Thyroid UK
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"Stopgap" dose of Vit D

I've decided to order some Vitamin D tomorrow but only a small amount, as I will meet my new GP in mid-Feb. I've checked and this CCG does allow prescribing Vit D for deficiency - and I have the blood test as proof: Medichecks, 23 nmol/L (range 50-200).

I'm brainless this week, so just before I place the order, please check my thinking!

1. I need a "huge" loading dose, probably for some months, followed by a maintenance dose.

2. I should take Vit K and calcium at the same time... I'm going to leave those for now, because I'm brain-dead since Xmas and will take so long to work it out, that I won't buy any until after I've seen the GP anyway. :P

3. I should find softgel or drops because they absorb best.

4. Need to take with a fatty meal, again to maximise absorption.

5. Brand - from old threads here, I've picked up on Doctor's Best and Solgar, but didn't find any threads more recent than almost a year ago. Are these still recommended?

I've set a reminder on my phone "Vit D outdoors" for 11:45am every day - still capable of OK-ing the reminder and forgetting again(!) but generally I'm getting out there for 10-5 minutes, or if it's raining, sitting in the porch which has a big south-facing window.

I also saw on here that "Vit D aids the absorption of calcium from food and K2 directs it to bones and teeth rather than arteries and soft tissues." ... I have more problems in my arteries and soft tissues, none with bones/teeth as far as I know, so I'm not worried to add K2 in a hurry.

... So, for now I need to buy the loading dose, but only enough for a month (expecting to have it prescribed by then). My question: I'm thinking 5,000 IU or more... is that good? Must I get more than that? I don't mind taking tablets, it's a cashflow thing.

(Please don't get too complicated. I am thoroughly brainless! This is being a more active January than I need. I "cancel January" every year - no outings, less computer than usual and no looking at money, phone calls that aren't social, etc etc. It takes this to recover from Xmas otherwise I struggle to get back up to speed even by May/June. But things I can't put off have clustered this month plus all this new learning about thyroid, vitamin deficiencies etc and changing GP... overloaded! Therefore one thing at a time, meaning this one supplement is enough to work out for the time being.)

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Muddlemand,

Your GP should refer to local guidelines or the cks.nice.org.uk/vitamin-d-d... Do NOT accept a prescription for 800iu which is a maintenance dose prescribed after vitD is replete >75. My GP prescribed 40,000iu daily x 14 followed by 2,000iu daily x 8 weeks which raised vitD from <10 to 107. Vitamin D should be taken 4 hours away from Levothyroxine.

I don't thin 5,000iu daily is sufficient but it will be better than nothing and will take longer to replenish levels.

I didn't take vitK2 but most members do recommend it.

Doctor's Best and Nature's Best are good, as are most vitD in oil capsules as long as the oil isn't soy. Taking vitD with the fattiest meal of the day aids absorption. If you buy on Amazon please use the affiliate link healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

You DON'T need calcium unless you have had a blood test showing low calcium.

If you're in the northern hemisphere ultraviolet light is too low to stimulate vitD until April.

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OK, I'll refuse 800iu - I'd got that from old threads (but I have three weeks to forget again so it's good to have it in one place).

40,000iu, wow!

My reason for buying now is that I want to have more energy and capacity sooner. So I'll go for a high dose, but also concerned about cost. I get prescriptions free because of Type 1 diabetes, and I have no income, so am counting the pennies. If 5,000iu isn't enough then it isn't worth buying it in the first place - that's what I want to establish now.

I have hopes of this GP, as she's recommended by a friend whose B12 is too high - the doctor is being persistent despite being baffled, and taking notice of symptoms as well as test results. Sounds like she's a good listener too. Fingers crossed! I think she'll be glad to prescribe anything she's allowed to, once she's decided I'm not a hypochondriac jumping on a bandwagon(!); but I didn't find dosages on the CCG site, only that Vit D is allowed for deficiency.

I'm not on any thyroid meds - since being hyper five years ago, I appear not to need them. One thing at a time, and if the Vit D makes me functional again, I'll have spare brain to think about the rest! ;)

I haven't been tested for calcium levels, I thought calcium helps absorption of Vit D?

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Muddlemand,

You can check the NICE link yourself. I think they recommend 300,000iu over 6 weeks so that would be 50,000iu per week. I'd rather take a higher dose to replenish vitD quicker.

VitD can raise calcium. Fatty food aids absorption of vitD.

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If you start self supplementing now and your new GP does his own test then your level at that time may not fall into the Deficiency category and you may not get a prescription. However, D3 is very cheap so personally I would just get on with it myself, you will probably get a better quality supplement anyway.

To answer your points:

1) The loading doses total 300,000iu over a number of weeks not months.

