Vitamin D overdose, also called hypervitaminosis D, is a rare disorder but can have serious side effects on the body. Overdose of vitamin D is usually caused by intake of mega doses of vitamin D supplements, not by sun exposure.Because our body regulates the amount of vitamin D we receive from sun exposure and very less amount of food, even the vitamin D fortified foods contain minimal amount of vitamin D.
How Overdose Occurs
Like most other vitamins, vitamin D is stored in the fat cells and is not excreted from the body. Overdose of vitamin D is a gradual process and only can reach the toxic level if one’s intake of vitamin D supplements is exceeded above the recommended dose on a consistent basis. Around 100,000 IU per day is considered to be the upper intake level for most people. Even then, symptoms of overdose can only occur when a person consistently takes vitamin D supplements for few months.
Side Effects Of Vitamin D Overdose
Side effects from overdose of vitamin D can vary from person to person. It can be mild to serious. The most common symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, muscular pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, excessive thirst and headache etc. Some emotional symptoms like nervousness and irritability may also accompany. Gradually nerves and muscles get affected and the affected person experiences fatigue, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, chest pain and his/her skin becomes itchy.
Hypercalcemia Leading To Bone Loss
Vitamin D toxicity (hypercalcemia) can lead to more serious concerns like it can raise the level of calcium in your blood and soft tissues like heart, lungs and kidneys. As a result, there can be severe bone loss or bone pain.
Heart Attack And Stroke
Urinary Tract Infection
Vitamin D overdose can lead to urinary tract infection as well. A person can suffer from excessive urine production, kidney stone and even renal failure. These symptoms can even lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart diseases and damage of vital organs.
Liver And Kidney Problem
Even though vitamin D toxicity is quite rare, even amongst those who take supplements, yet a person is at greater risk if he/she is suffering from any kind of liver or kidney problem or taking thiazide-type diuretics. If toxicity is allowed for a longer period, there can be permanent kidney damage. Toxicity can even lead to death due to heart arrhythmia, abnormal blood salt levels and dehydration. Therefore, you must always talk to your doctors before taking any kind of supplements.
Formation Of Kidney Stones
Due to calcification of soft tissues, vitamin D overdose can lead to stone formation in the kidney, which can lead to serious consequences if not treated timely.
High level of vitamin D can cause vomiting, muscle weakness, fatigue, nervousness, constipation and dehydration. There can cause excessive urine production, particularly at night. The best way to avoid vitamin D overdose is by getting vitamin D from sunlight and dietary sources like eggs, fish and fortified milk, instead of taking too much of Vitamin D supplements.