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Saturday, May 10, 2008 kat1234546, Community Member, asks

Q: I am concerned that my Vitamin D levels are too low...

I am very concerned about my vitamin D levels.  My doc said they were ok on my recent bloodwork.  The 25-OH total was 27, which seems low according to everything I read.  let me tell you about my symptoms: I am having severe numbness and tingling in my arms, hands and feet; pain in all of my tissues (it hurts when people touch me or when I bump things); extremely tired; a bit disoriented (forgetting things and peoples' names)..overall feeling of being unwell. I had a fever for 5+ weeks, during which time I fainted on an airplane and suffered a concussion.  I fell down the stairs about 5 weeks prior to that and suffered a neck/back injury that I am doing physical therapy for about twice a week. I am not sure if my pain and numbness is related to the back injury or related to something systemic. Since I had a fever, the doc thought I had lyme disease.  (I hike in the woods nearly every day) But all the lyme bands on the western blot were non-reactive except for one.  I feel much better if I take mega-doses of vitamins, especially Vitamin C and N-Acetyl Cysteine.  But I am concerned about the Vitamin D levels.  (also - vitamin B12 levels were ok, ANA was negative and CBC looks good across the board)  My medical history includes celiac disease, peripheral neuropathy of unexplained origin (perhaps gluten), anemia, repeated staph infections, and suppressed immune system.  The immune issues have all been fixed for the past couple of years - since I quit eating gluten. I have also had three instances of whiplash (2 car accidents and one roller-blading accident).  The most recent accident in 2005 caused damage to C5 and C6 which will be permanent.  I will check in with my neurologist as soon as possible, but am wondering again about those Vitamin D levels.  Is 27 really "OKAY", as my doctor says?  (And by the way, every woman in my family has suffered from severe osteoporosis starting at about age 60.  My DEXA scan at age 35 showed no bone loss.)



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Answers (1)
Lila de Tantillo, Health Guide
5/12/08 7:59pm

Thanks for sharing your situation and asking such an important question! It is crucial to be concerned about Vitamin D levels -- in the last few months researchers have found even more benefits to this vitamin and learned about its importance to overall health. It sound like you are also doing a great job taking care of your bones, with regular exercise, getting a DXA scan, and not having bone loss despite family history and celiac disease (which can be an osteoporosis risk factor.) You didn't mention the latitude at which you live, or whether you use sunscreen during your hikes, but it is highly likely you are getting adequate Vitamin D with your daily outdoor activity, especially if the blood tests have not shown anything of concern in this regard. However, if you do live farther north; use substantial amounts of sunscreen every day (which is great for preventing skin cancer); or have any reason to be concerned, perhaps you may want to consider taking a supplement to confirm your intake is sufficient. Because of your complex medical history, however, do discuss this with your doctor -- and be sure to ask if you need to take other tests or see a specialist to rule out other potential causes for the concerning symptoms you describe. Good luck with this.

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By kat1234546, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/17/12, First Published: 05/10/08