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Hypervitaminosis D
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Hypervitaminosis D

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Vitamin D toxicity

Hypervitaminosis D is a condition that occurs after taking very high doses of vitamin D.

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • Causes

    The cause is excess intake of Vitamin D. The doses need to be very high, far above what a medical provider would normally prescribe.

    There has been a lot of confusion caused by internet articles about Vitamin D supplementation. It is extremely unusual for anybody to need more than 2000 IU of Vitamin D a day.

    For most people, Vitamin D toxicity only occurs with Vitamin D doses above 10,000 IU per day.

  • Symptoms

    An excess of vitamin D causes abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). This can severely damage the kidneys, soft tissues, and bones over time.

    • Constipation
    • Decreased appetite (anorexia)
    • Dehydration
    • Fatigue
    • Irritability
    • Muscle weakness
    • Vomiting
  • Exams and Tests

    • Excess calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia)
    • Excess calcium in the urine (hypercalciuria)
    • Excessive thirst (polydipsia)
    • High blood pressure
    • Passing large amounts of urine (polyuria)

    Tests to confirm the diagnosis:

    • 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D levels
    • 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels
    • Serum calcium
    • Serum phosphorus
    • X-ray of the bone
  • Treatment

    Stop taking vitamin D. Talk to your health care provider. In severe cases, other treatment may be needed.

  • Outlook (Prognosis)

    Recovery is expected.

  • Possible Complications

    • Dehydration
    • Hypercalcemia
    • Kidney damage
    • Kidney stones
  • When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your health care provider if:

    • You or your child shows symptoms of hypervitaminosis D and has been taking more vitamin D than the recommended daily allowance
    • You or your child shows symptoms and has been taking a prescription form of vitamin D
  • Prevention

    To prevent this condition, pay careful attention to the correct vitamin D dose.

Related Information

  Vitamin D     Vitamins

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Review Date: 11/7/2013  

Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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