I have been told my Vit D is a bit low and the doctor said to try and get fifteen mins. in the sun each day and then see him in September fo

I havge been told my Vit D is a bit low and the GP said to try and get fifteen mins. in the sun each day and then to see him in September to have another blood test done and see if the Vit D is now o.k. Well, i have been trying to get a bit of sun each day, but as you all know in this country we do not get sunshine every day. I wondered if it would be a good and safe idea to buy one of those sun lamps which are advertised and are supposed to give the same amount Vit D as the sun. I do not mean those sunbeds that you have to lie inside but a lamp that stands up in front of you. Can anyone help please on this subject.


46 Replies

  • Hi have you thought about just getting vitamins to supplement? Would be easier that's what I have done as mine is very low ..bit of a strange thing for doctor to say really ..but there again doctors are strange

  • Yes, I thought this too. Are you meant to sit by the window with your coat on waiting for the cloud to clear/rain to stop etc until you can run outside and start your stopwatch?

  • Lol

  • :-)

  • Hi there, Last summer in uk was one of the longest sunniest on record, I had my Vit D tested in September and my Vit D level was average (I also spent 2 weeks in the Algarve) .

    If yours is low then a few minutes a day in the Sun is not going to help - uk sun is only at adequate strenth to deliver sufficient VitD between April and September, and then you have to expose as much flesh as possible.

    (You doctor is an idiot and should prescribe you Vit D)

    My friend used a sun lamp and found it really helpful, though D3 suppliment would be quicker, it depends on how much time you can spare to use the lamp.

  • Completely agree - my first thought on reading this was "Your doctor is an idiot!" You simply can't make vitamin D in the UK at this time of year. So supplementation is the way to go. Here's a recent thread on what some of us take: healthunlocked.com/thyroidu....

  • Ask if the NHS is going to provide you with flight tickets to a nice sunny climate for a few months! Also, if he can provide an alternative medication you may come home completely renewed altogether.

  • I have tried to reply to all of you in one go. Do hope you see it. I am new to all of this. Thanks.


  • Thanks Marguerite. Not sure if everyone will get an email but am sure they will realise.

  • I had the same advice from an endo when my calcium level was very low and it was January. When I spoke to Dr S about my calcium and vit D he said he was not convinced hypothyroid people can process vit D from the sun adequately and I have read this somewhere but sorry can't remember with with my foggy brain. My daughter who is not hypo had a very low vit D and was very ill for sometime but has really improved with a high dose supplement from her Dr. I would supplement but make sure you buy D3.

  • Do you know how low you are? A "bit low" could be anywhere from just under optimal to severely deficient.

    As others have mentioned the sun this time of year isn't very strong and you may not get enough vit D from the sun (if you were then why would be you deficient in the first place!).

    I think a vitamin D3 supplement would be a lot cheaper than buying a sun lamp. You can buy vitamin D very cheaply on amazon, or at boots, holland & barrett, etc.

  • vitamindcouncil.org will give you some information. The book by Michael Holick - The Vitamin D Solution - is full of excellent information. Are you on Statins - as they block the production of cholesterol which is needed for the process of making VitD in the skin from the UVB rays.

    You need at least 20 minutes of MIDDAY sun with at least 40% of your body exposed to absorb adequate amounts. I have lived in Crete for 10 years and both hubby and I were low when tested - now optimal after treatment. We both have Hashis - so possibly a problem with absorption and assimilation....

    Perhaps if your GP knew that all the trillions of cells in our bodies had a D3 receptor in the nucleus that can affect DNA then perhaps he would take it more seriously ! Can't remember where I read that - sorry :-)

    I understand mushrooms that are grown under artificial lamps have good levels of D ....

    Low VitD is present in many people with chronic conditions - from certain cancers to heart conditions....

  • 40% exposed?

    Well if you consider that even naked you'd only get sun on one side - 50% - it seems like we'll all need string bikinis. And today I'll also need my heating blanket on an extension cord.

  • ...totally agree ! Just making the point that her GP needs a wake up call. What about the letter that was sent out by the Chief Medical Officer informing ALL Health practitioners that certain people should be tested for D.... that was back in 2010. And still it doesn't happen....