You then retest to check your level and find your own individual maintenance dose. Your GP would probably only prescribe 800iu as maintenance and most of us need more than that.

Retesting twice a year is necessary when supplementing with D3 to keep within the range recommended by the Vit D Council which is 100-150nmol/L.

2) K2-MK7 definitely, but not calcium. The other cofactor needed is magnesium. Magnesium helps D3 to work. D3 aids absorption of calcium from food and K2-MK7 directs it to bones and teeth and away from arteries and soft tissues.

GP won't agree, they know nothing about nutrients and cofactors as they're not taught nutrition. No point in discussing it, they will poo-poo the information and most likely belittle you.

3) Softgels are good. Doctors Best D3 and Healthy Origins for K2-MK7 are both good. If you have Hashi's then an oral D3 spray absorbs better.

4) Yes take with fattiest meal or some dietary fat.

5) Personally I don't like Solgar brand, the parent company owns Holland and Barrett (rubbish brand) and supplies arms which doesn't sit well with me. Quite a few fillers in Solgar brand too. Doctors Best D3 has only 2 ingredients - cholecalciferol (D3) and extra virgin olive oil.

We can't make Vit D naturally in the winter, the sun isn't high enough or strong enough. We can only make it in the summer so you're wasting your time going outside at the moment.

What do you mean by "I have more problems in my arteries and soft tissues". If you don't use K2-MK7 then the extra calcium from food may very well end up there and cause even more problems like calcification of arteries and kidney stones.

If you are going to self supplement with loading doses then I would buy these bodykind.com/product/2463-b... and I would suggest that you take 10,000iu daily for 4 weeks. That gives 280,000iu which is almost the total loading dose the NHS would prescribe. Then reduce to 5000iu daily then retest in April. Once you reach 100-150nmol/L find your maintenance dose which may be 5000iu alternate days, it's trial and error.

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For the dose, I'm thinking I'll get the maximum I can afford for this few weeks, and keep hoping the GP's useful until I find otherwise! If no joy there, then I'll fund myself but only after I know I have to. :) So today it's a short-term (stopgap) decision. As said replyihng to Clutter, I'm hoping she will prescribe properly despite being a GP ;) but I'll find out mid Feb. I'm happy to go with your suggestion of 10,000iu daily for now, as otherwise I'm just guessing - sounds like you're sure that won't be too much.

Not worried about confusing the test results, because I'm 99% certain this new GP will accept the Medichecks results from two weeks ago. Also my history which makes me think I've been Vit D deficient for "ever".

I'm only moving to the GP practice nearest my home. I've been with one five minutes away, because of where I used to live. But now there's nothing to keep me with them, diabetic clinic is no longer great (used to be like visiting family) and my old GP retired - having met the new one she's the worst type, for poo-pooing and belittling as you say.

Having had fibromyalgia for many years I have learnt how to get what I want out of the docs and stop begging once I'm sure I won't get it. It's a necessary skill but takes a lot of learning, doesn't it. (Also how to inform myself without getting caught up in over-diagnosing as is possible online.)

(At least - it will be nice if fibromyalgia was a misdiagnosis and it was Vitamin D all along! FM can't be cured, Vit D levels can be!)

I'm keeping all these specific points in my "Vitamin D file" regarding how often to test and so on. Also regarding brands. I agree with you on H&B!

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And coming to "What do you mean by "I have more problems in my arteries and soft tissues". If you don't use K2-MK7 then the extra calcium from food may very well end up there and cause even more problems like calcification of arteries and kidney stones."

I read in one thread the bit I quoted about "Vit D aids the absorption of calcium from food and K2 directs it to bones and teeth rather than arteries and soft tissues", so I thought K2 would mean the bones n teeth got more support, and without K2 the arteries n soft tissues would get more help. But instead I see what you mean! My bones are fine, and apart from fillings my teeth are fine, but I've had soft tissue troubles for a long time: tendon sheath problems including trigger finger, stuff like ganglions, and unexplained swelling that isn't part of fibromyalgia. So I thought better to help the soft tissues than the bones - but now I see what you mean. Glad that was clarified!

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Ah yes, wording was a bit obscure. Should read "K2 directs it to bones and teeth and away from arteries and soft tissues" - that makes better sense :)

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I'm interested in the discussion about vitamin K Mk7. I was under the impression that Mk7 is derived from Natto, which in turn is made from soy. Is there a particular reason why Mk7 is better than say Mk9? Would it be better to take a Mk9 version such as the ones on this link oxfordvitality.co.uk/vitami...

which has a longer half life and therefore leads to higher bioavailablity. Mk9 seems to be mainly derived from cheese, and it seems this product is, as it is suitable for vegetarians but not vegans.

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