn't I hate getting blood drawn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger View Post

The general rule of thumb for Vitamin D supplementation is that each 1000IU of D3 you take per day will raise your level by about 10 points so your current dosage seems about right to get you back up into the safe zone. I'd get retested in six months and adjust accordingly. As to how long you will need to supplement, I've had to take 2000IU every day rain or shine just to keep my levels where they should be so it seems I will probably need to take it indefinitely.

Unfortunately, I lose my insurance next month, so I won't be able to retest until I get insurance again. It's way too expensive otherwise. So continue with the 5,000IU daily or every few days? I'll take it daily for a week to raise my levels, I just wonder what will keep them in the normal range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post

My vit. D level was 9 last time it was tested. (about a month ago)

I'm hoping better nutrition and the sun will improve it without the need for supplements.

The sun is the best. My soy milk alone is fortified with 30% of the Vitamin D I need and I still don't have enough. Vitamin D seems to be a problem for almost everyone.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Regarding the cholesterol:
- eat more fiber
- exercise more
- eat less saturated fat

About D:
You may also want to spend time outdoors in the sun if you can tolerate it. Natural sunlight is an incredible mood-lifter.

Saturated fat is my killer. One of my favorite foods at work is loaded with it. I try not to have it too often, but I need to make sure I'm not eating it at all now. Or once a month.

I burn really, really easily, so I stay indoors. I was just outside for about a minute in the sun, more than that and I get uncomfortable. I'm not one of those girls who likes to go to the beach and lay in the sun. Wish I was. My white body blinds other beach-goers, so I keep covered for their safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocrob37 View Post

That sounds really high to me, but I have been having issues understanding supplements. I was very low as well and my doctor said to take 1000 IU per day. I read on the bottle not to exceed 2000 IU per day. I suppose a nutritionist would know better than an MD. I get the food thing pretty well, but those darn vitamins are tripping me up.

According to many sites, it's not too high: http://ezinearticles.com/?High-Dose-...ch?&id=4429024

I'll probably drop down to a lower dose soon or space my doses. I won't be needing 5,000 daily forever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parsnip View Post

222 cloudy days per year where I live, plus I read recently that if you live above the 45th parallel, as I do, that even on sunny days in Winter there is not enough ultraviolet radiation to produce vitamin D.

So I take Country Life 2000 IU non-fish liver source D3 daily from Fall through Spring. I have noticed the difference. I used to be reduced to a blubbering mess by mid-February but now I make it through Winter with only a couple rough patches. I haven't ever actually had my levels measured, though.

I live in So Cal, there's plenty of sun, I just avoid it

Glad it worked for you! I hope it works for me too.
post #12 of 26
There are a few problems with relying on the sun to get your vitamin D up. If you are very low in D, sun will damage your skin before you will ever be able to make enough D from sun exposure. Vitamin D is one of the things that protects skin from sun damage.

The skin makes a maximum of 20,000 IU a day, in summer. But the time it takes to produce the maximum amount varies according to skin pigment. It can take one hour in the sun if you are very fair, and six hours if you are darker. The amount of time per individual increases as skin pigment increases too; in other words, the more tan you get, the longer it will take to manufacture the same amount of vitamin D. You also have to expose almost your entire body. A little sun on your arms in winter isn't going to cut it. It won't even do in summer.

One last word on D; it's a hormone produced by the body, not a vitamin. Calling it a vitamin leads to expecting to find it in the food supply, and it does not exist in the food supply. It isn't supposed to, because it is a hormone. So experiencing a deficiency in it doesn't point to any weakness in the vegetarian diet, as so many carnists like to do. People are being found more and more to be suffering from widespread low levels of D, and this is due to ignorance on the part of health experts, rather than because of people not eating right.

An interesting hypothesis that hasn't been studied yet is the relationship between high cholesterol and low D. You may find your cholesterol normalizes once you get your level of D where it should be. Though the range is 30-100, I have read that 60-80 is optimal.

And it is pretty normal to get hungry two hours later after eating salad. Fruits and non-starchy vegetables are usually digested in an hour or less, and will leave your digestive tract rapidly. You want to find difficult to digest foods that will stay in your system for a long time, if you can't eat something every two hours.

