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Low Vitamin D Level (Should I delay TTC?)

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  • Low Vitamin D Level (Should I delay TTC?)

    During a recent visit to my family physician I asked if sheíd check my Vitamin D levels. She looked at me like I was an alien and asked WHY I felt the need to do so. I managed to get her to write a script for me and had my blood drawn.

    My results are back and we are now playing phone tag (she left a message that she needed to discuss the results w. me). I got sick of waiting to get her on the phone so I picked up my results on my own from the office.

    It says that my level is 17 ng/ML where the normal range is 30-100.

    So thatís pretty low right?

    I wanted to start trying to conceive in October but now Iím thinking I should wait to get my levels up? How long does it take to get Vitamin D levels up?

    What dosage should I supplement myself with? Seems like thereís considerable variation in whatís offered in terms of dosage.

    Whatís the best dietary source of Vitamin D? Salmon??

    Now that itís almost fall here in the Northeast, does it mean being out in the mid-day sun every day wonít make a difference for me or is there still value in spending time outside?

  • #2
    Try 5000 iu of vitamin d3 (cholecalciferol) per day. Get it retested in 3 months. I like the carlsons liquid d3. They use coconut oil instead of soy or another seed oil.

    I got nothing regarding ttc and vitamin d.
    Prodistat
    Poke it quickly, with a stick.

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    • #3
      Definitely take at least 5000 IU of d3 daily, I take between 6000 and 10,000 on any given day. You might look into taking fermented cod liver oil/butter oil (by a company called green pastures) as well, that way you get vitamins A and K too. I would definitely hold off at least a few months on TTC until your levels are up, 17 is horrible, mine was 21 and that is pretty awful too. 30 is the "standard" measure of too low, but most doctors who know what they're talking about want it up near 80.

      I didn't know about my low vitamin D and K until after I had my son. He is 2 and already has significant tooth decay, and nearly bled to death at 6 weeks old during a routine medical procedure (circumcision, if I had a do-over this would never have happened). Your vitamin deficiencies can definitely have a major impact on your kids. He is a very bright, happy, well-adjusted toddler, but for these two major issues I wish I knew then what I know now.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by prodistat View Post
        I like the carlsons liquid d3. They use coconut oil instead of soy or another seed oil.
        Thanks for mentioning this. I get leery of taking so many d3 pills every day because of the filler ingredients. And this sounds like it'd be kid-friendly, too. My kids just started taking d3 gummies and it'd be nice to cut down on their sugar intake from vitamins.
        I'm retraining and strengthening my taste buds, one primal meal at a time.

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        • #5
          Try 5000 iu of vitamin d3 (cholecalciferol) per day. Get it retested in 3 months. I like the carlsons liquid d3. They use coconut oil instead of soy or another seed oil.
          +1 And if you prefer a gel cap, the Carlson's Solar D Gems are fish oil-based.

          You might look into taking fermented cod liver oil/butter oil (by a company called green pastures) as well, that way you get vitamins A and K too.
          I think you already saw on another thread that I don't recommend cod liver oil to my pregnant or ttc clients. It's too easy to take in too much Vitamin A--especially if you are also eating liver (which I definitely recommend!) If you don't eat liver, then Carlson's Cod Liver Oil has the best A to D ratio. Green Pastures can't tell you their A or D amounts because of the way they process the cod livers.
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          • #6
            Shema, if you go on pubmed and search for vitamin d deficiency and pregnancy or fetus, maybe you'll find some definite answers. But it certainly can't hurt to wait to conceive until your vitamin d levels are higher. As for your dosage, from what I've read we can safely take up to 10,000 iu a day without negative effects, and possibly higher than that, especially if you take k2 along with the d3. My vitamin d level was at 18 earlier this year and I recently started supplementing with 10,000 iu most days to hopefully get the level up soon. I plan on getting retested in a month of so.
            I'm retraining and strengthening my taste buds, one primal meal at a time.

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            • #7
              Thank you so much for all of your responses, and for the great suggestion on the Carlsons liquid D3. One question though: I am eating liver too (trying to force myself to like pate)...does that mean I should lay off of the Carlson b/c it has Vitamin A, and just stick to a Vitamin D3 supplement?

              Originally posted by OperaDivaMom View Post
              17 is horrible, mine was 21 and that is pretty awful too. 30 is the "standard" measure of too low, but most doctors who know what they're talking about want it up near 80.
              I spoke to my doc and oddly enough she told me 17 is low but "not that bad". I asked her if I should hold off on trying to conceive and she actually said it would be OK to go ahead and start trying since "women get pregnant all the time not knowing they're deficient in Vitamin D". I was pretty disgusted with the response. I've concluded that this woman doesn't know what she's talking about. Apparently she'd even forgotten that she'd told me my iron levels were low. When I reminded her about it she said "Oh, that's right, you're the low end of normal so it's not so bad" and that the real issue was that I have "low hemoglobin levels". I asked her what I could do about it and she said nothing. Great, thanks doc.

