In a shocking incident, a man was hospitalised recently for consuming vitamin D supplements, more than was recommended, a case study published in the British Medical Journal. The study pointed out that the man took the supplement dose along with 19 other supplements he was recommended by a private nutritionist as part of a regimen.
The report said that the man suffered from nausea, abdominal pain, recurrent vomiting, cramps in his legs, a dry mouth, among other things. The report said, “These symptoms had been going on for nearly three months, and had started around one month after he began an intensive vitamin supplement regimen on the advice of a nutritional therapist.”
It added that the man had numerous other issues which included tuberculosis, an inner ear tumour (that resulted in deafness in one of the ears), bacterial meningitis, chronic sinusitis, among others. The blood test was conducted on him, after which it was found that the man’s vitamin D levels were seven times the recommended amount, which is 600 mg or 400 IU every week. With calcium levels also high, his kidneys were also at risk.
According to Dr Ashutosh Shukla, medical advisor and senior director – Internal Medicine, Max Hospital, Gurugram, the reason behind this is the free availability of vitamin D supplements in the market in the form of capsules, liquid solutions or sachets.
Reports also suggest that vitamin D is prohormone and not a vitamin, suggesting that either it is taken through sunlight or diet, it must be transformed into active form by the kidney and liver. Therefore, like other vitamins, it cannot be consumed right away.
Dr Shukla further observed that the condition leads to loss of appetite, nausea, bone loss, elevated calcium levels, risk of kidney failure, constipation, increased thirst and increased urination. He added that it was necessary to check blood levels of vitamin D if these symptoms are found in anybody’s body.