12 July, 2011
What Does It Mean if I Have a High Vitamin D Count?
Vitamin D is a hot nutrient as of 2011 and has even been named a super nutrient. It has a variety of functions within the body, most notably is its interaction with calcium. Most individuals are deficient in vitamin D due to a poor diet and lack of sun exposure a majority of the year; however, some individuals may have excessively high levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D Ranges
To determine your vitamin D status, you must get a blood test. Vitamin D status is measured in nanograms, or ng, per milliliter, or mL. Vitamin D ranges are as follows: less than 20ng/mL is insufficient, less than 30ng/mL is deficient, 50 to 80ng/mL is optimal and greater than 100ng/mL is considered excess.
Symptoms of High Vitamin D
Signs that you have a high vitamin D status are hypercalcemia, or high blood calcium, and hypercalcuria, or high calcium in the urine. Symptoms of hypercalcemia include nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite and headaches. Hypercalcuria generally will not have associated symptoms. If you are experiencing these symptoms, consult your physician.
Sources of Vitamin D
Most people in North American receive a majority of their vitamin D from the sun. In as little as 15 to 20 minutes of sun exposure, your body can make thousands of international units, or IU, of vitamin D. You can also get vitamin D from milk products, liver, fish and mushrooms.
High Vitamin D Status
If you have a high vitamin D level then you may experience hypercalcemia and hypercalcuria. It is impossible to overdose or receive excessively high levels of vitamin D from the sun. Chances are that if you have a very high vitamin D level, then you are consuming a large amount of vitamin D in supplement form. To help reduce your vitamin D levels, discontinue your vitamin D supplement and retest your vitamin D status in a few weeks.
- Judith Lukaszuk, Ph.D., R.D.; Northern Illinois University; Dekalb, Illinois
- "The A.S.P.E.N. Nutrition Support Core Curriculum"; Michele Gottschlich, Ph.D., R.D.; 2007
- "Perspectives in Nutrition"; Gordon Wardlaw; 2007
- "Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons"; Benefits of Vitamin D Supplementation; Joel Kauffman, Ph.D.; 2009
- "Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism"; Sareen Gropper; 2009
- shironosov/iStock/Getty Images