That's why so many new veggies and vegans complain of being hungry at first. Contrary to popular belief, meat is the most difficult "food" for our systems to break down, so it stays in the gut for the longest time, leading to a sense of fullness. The more quickly and easily digested a food is, the more quickly you will become hungry again after eating it.

Protein is the slowest food to digest, and high fiber grains are probably second. I know fat is rumored to satiate, but this is not the case. Fat is the most easily dealt with by the body, as it can be stored right in your fat cells without even being changed in its chemical composition.

I wonder if you could keep thermoses with high protein smoothies at work? That is something you might be able to consume rather quickly without much fuss so you wouldn't have to wait so long between meals.
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post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
The problem is I don't have access to a lot of healthy food at work. We don't have a break room, no employee fridge or microwave. We have a smelly locker room and aren't really supposed to have food in there, according to the Health Department. It's dumb. I do have a lot of food to choose from, but not much is healthy. The problem is, even when I'm home, brown rice, gardein chik'n, and veggies don't keep me full for long. My medicine makes me hungry, so that doesn't help. I've tried snacking on protein bars, I'm still super hungry within the hour. I hate not being able to eat more frequently, it makes me sick.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by danakscully64 View Post

I'll take it daily for a week to raise my levels, I just wonder what will keep them in the normal range.

Unfortunately it takes several months to correct a deficiency, with most studies I've read reporting a minimum of six to eight weeks of continuous supplementation to reach optimal blood levels. Given your aversion to being in the sun, once you stop supplementing your serum level will probably just start to drop again. Basically you need either regular sun exposure or regular supplementation for life. Also, a specific dose of Vitamin D will only raise your blood level so far and then it won't rise beyond that. That's why it's important to get retested in three to six months and make adjustments up or down as necessary. There are fairly inexpensive home tests you can buy but I can't vouch for their effectiveness. Of course none of us here are doctors so take everything you read with a grain of salt. Good luck!
post #15 of 26
About 2 months ago my Vit D was measured to be 15. I'm on 50,000IU 1x week for 12 weeks. Then I'm supposed to take 2,000IU/day until I have a change to go in a get retested. Shouldn't be a problem because it's spring and I'm outside more.
post #16 of 26

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post #17 of 26
I don't want to discourage you from pursuing a healthier diet, but there is not a problem with your cholesterol, unless your doctor has some specific recommendations for you based on other risk factors for heart disease. An increase doesn't really mean much as you are still within the normal range and these tests aren't perfect. Here is some info on cholesterol from the American Heart Association.

Regarding vitamin D, it's true that you can't count on the sun, particularly if you're in the northern US. We just don't get direct enough sunlight to produce much vitamin D, plus with extra sun exposure comes the risk of skin cancer. You should ask your doctor or RD what dose of supplement to take as that's not really info that's safe to get from strangers on the internet (too much or too little is potentially dangerous).
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger View Post

Unfortunately it takes several months to correct a deficiency, with most studies I've read reporting a minimum of six to eight weeks of continuous supplementation to reach optimal blood levels. Given your aversion to being in the sun, once you stop supplementing your serum level will probably just start to drop again. Basically you need either regular sun exposure or regular supplementation for life. Also, a specific dose of Vitamin D will only raise your blood level so far and then it won't rise beyond that. That's why it's important to get retested in three to six months and make adjustments up or down as necessary. There are fairly inexpensive home tests you can buy but I can't vouch for their effectiveness. Of course none of us here are doctors so take everything you read with a grain of salt. Good luck!

I'm sure I'll be in the sun a little more during the summer, so I'm not too worried. Supplementing for life doesn't bother me, I know my sun issues. I would rather supplement than get skin cancer. My Dad had precancerous cells burned off his head, ouch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieB View Post

About 2 months ago my Vit D was measured to be 15. I'm on 50,000IU 1x week for 12 weeks. Then I'm supposed to take 2,000IU/day until I have a change to go in a get retested. Shouldn't be a problem because it's spring and I'm outside more.

Please let me know how the retest goes
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by danakscully64 View Post

I'm sure I'll be in the sun a little more during the summer, so I'm not too worried. Supplementing for life doesn't bother me, I know my sun issues. I would rather supplement than get skin cancer. My Dad had precancerous cells burned off his head, ouch!



