Vitamin D is extremely important for your overall health. Even if you follow a healthy diet, you may need supplements to achieve optimal blood levels. However, it is also possible to have too much of a good thing, and when this case arises, frequent urination can be a symptom.
High doses of vitamin D can cause high levels of calcium in the body.
Symptoms of high levels of calcium include polyuria, which is an increase in the number of times a person needs to urinate.
Other symptoms of high calcium levels include bone or muscle pain, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, increased thirst or unusual drowsiness, fatigue or weakness.
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Vitamin D is fat-soluble, meaning it cannot be excreted through urination. If you take too much, it can cause the blood to retain calcium, leading to a condition known as hypercalcemia (too high levels of calcium in the blood).
This can lead to frequent urination. Other warning signs of hypercalcemia include nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and confusion, disorientation or double thinking.
The NHS recommends that if you choose to take vitamin D, 10 micrograms a day will be enough for most people.
It says: “Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it may be harmful. This applies to adults, including pregnant and lactating women and the elderly, and children aged 11 to 17 years. “
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Excess calcium in the bloodstream can bind with phosphate and form crystals that are deposited in soft body tissue.
These crystals can cause tissue damage and eventually organ damage depending on their location, number and size.
The kidney is particularly vulnerable to calcium deposits due to its role as a filter and its many small passages.
When calcium deposits are stuck in kidney tissue, nephrocalcinosis can occur.
If this condition is severe, it can cause permanent kidney damage and eventually kidney failure.
The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is an accumulation of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea and vomiting, weakness and frequent urination, the Mayo Clinic said.
The health site continued: “Vitamin D toxicity can develop into bone pain and kidney problems, such as the formation of calcium stones.
Treatment includes stopping vitamin D intake and limiting dietary calcium.
“Your doctor may also prescribe intravenous fluids and medications, such as corticosteroids or bisphosphonates.”
Who should take vitamin D supplements?
Some people risk not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunlight exposure.
You should take a vitamin D supplement if you:
Is not often outdoors – for example if you are fragile or resident
Is in an institution like a nursing home
Usually wear clothes that cover most of your skin when you are outdoors
If you have dark skin, for example if you have an African, African-Caribbean or South Asian background, you may also risk not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Anyone who falls into these categories should consider taking a supplement during the year.