Individuals with vitamin D deficiency often complain of musculoskeletal pain, weakness, and even depression. Vitamin D3 supplementation is shown as a solution to restore levels of this nutrient – which is naturally obtained through exposure to sunlight. But how long do they take to relieve unpleasant symptoms?
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the body. Supplementation should only be done under medical supervision, with deficiency proven by blood test. Dosages will be determined by the patient’s age.
“Before age 50, the level considered normal is between 20 ng/ml and 30 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter). But, above 50 for women — after menopause — and over 60 for men, we don’t leave below 30 ng/ml. ml ”, explains Ricardo Meirelles, Chairman of the Social Communication Committee of Sbem (Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism).
According to Meirelles, the duration of treatment against disability “varies a lot” and depends on each individual’s body, so there is no standard or set period.
“There is no such thing as a small, medium or large disability. There is a disability or there is no disability. Those with a disability are less than 20 [ng/ml]For example, we replace it until we reach normal levels of vitamin D in the blood.
Supplementation doses are prescribed according to the amount of vitamin D present in the patient’s bloodstream.
The expert says a decrease of 18 ng/ml, for example, may require one 50,000 international unit (international unit) pill per week to reach normal levels.
“When the level is normalized, we begin to give the maintenance dose, which is about 7,000 IU per week – 1,000 IU per day,” adds Meirelles.
In cases of low or high levels of the substance, the endocrinologist says he considers it ideal to have a blood test every two months to reassess the dose of the supplement. In this period, a person can already feel some difference with the supplement.
“I need to get a blood test in a couple of months, and if that’s the case [o resultado] Normal, move to maintenance dose (7000 IU/week). If it is still low, I will prescribe 50,000 IU per week for another 2 months. The consultation could be every four months.”
The importance of medical supervision
A study conducted by researchers from the Federal University of Minas Gerais and the Rene Racho Research Institute, of Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, in 2020, showed that about 875,000 Brazilians over 50 years of age suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
Furthermore, 7.5 million people in this age group had levels below those considered healthy for this substance.
This group, like others, should not benefit from vitamin D alone, since both an excess of the substance and a deficiency in the human body can cause harm.
“[O excesso de vitamina D ocasiona] Lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weakness, nervousness and this is usually due to hypercalcemia, high calcium in the blood, because calcium comes out of the bones and goes into the blood. In any case, it causes very unpleasant general symptoms,” warns Meirelles.
He adds, “The biggest problem is that there is currently a tendency to use large doses of vitamin D for ‘normal’ people, and that has no advantage. There is only an advantage for someone who has a disability.”
For this reason, it is essential that individuals who show signs of vitamin D deficiency be aware, as it can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia – osteomalacia – in adults.
The professional points out that “normally, a vitamin D deficiency can only be replaced by vitamin D itself.”
Therefore, the patient should seek help from responsible specialists and specialists to treat the problem.
* Trainee in R7, Under the supervision of Fernando Meles
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