Vitamin D and bones creaking/popping

by Maureen

I was diagnosed with Vit. D def. my reading was 29. My doc prescribed 50,000 IU one day a week. I am very petite only weighing 105lbs. After 5 weeks of taking this my reading went up to 55. Whilst taking the meds I starting having major irritability/depression issues and then my bones started creaking and popping.

I have been off the vitamin d now for almost 2 months but am taking regular dosage of between 400-800 IUs in a supplement. I am still having creaking bones (like the sound of rice krispies popping) from all my bones, neck, wrists, etc.

I am also having major anxiety, which is interfering with my life. After reading your blog I think it might be due to the fact that I had major doses for such a small frame.

My Blood Calcium Level was fine 9.1 (range 8.6-10.2) before starting the Vitamin D. I also feel my teeth weird, like moving slightly and very sensitive. I would appreciate any advice you could offer as to should I reduce Vitamin D amount I am taking and how much Magnesium should I take. Could the creaking joints and teeth issues be the cause of the Vitamin D Toxicity?

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You are NOT overdosing..
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Maureen,

First of all, you did NOT have an Overdose on Vitamin D and I'm VERY confused as to where you found on MY site that you believe that your symptoms are due to an overdose!!

So, a vitamin d overdose is DEFINED by two things:

1) High vitamin d levels


2) High Calcium level

a vitamin d overdose is NOT defined by a dosage- in other words, someone could take 5 million IU's and not overdose if they do not fulfill the requirements above, but they COULD take 100,000 IU's and overdose if their levels had already been very high for some reason- such as heavy sun exposure.

So, you have NEITHER one of these. Your vitamin d level is absolutely 100% in the 'Optimal' Vitamin D Level range- therefore you have NOT overdosed!! Period!!

What you have are Side Effects of Vitamin D, this is NOT the same as an overdose!!

So, to address your SIDE EFFECTS, please read the Side Effects of Vitamin D page and you'll see that your anxiety is almost 100% likely to be due to magnesium deficiency, so please read the Magnesium Dosage page to find out a good dosage for you.

I have no idea why your bones and joints would be creaking and popping, but that is not something that is damaging or harmful. Maybe your joints are becoming more limber and you are moving through more range of motion than your body has in years- but I don't know. My bones and joints have creaked and popped since I was in my teens- and many other people have this issue. It's not damaging.

So, I think that your doctor actually gave you the PERFECT amount of vitamin d- because he got your levels up to between 50 to 80 ng/ml. And if you want to keep them there, you should follow the instructions on the Vitamin D Requirements page- even though you are 105 pounds, according to the child's dosage from Dr. Cannell, you should be taking around 4000 IU's per day at your weight!!

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

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


PS: Don't forget to get your FREE Ebook when you Sign Up For My Newsletter

bones popping
by: Anonymous

Hi Kerri,

Thank you so much for your advice. Sorry if it came across wrong, I did not find anything on your site to suggest I was having overdose symptoms I meant side effects. I started taking the magnesium immediately after reading your article yesterday even before your comments. I started on 200 mg.

Only thing I am finding is that it definitely calmed me down, but was concerned at the fact that it actually made me sleepy. Should I up the dose to 400 mg? I haven't had any Magnesium Side Effects so far. This is an extremely useful site by the way, so glad I came across it. Also does taking the mag. aid against the side effects of Vitamin D and is that why I should continue taking the Vitamin D even with the side effects?

by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Maureen,

Good, I'm glad that you know the difference between an Overdose on Vitamin D and Side Effects of Vitamin D.

It's one of the things that a lot of people get mixed up about.

Yes, the magnesium 'protects' against some vitamin d side effects. If you read my Vitamin D Side Effects page, you'll see that magnesium is 'Used Up' when you take vitamin d. So those who have an undiagnosed mild magnesium deficiency (which is most people in the US) often will get worsening Signs of Magnesium Deficiency like you are getting. So, if the magnesium made you sleepy, I'm curious if you sleep well normally. I suspect that you have a bit of insomnia and don't sleep very well??

