Patient Took 40,000 IU of Vitamin D Daily After Doctor Prescribed 4,000 IU

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Mistake causes woman’s vitamin D level to soar from 10 ng/ml to 210 ng/ml in six weeks

In his book, Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin, Dr. Zoltan Rona shared the following story about one of his patients, a middle-aged woman suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

“After I received the results of her lab tests, I discovered that her blood level of 25-hydroxy vitamin D was extremely low at 10 ng/ml. This was a patient who was frightened to death of even minimal sun exposure and slathered on lots of sunscreen during the summer months when she ventured outdoors for any longer than 20 minutes.

“I prescribed 4,000 IU daily, which, at the time, was considered to be an excessively high-dose prescription for vitamin D. Most doctors were prescribing close to 400 IU daily for osteoporosis and not even ordering blood tests for vitamin D. I prescribed vitamin D3 in water-soluble drop form and told her to take four drops (4,000 IU) daily.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, she did not hear this advice correctly and took 40 drops each day (40,000 IU per day). She went for lab tests six weeks later and reported back to me at eight weeks.

“All of her symptoms were gone and she was ready to return to work. She had started to feel better at the three-week point, and her symptoms gradually disappeared over the next five weeks.

“Luckily, there were no side effects. Her blood tests showed that her vitamin D levels had gone up 200 points to 210 ng/ml and her ionized blood calcium level was within the normal range.

“Incidentally, I always check the blood calcium levels of patients who are using vitamin D supplements because vitamin D toxicity can cause dangerously high levels of calcium. Vitamin D toxicity was not the case in this patient despite the accidentally ‘toxic’ supplementation levels.

“Now, before all you folks suffering from chronic pain start taking massive doses of vitamin D,” Dr. Rona cautions, “please get your blood levels checked–and check them again after high-dose supplementation.”[1]

Dr. Rona’s book is available on Amazon at the time of writing as a paperback or downloadable on Kindle.

  1.  Zoltan Rona, Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin, Books Alive: Summertown, TN, 2010, p. 75.

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