Vitamin D / Folate Levels

Vitamin D level is 21 and my GP was not really concerned but I called him on Friday and said this level is very low and I am having aches and pains and very stiff. I have underactive thyroid (on Armour prescribed by GP) and have autoimmune liver disease (PBC). He wants to speak to my liver specialist to ask if ok to put me on Vitamin D. Honestly I give up as our bodies need Vitamin D and mine was 46 last year and now dropped to 21. My folate was also 3.7. As both these blood tests are just within reference range he seemed unwilling to treat!!! If he says no to getting medication, I will have to buy myself. Anybody think these levels are low? TIA xxx

13 Replies

  • I had the same symptoms and had blood tests. My vitamin D levels were low too. My doctor said he'd prescribe vitamin d supplements or i could get them from boots (for less than what id pay on my prescription) so I went with that option :)

  • If you have been diagnosed as hypothyroid by your doctor you should be able to claim for free prescriptions. Speak to your GP about it and ask for a claim form.

  • Thanks for replying humanbean. Yes I get free prescriptions with underactive thyroid but also live in Scotland and prescriptions are free for everyone. x

  • Hi Kelky, thanks for reply. The trouble is that I need strong Vit D which GP can prescribe to get levels up. Thanks for reply. x

  • humanbean is correct. I was just about to message you regarding this..x

    It is low and if you do supplement buy Vit D3 and make sue you also take Vit K2 Mk7 otherwise calcium and vit D ends up in your blood and not your bones. x

  • Thank you Mango_555. I knew it was D3 and knew about Vit K but didn't know it was K2 Mk7. Do you know how much to take daily? Hoping GP will prescribe D3 but I know Inwikl need to order Vit K2 Mk7. Thanks xxx

  • My pleasure, the Healthspan K2 is 75mcg , I am happy with this amount and it is lowering my blood calcium. x There are other types and cheaper out there. The GP will prescribe either Adcal which as calcium included (probably more calcium than Vit D, or Vit D but a lower dose than you can buy. I get my Vit D3 from Amazon (Jarrows). When our GP prescribed Vit D gel capsules for my husband, it was only for 3 months. I supplement both of us, have eased off a bit now we are top of the range in supplementing. I intend to keep a close watch on our need for it though.x

  • Silvers If the measurement of Vit D is nmol/L then 21 is indeed low, it comes under the Deficiency category.

    When I had mine tested the categories were:

    Less than 15 - Severe Deficiency

    15-30 - Deficiency

    30.1 - 50 - Insufficiency

    Greater than 50 - Adequate

    Total Vit D levels above 220nmol/L are considered High and increase the risk of Vit D toxicity.

    Normally members would advise supplementing until your level is 100+. However, because of your PBC it's understandable that your GP is being cautious and is asking your consultant. According to

    "Vitamin deficiencies

    Bile produced by the liver plays an important role in digestion, particularly in digesting fats. As the flow of bile out of the liver is obstructed in people with PBC, the condition may occasionally cause problems absorbing "fat-soluble" vitamins – including vitamins A, D, E and K."

    As far as your folate is concerned, do you have the reference range as it's not possible to comment otherwise.

  • Yes people with PBC due suffer with absorbing A, D, E and K. But getting Bitamin D tested is hard enough in UK let alone the rest. I did ask him but got a there is not a test as such so lucky to get Vit D tested as they will only do once a year. The reference range from folate starts at 3 and I think goes up to 20. x

  • Silvers If you are willing to do a private Vit D test then this is easily done by a fingerprick blood spot test with City Assays (NHS City Hospital in Birmingham) for £28, the result is usually back within a week, to keep an eye on that if you want it done more often than the NHS allows, but I don't know anything about getting the others tested. Can you ask your liver specialist about those?

    For your low folate there are lots of folate supplements, the usual seems to be 400mcg - BioCare Nutrisorb Methylfolate, Cytoplan, Solgar. Solgar also do one that has 800mcg. I got my folate up from very low to top of the range in about 2.5 months by taking Thorne Basic B Complex which has B vits plus 400mcg Methylfolate.

  • Thank you Seaside Susie, good to know about test. x

  • SeasideSusie levels are different from where I am.

    Where I am:

    25nmol/L or less is severe deficiency

    25nmol/L to 75nmol/L is insufficient

    75nmol/L plus is adequate

    Either way having looked through various NHS protocols in different areas for people your GP needs to treat you because your level is under 25nmol/L.

    This is because you need high dose vitamin D tablets 10,000IU plus which are extremely difficult to find.

    If your folate is within reference range he has an excuse not to treat you so you need to treat yourself.

  • Hi bluebug, thanks for reply. I am actually just in the reference range at 21. I think the reference range starts at 20. My old GP (left the surgery now) called me lasy year to say she was prescribing Vitamin D as it was low at 46. I tried to get Liver Spec to test in Feb 2016 but lab refused as it was tested May 2015 and they will only test after year is up. I would have fought with chronic illnesses and low Vit D that they should at least test every 3 or 6 months. My folate is in range at 3.7 as reference range starts at 3. x

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