In any case, you could just start taking your magnesium in the evenings, say 200 mg after dinner and 200 mg just before bedtime and that would solve your problem about sleepiness- and help you to sleep if that's a problem for you.

On nights that I wake up and can't get to sleep, I'll take magnesium in the middle to night and I'll usually be able to sleep after a half hour or so.

So, with the severity of your symptoms of anxiety, as long as the sleepiness isn't interfering with your life and/or taking it in the evening works for you, then you're safe to continue to increase your dosage until you reach 'bowel tolerance' as I outline on the Magnesium Dosage page.

Let me know if you have any other questions or just let us know how you are doing with the magnesium.

Oh, and because nutrients work together and you already have both vitamin d AND magnesium deficiency, you may want to consider starting on a high quality multivitamin supplement such as Beyond Any Multiple.

It's EXTREMELY unlikely that you are deficient in JUST those two nutrients because nutrients come all together in food.

Magnesium and Fluid Retention
by: Maureen

Hi Kerri,

Sorry for bothering you again, but I have one question for you. I am now taking 400 mcg of the mag, I have had no loose stools but notice that I can't stop urinating.

Should I up my water intake? I also notice that I have fluid retention. Would appreciate any advice you could offer.

Water Retention...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Maureen,

Without knowing more about you, it's hard to advise you on anything like this. Did you have water retention BEFORE you started on the magnesium?

If you have a history of congestive heart failure or are having any shortness of breath or chest pain, then you need to see a doctor.

If you don't have any heart issues and are not having any other problems, then you may just need to increase your protein intake. Water retention is often a function of not enough protein. I don't know why you would be experiencing water retention since taking the magnesium- in pregnant women with water retention, giving protein and magnesium is EXTREMELY effective in relieving water retention.

I've never heard of magnesium CAUSING water retention before. So, just know that water retention CAN be something serious and if you are having ANY shortness of breath, excess fatigue or chest pain, then you should get that checked out for heart issues.

I don't mean to scare you, but not knowing your history, I'm just pointing out a 'worst case scenario'.

So, if your heart is OK, you've discovered:

Vitamin D Deficiency

Magnesium Deficiency

and now

Possibly you aren't getting enough protein!!

Hmm. That's interesting. You may want to consider taking a REALLY close look at your diet to see where you might be able to improve.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

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

Magnesium and Fluid Retention
by: Maureen

Hi Kerri,

Sorry I think I alarmed you. I think the fluid retention (mild by the way no ankles swelling etc.) is just time of the month fluid retention.

But I do notice that I am urinating a lot, is this normal on magnesium. I have no heart issues except some Heart Palpitations and only other condition is an under active thyroid.
Thanks again for your advice.

Glad to hear that the fluid retention isn't serious...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Maureen,

Hah! Good, I'm glad that your fluid retention isn't serious. I have to be careful. If someone writes about a POTENTIAL emergency situation, then I have to assume the worst.

OK. So, your fluid retention and urinating frequently. So, my first thought on that is that the magnesium could be DECREASING your fluid retention- and that would be why you are urinating frequently- because the fluid retention is going away and you are urinating it out. Usually magnesium would help to get RID of fluid retention and if that's the case, then yes, you could be urinating more frequently because of the magnesium.

Also, if you have a tendency to retain water before your menstrual cycle, that is almost always a need for more vitamin b6!

Vitamin B6 also helps you to absorb magnesium, so having a higher need for b6 could be a big part of your problem and could help you to alleviate your pre-menstrual symptoms as well as your Heart Palpitations- which are also signs of magnesium deficiency!

Everything is connected!! That's one of the reasons that I suggest that people DON'T take single nutrients, but that they also take a high quality multivitamin such as Beyond any Multiple.

