Vitamin D and Bone Density Scans..

by Dawn
(Hudson Valley - NY)

Vitamin D level was 19 - took 5000 iu of Vitamin D daily for 11 weeks. Retested and D level is 21. Doc wants me to take bone density scan. After reading all of your info, I think I am magnesium deficient.

I have insomnia (doc has me on Ambien for months) problem has been for years, agitation, irritability, hypersensitive to mental stimuli/situations.

I am a avid exerciser - lift weights, kickbox, plyometrics, cardio, yoga, pilates - endorphins should be through the roof and never are.

I am a vegan too.

I want to see a holistic doctor but am having trouble finding one that is an MD so my insurance will cover it. I live in NY and naturopathy is not covered. HELP Please.

Comments for Vitamin D and Bone Density Scans..

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Wrong amount of Vitamin D...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Dawn,

Ughh. New York has TERRIBLE laws about alternative medicine in general. You can't even DO nutritional testing from an 'alternative' lab, not even if you wanted to- the labs aren't allowed to do testing from New York residents! It's terrible.

So, I think that you are right on about having Magnesium Deficiency, so take a look at the Magnesium Dosage page and follow the instructions there.

That's a good start. Also, being a vegan, if you are not feeling 100%, then its almost CERTAIN that you have Vitamin B12 Deficiency. So take a look at the Vitamin B12 Deficiency Treatment page and follow those instructions too.

Then, about your Vitamin D. While its laudable that your doctor didn't put you on Prescription Vitamin D, 5000 IU's is only a daily MAINTENANCE dose and not a dose for the Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency. You'll need to read that page too.

So, while I don't know that a bone scan is the 'wrong test', it's just not going to solve any problems for you. What would you do if it's low? Start taking Vitamin D, magnesium and do weight bearing exercises- things that you'll already be doing.

But if it DOES come back low, you might be asked by your doctor to take Bisphosphenate drugs to increase the bone density- a REALLY bad idea. So, that's what I don't like about some doctor's tests is that the only 'solution' for the problem is a dangerous drug that likely causes more harm than good!!

So, get the test if you want to. It's not a terrible thing to know, but maybe your doc should do more reading up on the causes of your problems and the right doses of nutrients instead of spending all his time deliberating about what tests and drugs to do.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System

I appreciate your thorough response!
by: Dawn

Thanks Kerri....I am only seeing your response now! I was so happy to see your email/answer.

In the last few weeks, I found an MD who is very integrated in holistic approaches and she did a lot of blood tests and determined the following:

I am deficient in magnesium, B12 and vitamin D(still).
She suggested 2000 i.u. Vitamin D w/every meal and B12 (both sublingually).
I started taking magnesium aspartate and was feeling a little nauseous so switched to glycinate.

The bone density scan (done at the request of my old doctor) came back normal. He gave me a prescription for 50,000 i.u. of vitamin D which I refused to take.

I also started taking some melatonin with the Ambien to wean myself off of the Ambien. I was considering 5HTP. Do you have any experience or comments about that? I am hesitant to take it b/c of the nausea and/or vivid dreams I read is common for supplementing with that amino acid.

I'm really hoping that my next blood test in a few months will bring my all of my levels up so I can explain all of my symptoms.

Thanks again,

Hmmm. Still concerned...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Good. Sounds like your doctor has caught a few things, BUT, just a couple of comments.

1) There is no need to take Vitamin D - 3 times per day. You could just take 6000 IU's per day. It's fat soluble and taking it 3 times a day is unneccessary and just making you take more pills than you need. It's got a half life of 3 weeks, not 3 hours.

I personally just take one big dose once per MONTH and that's still fine. That's the way vitamin d is designed.

2) Magnesium, on the other hand, SHOULD be taken 3 to 4 times per day. Make sure that you are following the dosage instructions on the Magnesium Dosage page and not just taking some random amount the doctor suggested. Everyone is different and you probably need a higher dose than most to get rid of your symptoms.

3) I'm actually VERY concerned that you are deficient in all 3 of those nutrients. As a vegan, assuming that you are eating plenty of vegetables and that you are not living off of white bread and pasta- you should be getting MASSIVE amounts of magnesium!!

I'm actually concerned that you are not absorbing your nutrients well. It's HIGHLY possible/probable that you have either:

Gluten Sensitivity

H pylori Bacteria

or some other intestinal pathogen. There is SOME reason that you are not absorbing those nutrients. While everyone is low in Vitamin d, and many vegans have Vitamin B12 Deficiency, it's not normal for a vegan to be low in magnesium- especially so low that it shows up on a blood test.

