person holding their stomach in pain

Q. My blood level of vitamin D (16) is very low. A few years ago I was prescribed 50,000 IUs once a week, but I had to quit after just one month. It caused severe acid reflux that took me several months to get under control.

I’d feel a lot better if I could get my vitamin D levels up, but how can I manage that with my hypersensitive stomach? Using acid suppressors over a period of time creates a rebound reflux that really makes things worse. I’d appreciate any suggestions you can offer.

A. With such a low level of vitamin D in your body, you would probably feel better if you could bring it up. Low vitamin D has been linked to asthma, infections, depression, joint pain, heart disease and high blood pressure, among other problems.

You might want to try a lower dose of vitamin D3 to see if you can tolerate it. The earlier medication you took was vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is available OTC in doses such as 1,000 or 2,000 IU.

Now that spring is here, you might also want to get 15 or 20 minutes a day of sun exposure. We are sending you our Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency for more details on the pros and cons of this essential nutrient. We also describe the appropriate levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the test that showed your body is so low in this vitamin.

Although vitamin D is not supposed to cause side effects, you are not the only person to report difficulties, particularly with the high-dose once-a-week regimen. Anyone else who has had a reaction to vitamin D may report it in the comments below.

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  1. Susie
    USA
    Reply

    I have been taking 10,000 i.u. Vit. D 3 Daily now for over a month due to low lab results. I am experiencing a lot of heartburn. Miserable. The naturopath gave me a D3 10,000 IU in one tiny capsule, but wondering if maybe like 5 of the 2000 through the day might be a better option?

  2. Kavya K.
    india
    Reply

    Im facing similar issues as above….upper n middle back …feel severe burning sensation
    ..take vit d3 once a week 60k and have taken for 4 weeks once a week…how fo I stop these burning sensations in my back…pls help

  3. amanda
    yorkshire, uk
    Reply

    I was prescribed the vitamin d chewable tablets after being told by the doctor that my levels were very low, (+ early menopause).
    I started getting the acid reflux and bronchial aches and pains, more noticeable when i’m sitting down.
    It’s a relief to know I’m not the only one.

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