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.

Revision

Last reviewed 11/7/2013 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.

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