  • Yes, sorry, just to be totally clear I was rolling my eyes at the gp and agreeing with you. :-) Plus I didn't realise you needed 40% exposure so I learned something. :-)

  • ...again of course we all differ - 40% of me is far more than 40% of a little person :-) Think I read the % in Holick's book and his ideas on sensible sun exposure.... :-)

  • Hi Marguirite, My daughter works outdoors for 9 hours a day but even when we do have hot weather her vit D level is on the floor.Her consultant(rheumatologist) said some people especially those with autoimmune conditions cannot absorb or create sunshine into vit D do she needs sulpplements

  • And where are you going to find 15 mins of sunshine in the UK (you need to be largely unclothed, too) at this time of year? Apparently there is very little vit D production in latitudes north of 50 degrees in the winter months (but see westonaprice.org/blogs/2010...)

    Take a D3 supplement. Most sunlamps available in this country don't produce vitamin D - it needs to be a special sort of lamp that does UVB - costing around £300-400. SAD light boxes won't do it. nor will tanning lamps


  • on the nail! x

  • My homeopathic doctor told me this week that most people need to supplement between September and March.

  • Hello everybody who have answered my question. I do take vitamins and codliver oil, but I guess that is not enough Vit.D, so I give below exactly what was on my Result sheet, because I do not really understand it.

    "Serum Vitamin D"

    "Serum Vitamin D" 32 nmol/L (125 - 200)

    PLEASE NOTE: As of 7/10/13 vitamin D is analysed

    at BHRUT. This method measures total

    25-Hydroxyvitamin D (nmol/L) :

    < 25: Deficiency

    25-75: May require supplementation, see guideline

    < 75: replete

    Guideline: bhrhospitals.nhs.uk/our-ser...

    I am really gratefull to you all for trying to help me, but as you can see, I do not understand this report, but can only say what the doctor said to me. I am supposed to have another blood test for vitamin D in September.

    I do not know what amount of vitamin D to take. I know codliver oil has only a tiny bit of vitamin D in it.

    My other vitamins are Vit. C, Vit B, Vit e, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc, Codliver oil, Glucosomine, CoEnzyme Q-10 30 mg. Selenium and Bilberry (Phew! quite a lot). plus Garlic Pearles. Thats about it.

    Now I would be very happy if anyone can tell me what dosage to take of Vit D that I could buy in Holland and Barrett.

    Thanks again to all you lovely people.

    Marguerite9 xx

  • Hi Marguerite. According to this, your Vit isn't just a bit low - it's a lot low: uptodate.com/contents/vitam...

    Note: your Vit D has been measured in n/mol, not ng/l.

    I think I'd start by taking 10000iu a day. What do others think? Personally, I find it extremely odd that the doctor didn't prescribe Vit D for you!

  • Marguerite, your vitD at 32 is insufficient and you ought to be able to get a prescription. My sister's is a little higher at 44 and I have advised her to take 5,000iu daily until high summer if her prescription is less than that.

    I was <10 which is deficient. I was prescribed 40,000iu daily for 7 days and 2,000iu daily for 2 months. Retest was good at 116 and I stopped. Muscle cramps and joint pain resumed so I've taken 10,000iu for 3 weeks and have dropped to 5,000iu in the last 2 days.

  • Thankyou so much Clutter for being concerned. I am worried too, but have been back to my GP and asked about my results and all he would say is have another blood test in September. I wonder if I should just go to Holland and Barrett and purchase what you said 5,000 i.u Vit D. Do I take this every day and if so, for how long? It is scary when one cannot talk to a GP. It is so good that there are people like you Clutter and all the others that have replied to me. I really do appreciate it.


  • I got some tabs from H&B too mild when low, so nothing improved until I had biocare drops 4000iu - easy in juice/milk or on the back of your hand each morning - let me know when you feel the difference, get tested again in 6 months J :D

  • I would recommend supplementing and stop a few weeks prior to retesting. If H&B don't stock 5,000iu you can get them from Amazon (please use the pinned affiliate post).

  • I had to cry in the surgery before my doctor would agree to test my vit D levels and surprise surprise, I was deficient! She immediately prescribed vit D on prescription and I now take it twice daily. Go back and discuss the possibility of being prescribed. If not, supplement yourself.

