Vitamin-D is a group of vitamins soluble to fat. These are important for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body. Among the five kinds of vitamin D namely D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5, the most essential includes vitamins D2 or ergocalciferol and D3 or cholecalciferol. Vitamin D is extremely necessary for the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus and also for the maintenance of their normal levels in the body. This will help to make the bones stronger and for the prevention of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, rickets and osteomalacia. Furthermore, it is extremely important in the good functioning of the immune system. The most important and chief source of vitamin D is direct exposure to sunlight. Yet, it can also be obtained from cod liver oil, egg yolk, milk, fish and liver. Even if it is necessary in lesser amounts, it is still important to have sufficient dosage so that deficiency diseases can be prevented. But in several cases because of some reasons, additional amount of vitamin D can be found in the human body. This is referred to as overdose in vitamin D or vitamin D hypervitaminosis. Keep on reading to more about it.
As previously mentioned, the requirement of vitamin D on a daily basis is extremely low in human beings. In the case of grownups, only 5 mcg or 200 IU vitamin or one to ten minutes of sun exposure each day is necessary. But if an individual takes larger doses of vitamin D for a prolonged period of time, he is likely to experience overdose. Overdose does not happen because of over exposure to sunlight or consumption of high amounts of food rich in vitamin D. In contrast, it occurs when an individual has a larger intake of vitamin D supplements or is able to consume cod liver oil in larger amounts on a daily basis. Since it is a fat soluble vitamin, it will not be washed out from the body. Instead, it is stored in the body and can cause severe side effects. Bear in mind that the vitamin D dosage will vary based on the age and diet pattern of a person. Lack of awareness of this reality can result to vitamin overdose in some individuals.
Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D overdose
These may not be specific. Thus, diagnosis of vitamin D overdose can be difficult to determine. Listed below are indications to look for.
• Weakness of the muscles
• Loss of weight
• Constipation or difficulty in defecating
• Widespread weakness
• Has a bad temper
• Dehydration or lack of fluids in the body
Aside from these symptoms, some side effects can be noted if the vitamin D levels are increased excessively. This can result to formation of kidney stone or may lead to total renal failure. On the other hand, the risk for high blood pressure, malfunction of other vital organs as well as heart diseases is increased. In the case of pregnant women, overdose of vitamin D can cause mental retardation in babies.