Blood tests for magnesium are NOTORIOUSLY bad and you have to be somewhere like in the bottom 1% of deficiency for it to show up on a blood test. You really should delve into WHY you are having these problems.

5HTP can cause other problems of depleting neurotransmitters if you take it by itself. 5HTP should always be taken in specific ratios with Tyrosine and B vitamins and NEVER by itself unless it's for a very short amount of time (weeks).

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System

glad you picked up on the absorption...I wanted to ask the doc but thought I might be wrong
by: Dawn

I agree with the magnesium...I eat nuts, edamame, soy, artichoke hearts, brown rice and a lot of other foods that have magnesium and my multi has some.

Vitamin D Supplements - can u recommend a good brand/method?


Kerri answers: Yes, go to my Vitamin D Supplements page and either one of the two brands is good. Read my Vegan Vitamin D page to see why a vegan source is not recommended- but you can still have a guilt-free animal source in two different ways.


B12 - I get it from a few enriched sources


Kerri Comments:

Again, like magnesium levels, Vitamin B12 Levels have to be REALLY low for them to come up deficient. Please, please vegetarians and vegans- take Methylcobalamin B12 Supplements!!


Also folate was high and blood glucose level was 58.

Gluten sensitivity....I am always gassy and bloated.


Kerri Comments:

If you are gassy and bloated all the time, then it's EXTREMELY likely that you have Gluten Sensitivity and would benefit from a Gluten Intolerance Diet.


H pylori bacteria - should I request this test?


Kerri Comments:

Yes, having some sort of malabsorption problems with some digestive issues is a VERY good reason to get tested. You can get an H Pylori Test here in the mail as an in-home test or a blood test from your doctor. However, you could have other parasites/ pathogens in your digestive tract and I highly recommend getting a Comprehensive Intestinal Pathogen Test.

It's not likely that your doctor will agree to this. If he won't, then at least try to get the H pylori. You can do the intestinal pathogen test if the H pylori comes back negative.


by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

(counting my blessings to say this) - I am very healthy. Rarely get sick, even a nose trickle is unlikely. Very regular with bowel movements usually three times daily and always feel like my intestines are doing their job.

Interestingly, this past weekend I have been having somewhat intense stomach pains with nausea and severe explosive stomach sounds. No vomiting no diarrhea but less bowel movements than normal.

Most people think this all of my issues are caused by my vegan diet. Do you agree? I would not be able to physically or emotionally go back to eating an animal based diet. :(


Kerri comments:

I think that everyone is different and has different needs. You definitely have some absorption issues. If it were just the B12 and Vitamin D, then I would chalk that up to being a vegan- but you should NOT be magnesium deficient. Docs aren't likely to be interested in figuring it out, so you'll have to.

PS: WHOOPS. I forgot, you're in New York. I CAN'T send you the pathogen test unless you have the kit sent to someone in another state and cross state lines to take the test!

by: Adele

My Dexa Scan shows osteoporosis. Vitamin D levels in blood is 51.

What does this mean?

Standard American Diet
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

I don't know what it means without more information. I don't even know what your vitamin d level means unless you give me the UNITS of measurement, which would be either ng/ml or nm/L. But it probably means that you've listened closely to your doctor and the government and you've been eating the 'Standard American Diet' or the food pyramid with plenty of milk your whole life just like the government has told you to do.

It probably means that you have been extremely magnesium deficient for decades, despite thinking that you've eaten 'healthy' your whole life. Unfortunately, it's extremely unlikely that you've eaten 'healthy' and you are the victim of listening to government provided health information and being willing to eat store bought processed foods.

I suspect that you have questions other than 'what does this mean', so if you'd like to clarify your question, I'd be happy to try to answer any questions that you may have.

Kerri Knox, RN

by: Karen Copeland

You mentioned that 5HTP should always be taken in specific ratios with Tyrosine and B vitamins -- can you tell me what those specific ratios are?

And thank you for what is the only intelligent fibromyalgia help I've found, online or elsewhere. You're doing a very, very good thing.

by: Kerri Knox, RN, The Immune Queen

Thanks for the compliment on the site. I took an extensive course on neurotransmitter repletion by a company called NeuroAssist, but their website does not seem to be on the internet any longer. But you can see the 'sum up' of his therapy using 5htp, tyrosine, b6, and l-cysteine at the sites below:

Safe Use of 5HTP and Tyrosine.

If you are interested in working with these supplements, I'd suggest getting in touch with Dr. Kalish, who is mentioned in the article.

More science here on the article:

Proper Neurotransmitter Balance

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