Since my surgery, one of the vitamins that I have struggled with is Vitamin D. Many of us are deficient in Vitamin D and don’t know it unless you have a blood test. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and is responsible for aiding in calcium absorption and absorption of phosphate. It helps us to have strong bones. Their are health consequences for having low Vitamin D. These can include increased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, in older adults cognitive impairment can be present, increase in asthma in children, and even cancer. Symptoms of low Vitamin D can include bone pain and weakness in the muscles.
On the flip side, having to much Vitamin D can cause problems as well. It increases your risk for falls and bone fractures, increased calcium in the blood, increased cancer risks, and gastrointestinal issues. Symptoms of Vitamin D being to high can include: weakness, fatigue, headaches, dry mouth, vertigo, and ear ringing. Kidney function can also be impaired.
Most of us get Vitamin D from the foods we eat and drink and also your body can generate Vitamin D when you are out in the sun. However, for those of us that have had bariatric surgery, Vitamin D is one that we don’t absorb a lot of due to our re-arranged anatomy. It creates a struggle to keep the Vitamin D at a level that is healthy.
I have been battling my Vitamin D for over a year. I started with a level of 5. The normal level of Vitamin D is between 20 and 50. Some labs have normal between 30 and 100. Due to the way absorption works after surgery, the normal prescription Vitamin D is not absorbed well. You need to take a dry Vitamin D3. After taking 50,000 units of dry Vitamin D3, my level came up to 12. That still was not high enough. I then began taking 100,000 units of dry Vitamin D3 to get the level up. Well, I got it up alright! Now my Vitamin D is to high – 123. I’m going to stop Vitamin D for awhile and let it go down. They will check it again in a few months.
The battle of Vitamin D continues. If you have had weight loss surgery, make sure you are having your labs checked at least annually, and semi-annually if possible. Vitamin D would be included in your labs and staying on top of it, can prevent a complete crash of Vitamin D.