Although it is rare, it is possible for people to have a vitamin D overdose from taking too many supplements. Vitamin D is a very important vitamin that promotes how the calcium and phosphorus in the body are absorbed and used. In humans vitamin D it is absorbed through the skin by way of direct sunlight, ingested by eating certain foods or by taking a vitamin d supplement. However, it is possible for people to have negative vitamin D side effects if they take too much of the vitamin.
Vitamin D Dosage
The recommended amount of vitamin D per day in adults is approximately 400 IU. In some rare cases, a doctor will prescribe more for therapeutic reasons, such as vitamin D deficiency. However, the recommended dosage should never be exceeded for any reason except under a doctor’s supervision. Exceeding the recommended dose can result in vitamin D overdose, also known as Hypervitaminosis D or vitamin D toxicity. It can be a potentially serious condition if it is not treated by a doctor. This condition is almost exclusively caused by taking too many vitamin D supplements and not from foods or an overexposure to sunlight.
Risk Factors for Vitamin D Side Effects
Vitamin D overdose is a relatively rare condition, and usually occurs if over 77,000IU of the vitamin is ingested in one day. However, there are people who may be at a greater risk for vitamin D overdose. This includes people with kidney disease, liver conditions, or people who take thiazide diuretics. Anyone under a doctor’s care should advise their physician if they are taking any type of vitamin supplements. This includes women who are pregnant since the effects of vitamin D toxicity in infants are not known. In addition to how it interacts with certain health conditions, individual metabolism can also affect vitamin D side effects.
Vitamin D Overdose Symptoms
Symptoms of a person with excessive levels of vitamin D may vary. Most of the symptoms are caused by a build up of calcium in the blood, bones, kidneys, soft tissue and heart. Among the common symptoms include:
-Kidney damage including kidney stones
-Loss of appetite
-Nausea and vomiting
-Metallic taste in the mouth or dry mouth
If a person experiences one or more of the following serious vitamin D overdose symptoms they should seek emergency medical treatment. These include:
-Changes in behavior, such as problems with thinking or irritability
-Chest pain or shortness of breath
-Swelling of the tongue, lips, face or throat
This is not a complete list of symptoms that may indicate vitamin D toxicity. Since symptoms of a vitamin D overdose can be different for each individual, anyone who is taking supplements and has these or any other unusual symptoms should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Treatment for Vitamin D Overdose
Serious cases of vitamin D overdose can require hospitalization and/or medication because of the potential for organ or tissue damage. In less severe cases, doctors will recommend patients to immediately stop taking the vitamin. The physician may also restrict the amount of calcium the patient consumes.