In your case, I would recommend the Beyond Any Multiple because it contains a significant amount of vitamin b6, a useful nutrient that is required to absorb magnesium.

Hope that this helped. I was not sure if your fluid retention had become WORSE since taking magnesium? Or if you were just commenting on your tendency to get fluid retention.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

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

Vit D2/D3
by: Maureen

Hi Kerri,
Firstly I want to start off by saying what a wonderful site this is and how you are helping so many people.

I have a quick question for you, which you might be able to throw some light on.
When I had my Vit D level taken before starting the (50,000 iu, of course now I know I shouldn't have taken this) my readings were Vit D 25-OH D3 29 and 25-OH D2 4 totalling 29.

After meds of 50,000 iu for 5 weeks one a week, my reading went to Vit D 25-OH D3 13 (dropped) and my 25-OH D2 42 (rise). My question is why did my D3 drop on the meds and did the D2 take away some of my D3? I am just so curious as to why this dropped. Of course I now know (after reading your site) that it is the D3 I needed and not the D2 (wish I had known this first).

No One Has Studied That...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Maureen,

As afar as I know, there are no studies on that. But since you are not TAKING vitamin d3, your D3 level is likely to drop- just as if you aren't taking vitamin C, your vitamin C level would drop.

So, whether it dropped MORE because of the vitamin D2? I don't know. But all in all, we're just interested in the total, which was in the 50's- which is perfect.

So, your job now is to read my page on Vitamin D Requirements, see how much you need to take for a MAINTENANCE dose and begin taking that amount as Vitamin D3 Supplements and/or a combination of supplements and sun.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

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


PS: If you found this website helpful, please consider using the
Easy Immune Health Product Store the next time you purchase your supplements online. Thank you for visiting my site!

bones popping
by: Judy

Hi Maureen,
I have the same reaction to Vitamin D supplementation. I have tried reducing it to 200 IU and within 24 hrs, my bones are popping. When my husband hugs me, my sternum pops in 3 places and my hips pop when walking even my spine pops when I bend over and it's actually painful. None of my physicians or nurse practitioners believe me when I tell them it's related to taking Vitamin D. Everyone's body reacts differently and I notice the same side effect every time I try to take it. Has to be related. So I don't know whether to take it or just be deficient. Very frustrating.

Painful knees, popping joints
by: Gemma

Hi, Did your joints eventually stop popping? I too started taking 10,000iu of vitamin D3 a month ago and soon after my knee started clicking. This led to pain in that knee joint and eventually the other has followed suit. It was only when lots of my joints started popping on a regular basis that I started to think about what I'd changed about my lifestyle...I'd never had this problem before. And then I read this and realised it is probably the vitamin D. So I stopped taking it yesterday but am worried that I've caused a longterm problem for my joints. Any reassurance that everything will return to normal would be gratefully received!

Hi Kerri Knox
by: sandy

i read you conversation with Maureen.
I am having with same issue like click and pop from my right hand wrist and some area of thoracic and lumber spine.

i am a computer engineer so sitting weight 95Kg. Actually first click and poping from right hand's wrist - it started since 2008/09 year and till cont. at that time I starting having major irritability/depression issues and then my bones started creaking and popping and some times i feel my whole spine and muscle jammed/spasm.

first i consult one orthopedic Dr, he gave me some calcium dosage at that time if felt relax but after 2 years again it started with depression so i consult one ortho + spine specialist dr. he told me that i have vitamin b12 deficiency ( at that time i taken 14 vitamin b12 injection ) in 2 month. but after that my weight increase from 86 to 95 so i stop to taking ).

Basically when i got anger and depress with stuff at that time click and popping start on my right hand wrist and got wrist and some of thoracic spine area - finally i got wrist moving habit cause of it

but really till now today's date i could not found the solution for it.

by: Varun

Hi Maureen (Georgia),

I read your concern & have a solution for it. It happened with me too. What you can try is to start walking 30 minutes to 50 minutes per day, Starting from 15 minutes. And let me know the bones creaking/popping gone or not? So that i can suggest something better.

