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Are You Taking Too Much Vitamin D? It Is Possible, But Uncommon

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Growing up, it was common to hear my parents tell us the kids not to play in the sun because, according to them, “You will catch yellow fever for exposing too much of your skin to the sun.”

But things changed a when we grew up and found out in our elementary science class then that the sun is actually good for the body, especially early in the morning. In fact, we later got to know the sun is actually responsible for the “D” category of the vitamins when the skin is exposed to it.

Vitamin D is responsible for the efficiency of the brain, bone, muscle, helps you fight infection and also make all the cells in your body communicate well. The sun passes through the skin and gets transformed a number of times before it becomes usable for the body. But the sun isn’t the only source of vitamin D. Some foods are very good sources of Vitamin D or you can take supplements like cod liver oil. [1]

On the other hand, lack of enough vitamin D has been linked to cancer, asthma, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.

Can you Have too Much of Vitamin D?

The benefits of a vitamin D in the system seem countless, but like every good thing that its availability seem infinite, many want to know if one can actually have too much of it the system—which is a good worry by the way.

The answer is simple: The chances are slim that one can have an excess of Vitamin D in one’s system which will result in what is known as vitamin D toxicity or hypervitaminosis, but it is not impossible.

The most natural and primary source of vitamin D is the sun when one’s body is exposed to it, and the body regulates it through the parathyroid hormones. So the chances of overdoses are slim.

But then, it is not impossible, and according to a website Vitamin D Council, vitamin D is described as a fat-soluble which means unlike other chemical contents, the body finds it hard getting rid of it when it’s too much in the system, and this doesn’t happen because of excess exposure of oneself to the sun, it actually happens when one takes too much vitamin D supplements like cod liver oil. [2]

Why You Should Worry About Having Too Much Vitamin D

Supplements, unlike other drugs, aren’t known to have side effects. This makes a lot of people abuse them. The notion is because supplements are supposed to help your body get those things it misses from foods you can’t have access to.

But then, just like every chemical element in the body, too much of vitamin D, otherwise known as Hypervitaminosis D is also bad for the body, and if it’s not treated well, or early enough, it can lead to life-endangering diseases like the malfunctioning of the kidney, the liver diseases or even tuberculosis and more.                                       

Symptoms of Excess Vitamin in the Body

If you’re wondering if you indeed have too much of this vitamins in your systems, the following are symptoms you should look out for:

  • Being or feeling sick
  • Poor appetite or loss of appetite
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Passing urine
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle weakness or pain

According to Mayo Clinic, an appropriate daily dosage should be 600UI, and you’re only advised to take more than that when you’re treating a vitamin D-related diseases, and this is usually prescribed by a physician. [3]

So What Amount Exactly is Too Much?

As pointed out earlier, apart from the above-stated symptoms, the easiest way to know you have too much of this in your system is to go for a blood test—specifically to test yourself for 25(OH)D. If you have been taking plenty of supplements daily and you feel any of those above stated symptoms, chances are high that it’s a sign of vitamin D toxicity, and you might need to get tested through a blood test.

But then, other things can be responsible for those diseases mentioned earlier, so the best thing to do will be to check in and see a doctor so that a test can be conducted on you. It has been proven that taking anything above 4,000UI vitamin D supplement daily doesn’t have an additional effect on our body, and anything above 10,000UI over an extended period of time isn’t helpful, but in fact, endangers the body. [4]

Natural Ways of Getting Vitamin D

The best source of calcium still remains the natural sources, i.e. the sun and foods rich in vitamin D.

Food such as vegetables, okra, white beans; fishes with a lot of fat –of which sardines and salmon are rich sources of Vitmain D while soy milk, egg yolks, and orange juice are some of the other good sources of Vitamin D. [5]

Conclusion

The relationship between vitamin and strong bones was established many years ago when health practitioners found that sunlight is the principal source of Vitamin D.

Today, research has proven that Vitamin D could actually do more –enough Vitamin D is required by the system for treating and preventing many serious and long-term health problems. But be sure you’re not damaging your health in the process of saving it by taking too many supplements.

Reference

[1] http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/calcium-vitamin-d-foods
[2] https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/am-i-getting-too-much-vitamin-d/
[3] http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/vitamin-d/dosing/hrb-20060400
[4] http://www.livestrong.com/article/460139-is-4-000-iu-of-vitamin-d-3-too-much/
[5] http://bembu.com/vitamin-d-foods

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Source: Lifestyle

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