              She also recommended taking 1,000 IU a day. I told her I planned on trying out 5,000 and she said I might want to stick to 1,000 since 5,000 "is a lot of Vitamin D3 to take at a time".
              Last edited by shema; 09-20-2011, 05:57 PM.

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              • #8
                Sounds like it's time to find a new doc!

                The Carlson's liquid D3 is different from the Carlson's cod liver oil.

                How much Vitamin A does the Carlson's Liquid D3 have? It may be too little to matter, if you are taking it by the drop.

                I generally recommend trying to average out at no more than 10,000 IUs of retinol (pre-formed A) a day for my pregnant clients.
                Last edited by Dragonfly; 09-20-2011, 06:34 PM.
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                • #9
                  I personally would wait until I got my levels up before TTC (now). I feel like my son has been dealing w/ the impact of generational nutrient deficiencies since birth (he's 4 now). I'd check out the vitamin D council site for more on preg. and vit D.

                  Good luck with everything!!!
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                  • #10
                    Ah, OK, Carlson's liquid D3 it is then. I'll check my local vitamin store to see if they have it...

                    Thanks FairyRae and OperaDivaMom for the head's up on TTC. I feel like I've waited so long...I waited first to get my weight down and now that I'm almost at a good weight I've been hit with these deficiencies and I feel like I have to wait longer. But you're right. It's worth waiting for if it leads to healthy outcomes. Best wishes to you and your kids!

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                    • #11
                      Oh, just in case you missed it in the other thread, here's the link for my latest blog post:
                      Primal Ponderings: Vitamin D deficiency & Pregnancy
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                      • #12
                        Yes, I saw it and THAT'S what prompted me to get my D levels checked so thank you for that and I hope other moms-to-be will check it out too!!!!

                        I have peripheral neuropathy and I'm hoping the Vitamin D supplementation may help with that too.

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                        • #13
                          It's great that you insisted on getting your vitamin D checked, way to self-advocate! Get a new doc, for sure. I live in the Pacific Northwest, it rains here alot and we don't get much in the way of sunshine, at least not enough to keep our D levels up. I think that's pretty much the norm for northern climates anyways, west or east. Our doctors here are hip enough to make checking D levels a regular thing. Mine was low, no surprise.

                          My doctor told me that if I just took 1000 or 2000 IUs per day as is RDA, I would never up my D storage. First you have to get your high stores back, then you can maintain. She instructed me to take 4000 to 5000 IUs per day for 8 weeks. When I retested my levels were dramatically improved and normal. Now I take 2000 IUs per day to keep it that way. I thought that was alot of vitamin D to take also, but my doctor told me they sometimes prescribe up to 50,000 IUs per day for patients and have never seen any bad side effects so in comparison 5000 is still nothing. Do it for 8 weeks and get retested. Consider a new doctor or a naturopath.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Goldstar View Post
                            It's great that you insisted on getting your vitamin D checked, way to self-advocate! Get a new doc, for sure. I live in the Pacific Northwest, it rains here alot and we don't get much in the way of sunshine, at least not enough to keep our D levels up. I think that's pretty much the norm for northern climates anyways, west or east. Our doctors here are hip enough to make checking D levels a regular thing. Mine was low, no surprise.

                            My doctor told me that if I just took 1000 or 2000 IUs per day as is RDA, I would never up my D storage. First you have to get your high stores back, then you can maintain. She instructed me to take 4000 to 5000 IUs per day for 8 weeks. When I retested my levels were dramatically improved and normal. Now I take 2000 IUs per day to keep it that way. I thought that was alot of vitamin D to take also, but my doctor told me they sometimes prescribe up to 50,000 IUs per day for patients and have never seen any bad side effects so in comparison 5000 is still nothing. Do it for 8 weeks and get retested. Consider a new doctor or a naturopath.
                            Geez, lemme tell you, the more I interact with docs the more I realize how important it is to self-advocate and to be informed and the less I trust docs....

                            Thanks so much for laying out the process for how to get D levels up and how to maintain it once it is up! This is very helpful! I get the sense that many physicians have this irrational fear of Vitamin D toxicity which is why some might be timid to recommend higher doses. You're lucky your doc(s) are more with it!!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by shema View Post
                              Yes, I saw it and THAT'S what prompted me to get my D levels checked so thank you for that and I hope other moms-to-be will check it out too!!!!

                              I have peripheral neuropathy and I'm hoping the Vitamin D supplementation may help with that too.
                              That's great, Shema!
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