Thank you,

Vitamin D
by: Anonymous

My all joints started popping after taking Vitamin D supplements.There is some link between, Vitamin D supplemet and joints popping.

My history of low vit D
by: Dan H, Paramedic

Since 2007, I was diagnosed by my VA doctor with low vitamin D. It didn't seem to bother me until much later. In the Summer of 2010, I developed generalized myalgia, neuropathy, severe unilateral and bilateral bone pain in lower extremities.

Biggest objective find in the VA rheumatology clinic is a mildly positive ana, and a vitamin D serum level of 8ng/ml. Calciferol is prescribed, and my symptoms practically went into remission. Perhaps there's a correlation between vitamin D and inflammatory attacks, or at least with me?
In my job, I lift many people. Even using good ergonomics, I still seem to get hurt more often than my peers. In 2013, a MRI of the entire length of my spinal column reveals arthritis, which I am without symptoms of hip pain or disorder at this point still.

In the Summer of 2016, I sprained my right SI joint while lifting a 240lb patient on a two-man crew stretcher lift, the ergonomics was without problem. Now, it's February of 2017. I am 34 years old, I am suffering from chronic bilateral knees, hips, and shoulders in pain and popping (most frequent sites of complaint). The onset of the popping was quick, and widespread/generalized, since November.

My joints all seem to be weak, very easily injured, via sprain or dislocation. I continue to take D3 orally, walk my dog in the sun, replaced my lights with 60W daylight spectrum, and purchased a full-spectrum lamp, which I treat myself with 2-3 times a day, for 20 minutes.

Despite my efforts, the highest I can seem to get my Vit D serum levels up to is 27 ng/ml. The full-spectrum lamp is the only thing that seems to help alleviate the neuropathy. I am less understanding of what to do about the constant joint pain, popping, and susceptibility to injury.

I also take Turmeric, fish oil, broth and glucosamine. Any other ideas you can think of to improve joint and bone health?

sounds terrible
by: Kerri Knox, The Immune Queen

Hi Dan,

Sorry for such a litany of problems. Sounds like a challenge for you. I'm glad that you are working on the Vitamin D deficiency, but with so many problems at such a young age, there are a couple of probabilities that you might look into.

First of all, you are almost certainly not absorbing nutrients due to Increased Intestinal Permeability. And this is almost always caused from Gluten Senitivitity, if not outright Celiac Disease. Someone as young as you with so many problems should be tested for Celiac. If you don't have it, it doesn't mean that you do not have gluten sensitivity Gluten Sensitivity or Increased Intestinal Permeability and malabsorption, it just means that you do not have Celiac Disease.

Increased intestinal permeability, but you actually should find out if you have full Celiac just to be sure.

Second, Vitamin D takes lots of 'cofactors' in order to be absorbed. Please read my page on Vitamin D Absorption and understand that Vitamin D is not a drug. You cannot give it in isolation, and someone who is as seriously vitamin d deficient as you needs to realize that you are almost certainly deficient in many other nutrients, which are almost certainly preventing you from absorbing or converting the vitamin d into a usable form.

Additionally, a full spectrum lamp does not produce vitamin d unless it's specifically marketed as a Vitamin D producing lamp. There is a lot of value to a full spectrum lamp, including resetting your circadian rhythms, and better sleep, just to name a couple of benefits. However, unless it states specifically that it produces vitamin d, then it doesn't. The ones that do are usually quite a bit more expensive than just the 'regular' full spectrum lamps that alleviate seasonal affective disorder.

Improving neuropathy from the lamp, if it does not produce vitamin d, could just be a benefit of the lamp improving your sleep or some other benefit. If it WERE improving because of producing vitamin D, then it would be increasing your vitamin d levels.

So, check out the links I've referred you to, as you almost certainly are experiencing malabsorption from one or more of the reasons outlined.

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