Please let me know how the retest goes

Will do. My dad and brother have both had precancerous cells removed so I've been trying to wear sunscreen more, which I think has been part of the reason for my deficiency...
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisper View Post

Would you be able to carry around something like nuts or a trail mix in your pocket, so you could snack on a few pieces here and there?

Unfortunately, no. Against policy and I only have pockets for change and my server booklet. The problem with snacking is it makes me even more hungry. It starts up my metabolism or something. I need to eat more small meals, I do when I'm at home. You know what helps keep me full? Coffee. If I get a blended coffee drink before work, I go a lot longer without food and I'm fine. Problem is, it's full of sugar and $4. Oh well, getting one today, I have a double to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post

I don't want to discourage you from pursuing a healthier diet, but there is not a problem with your cholesterol, unless your doctor has some specific recommendations for you based on other risk factors for heart disease. An increase doesn't really mean much as you are still within the normal range and these tests aren't perfect. Here is some info on cholesterol from the American Heart Association.

Regarding vitamin D, it's true that you can't count on the sun, particularly if you're in the northern US. We just don't get direct enough sunlight to produce much vitamin D, plus with extra sun exposure comes the risk of skin cancer. You should ask your doctor or RD what dose of supplement to take as that's not really info that's safe to get from strangers on the internet (too much or too little is potentially dangerous).

Thanks That calmed me down a bit. My LDL used to be in the 60's, I was bothered that it jumped up to the 90's, but I know my restaurant food intake has increased too.

My doctor told me 5,000, but didn't say for how long. I assume just until a retest, which he wanted for 3 months from now. Wish I wasn't losing my insurance. I'll just keep up on this for a few months, then switch to 1,000.



Thanks
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieB View Post

Will do. My dad and brother have both had precancerous cells removed so I've been trying to wear sunscreen more, which I think has been part of the reason for my deficiency...

Having them burned off hurts like a MoFo. I just avoid the sun all together so I don't burn up and explode
post #22 of 26
I thought for sure my levels would be low, as I don't supplement, rarely go outside and don't eat foods high in D. But, they were good. And did anyone else see that guy on The Daily Show who said not to take any vitamins, that they actually shorten our lives. I don't remember his name or the name of his book, but...
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by delicioso View Post

I thought for sure my levels would be low, as I don't supplement, rarely go outside and don't eat foods high in D. But, they were good. And did anyone else see that guy on The Daily Show who said not to take any vitamins, that they actually shorten our lives. I don't remember his name or the name of his book, but...

He sounds like a quack to me.

Your anecdotal evidence is all fine and good for you, but everyone's body is different. Some people might need to supplement where others do not. I personally take a B12 and D tablet every day at the very least since so many vegans turn up deficient in those. I can't think of a good reason not to and I've never seen one reliable study indicating those would increase mortality rate.
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post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by delicioso View Post

I thought for sure my levels would be low, as I don't supplement, rarely go outside and don't eat foods high in D. But, they were good. And did anyone else see that guy on The Daily Show who said not to take any vitamins, that they actually shorten our lives. I don't remember his name or the name of his book, but...

I dunno there is some evidence that taking some vitamins can increase the risk of disease (I think this is the case with Vit. E could be wrong though). I think the point is that you should be getting your vitamins/minerals from foods because they work synergestically with everything else in the food and taking them alone won't produce the same effect. I don't take any vitamins other than b12.

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post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

He sounds like a quack to me.

Your anecdotal evidence is all fine and good for you, but everyone's body is different. Some people might need to supplement where others do not. I personally take a B12 and D tablet every day at the very least since so many vegans turn up deficient in those. I can't think of a good reason not to and I've never seen one reliable study indicating those would increase mortality rate.

His health advice was all based on statistics. And I don't think JS entertains "quacks", does he?
post #26 of 26
Maybe I'm a bit late.
Most people have low levels of Vit. D by the end of Winter. 19 ng/ml needs attention, at this level I would supplement myself.
Cholesterol levels change a lot, depending what you ate the day before being tested. 176 mg/dl and all your otehr lab results are perfect. You don't need any treatment.
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