People pay more attention to the topic of Vitamin D supplementation these days. In addition to its role in bone health, Vitamin D can be helpful for heart and blood vessel health, cancer prevention, fighting colds and flus, tooth and gum disease, lung conditions like COPD and asthma, and skin conditions such as vitiligo and psoriasis. With the thousands of Vitamin D studies done recently, and all the media attention, many people began to take Vitamin D. While Vitamin D toxicity is rare, it can happen if you take too much.
Vitamin D doesn’t behave like a typical vitamin in the body. It is actually a steroid hormone that we manufacture after sun exposure to our skin. We also get it from our diet, and from supplements. Since Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it gets stored in the body if we take too much, and can be hard to get rid of. Too much Vitamin D leads to a build-up of calcium in the blood, leading to weakness, nausea and vomiting, and frequent urination. Vitamin D toxicity is a greater risk for people with liver and kidney conditions.
People who live in northern climates like Montana tend to be deficient in the winter months. Before supplementing, have your doctor order a blood test to assess your Vitamin D status. Then he or she can determine a safe dose. Megadoses are only warranted if you have a true deficiency. It might be a good idea to stop supplementing in the summer when you spend more time outdoors in the sun.