Monday, November 18, 2013

More D

Old dried fruit bits mixed with crumbs of my daughter's favorite crackers, all spilling from a torn, unmarked plastic bag: an excellent find. Pumpkin seeds scattered on the shelf along with some paprika and vegi-broth powder: perfect. The back of the pantry is just the place when the bird-seed runs low. I have these bursts of energy, enough to refill the bird-feeder, before the coughing and the need to clutch the nearest wall return. The antibiotics have basically cleared the mycoplasma out of my lungs and ears, but the underlying virus is still there.

When the vitamin D deficiency was diagnosed, the nurse told me to take 10µg of supplement a day and come back in three months for another blood test. I didn't entirely expect to continue being sick for that whole three months, but that seems to be the result. A friend at work told me he takes 70mg of vitamin D a day, which is 7,000 times as much as I am taking, so I decided to do some research about dosage. He must mean 70µg, as he is still alive. 

Different countries recommend somewhere between 10µg and 30µg per day for a healthy adult, and levels up to 100µg per day are considered entirely safe, and EU guidelines recommend this level for patients with very low serum vitamin D levels (which I have). So my piddling 10µg plus whatever tiny bits I get from my diet (they don't add vitamins to dairy here, and I'm a vegetarian) and the no sunlight I encounter probably isn't alleviating my deficiency all that fast. So I've decided to take dosage into my own hands. I'm going to start taking 50µg per day, and scale back if and when my blood test shows that I have a healthy level. I would need to take thrice that much for several months to risk vitamin D toxicity. 

In the mean time, I will slump against this wall and watch the birds on the feeder. The magpie really likes those paprika-flavored raisins.


GreenEngineer said...

Vit D deficiency sucks. Dawn was sick (incapacitated, unable to work) for four months last year. Her vitamin D blood level was 8.

She's now taking 10,000 IU per day of vitamin D - that's 250 micrograms, I believe - and her levels are up in the 40s. (According to our docs, 30-80 is good, and over 100 is dangerous). I'm taking half that (and I take less in the summer), and am maintaining a similar level. And that's with supplemented dairy and with getting more sun than you probably see.

The dosages you are suggesting for yourself seem on the very light side for someone who is suffering actual effects of deficiency. You might consider boosting your intake, a lot. It's a good idea to monitor it actively at those dosages, but the response seems to be slow, so you don't need to check but every few months.

Dawn Pillsbury said...

Oh man, what horrible suckiness. You have my every sympathy.
As Brent says, more D can help (the side effects of overdose are terrifying, though, are they not?).
I found that cordyceps helped me kick the multi-viral-complex I had going on, with a minimum of horrific side effects (i.e. boils).