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Hypervitaminosis D

Definition

Hypervitaminosis D is a condition that occurs after taking very high doses of vitamin D.

Alternative Names

Vitamin D toxicity

Causes

The cause is excess intake of Vitamin D. The doses need to be very high, far above what a medical provider would normally prescribe.

There has been a lot of confusion caused by internet articles about Vitamin D supplementation. It is extremely unusual for anybody to need more than 2000 IU of Vitamin D a day.

For most people, Vitamin D toxicity only occurs with Vitamin D doses above 10,000 IU per day.

Symptoms

An excess of vitamin D causes abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). This can severely damage the kidneys, soft tissues, and bones over time.

Exams and Tests

Tests to confirm the diagnosis:

Treatment

Stop taking vitamin D. Talk to your health care provider. In severe cases, other treatment may be needed.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Recovery is expected.

Possible Complications

  • Dehydration
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Kidney damage
  • Kidney stones

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if:

  • You or your child shows symptoms of hypervitaminosis D and has been taking more vitamin D than the recommended daily allowance
  • You or your child shows symptoms and has been taking a prescription form of vitamin D

Prevention

To prevent this condition, pay careful attention to the correct vitamin D dose.


Review Date: 11/7/2013
Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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