  • thankyou BontGirl. I will try to buy the Vit D in Holland & Barrett, but really do not know what dosage to get. Marguerite9

  • Thankyou BontGirl. I will try to buy the Vit D in H & Barrett but really do not know exac tly what dosage to get.

    Really appreciate everybody trying to help me.


  • Here are some guidelines for dosing: imperialendo.com/for-doctor...

  • Thankyou puncturebicycle for your help. Do appreciate it.


  • No probs. Lots of us have the vit d problem. Good luck! :-)

  • I would change my GP and start taking the tablets as suggested by others on here. In Scotland they have recognised that a large part of the population is very low in Vit D and should be supplemented but I doubt many GP's take notice. The Scots have much higher rates of MS, cancer etc. probably due to lack of Vit D

  • Thankyou Crimple, I am rather worried because the doctors at my surgery do not like it if I suggest anything. I think they think I am trying to tell them their job and are much clever than them, but I am not clever, but just want to look after my health, but they do not seem to want to know. I cannot wait until September to have a blood test (which is what the GP suggested) and think I will just buy the Vit D from H & Barrett. Thanks again for your help. Marguerite9

  • you can get a Vit D test for £25 from Birmingham city hospital, it is NHS and it is a money spinner for them. I have used it, very easy(finger prick) and speedy result.

    Your GP needs to be reminded that we have been told (by Government)to take more responsibility for our health and not expect the GP to do everything for us!!! Well maybe your GP practice hasn't yet got the message, heads in the sand!! Maybe someone on here can point you to the relevant article and you can print it off and take it to them!! I am so cross on your behalf, they sound like complete idiots. If I had time, in your shoes I would write down every time the sun shines and how long for oh and also the outside temperature. Maybe they hope if you expose 40% of your skin to the elements you will catch pneumonia and no longer be a problem for them. Sorry for my extreme sarcasm. LOL Good luck

  • I would like to thank all you lovely people who have tried to help me. I really do appreciate it. Now I have read all that you have said, I am going to buy myself some Vit D 5,000 i.u and take it daily until I have the blood test in September when I have to go and see the GP. I do wonder though, and perhaps you can help me, can it damage the liver at all?Thanks again to all of you.

    Marguerite9 xxxxx

  • Please make sure that it is vitd3 and not vitd2

    Jo xx

  • Not as far as I'm aware - in fact cancer sufferers are usually prescribed it - talk about horse & stable door.... grr! J :D

  • Oh, you have made me laugh Crimple You are a tonic. I will take notice of all you have said. I am still smiling to myself. I can imagine the Doctor's face if i presented a list like you said, of when the sun shines etc. ha ha.

    Marguerite9 xx

  • Im constantly amazed by what peoples GP's are like! I actually told my Dr i wanted Vit D,folate,ferritin and B12 tests,along with my TFT's. He just said "yep,ok. Any more?" and i said "oh yes,T3.Is that tested routinely?" he said "Hmm lets see....nope,but i'll find it,there it is . Ok. Anything else?" This is on his pc. Its like,well you seem to know what you need more than me. I must be incredibly lucky,and im very grateful I have him. (In fact all the gp's in the practice are good). any her is my Vit D result

    Vit D2 1.6 nmol/L

    Vit D3 15.5 nmol/L <25 nmol/L = deficient

    Total Vit D 17.1 nmol/L

    He immediatly prescribed me 20000 iu D3 to be taken 3 times a week for 10 weeks.

    Good luck Marguerite9, I hope you start feeling better soon x

  • You lucky thing! So pleased for you :-)

    Now could you just pass him round? ;-)

  • Oh I wish I could HarryE! I wish I could :)

  • Just letting everyone know that I have now ordered from Amazon Solgar Vit D3 5,000 i.u and should get them in a few days time. I do take H & Barrett's Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc and Codliver Oil. I wonder should I still take these as well as the Vit D3. Does anybody know? Thanks again to all of you for being so helpful.

    Marguerite9 xx

  • Fine to continue other supplements. Only one I'm not sure about is calcium. Make sure calcium is tested with vitD in Sept.

  • Thankyou Clutter for all your help. It is nice to know that so many people care. Marguerite9 x

  • Thankyou Clutter for all your help. It is nice to know that so many people care. The Doctors do not seem to be bothered.

    Marguerite9 x

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