Had Intestinal Surgery and can't get my Vitamin D Levels up

by Maria

Intestinal Surgery is a MAJOR Cause of Vitamin D Deficiency

Intestinal Surgery is a MAJOR Cause of Vitamin D Deficiency

I had an intestinal surgery called a 'duodenal-switch' 4 years ago. My vitamin D level has been 11 for the last 2 years. I know why its low...I have a surgically induced malabsorption condition.

For the last year I have taken vitamin D 50,000 IU/ 2x week. Still my level is 11. For the last month I have taken 50,000 IU daily.

It's almost time to have it checked again and I have developed bone and joint pain along with fatigue and muscle weakness until I feel I can't hardly go somedays.

If my level doesn't go up this time I'm really going to be disappointed because I'm starting to feel so bad. I've also started getting severe leg cramps at night...funny thing is they are on the front of my legs (to the right of my shins).

I get a lot of sun and I take my vitamins and supplements. My intact PTH is 185 because my vitamin D level is so low.

Any suggestions?

Comments for Had Intestinal Surgery and can't get my Vitamin D Levels up

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Intestinal Surgery and Vitamin D Levels
by: Kerri Knox, RN-The Immune Health Queen!

Hi Maria,

Yipes! That's a big problem. I hope that your level comes up too.

You say you get a lot of sun, but are you exposing the vast majority of your skin? Are you wearing sunscreen? Are you showering afterwards and washing off the oils that make the vitamin D? Do you have dark skin? Are you going in the middle of the day when the sun is strongest? Are you extremely consistent? Are you getting enough cholesterol to allow the conversion of vitamin d in your skin?

All of these things can affect absorption of Vitamin D through the skin. See my page on Vitamin D and Sun for more on this.

Also, magnesium deficiency and liver congestion from being overly toxic can prevent conversion of Vitamin D into its active form.

So, you may need to really work on detoxification and staying magnesium sufficient by taking EXTRA magnesium on a regular basis- or better yet, by taking an Epsom Salt bath every night, you will absorb the magnesium through your skin AND help to detoxify your body at the same time. Additionally, I always recommend that everyone taking vitamin d get my Vitamin D Absorption Pack to make sure that you are getting all of the vitamin d cofactors necessary for the proper absorption and conversion of Vitamin D. Additionally, without these cofactors, many experience vitamin D side effects that could have easily been prevented with these proper cofactors.

Hope this helped...

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Health Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Easy Immune Health.com

Found an Article that might give you an idea
by: Kerri Knox, RN-The Immune Health Queen!

Hi Maria,

I ran across this article and thought of you. It talks about giving the active form of Vitamin D, called 1,25-OH D and essentially Giving the Vitamin D Intravenously in order to help suppress the parathyroid function.

While I would have NO IDEA where you could possibly have this done or IF you even could, at least it is a lead for you to ask your doctor about.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Health Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Easy Immune Health.com

Intestinal surgery
by: Jaime

I'm 32 ng/ml and only had the intestinal surgery without the gastric bypass that commonly goes with it. That was in 09/99. I had my labs checked in January, my Vitamin D was 6 ng/ml, my Vitamin A .24 mg/l, Iron 26 ug/dL, & Vit B12 3.1 Pg/mL

The Dr i was seeing at the time that ordered the tests said everything looked good but my iron was a little low and gave me an Rx for iron.

Last month I went and seen another Dr because I was feeling so tired it is hard to function at work. She got my labs that were done in January and I thought she was going to fall out of her chair.

She said that she has only seen levels like this in "third world countries" I'm not sure exactly what that means. She put me on an Rx for Vitamin D, one a wk for 8 wks in addition to multi vitamin twice a day and of course the iron.

Am I in trouble here? Because these happens so slowly over time our bodies learn to adjust. I have a feeling I've adjusted a tad bit much and might not be taking this as serious as I should. And I live in the NW, so I don't even ask about sunshine. What kind of questions should I be asking this new doctor?

Can't believe it...
by: Kerri Knox, RN-The Immune Health Queen!

Oh my gosh,

I can't believe that your doctor would NOT treat such a severe vitamin D deficiency! You ask if you are in trouble, but you've BEEN in trouble for the past 8 years!! You're actually getting it taken care of now!!!

For the past 8 years, your low vitamin D levels have put you at higher risk for:

Multiple Sclerosis
Heart Disease

To me, ignoring your vitamin D levels like that is criminal!! But this new doctor, while she is treating your anemia and vitamin D is STILL not treating your B 12 deficiency either!!

A multivitamin, even if it contains B 12, does NOT contain enough to treat a severe B 12 deficiency. You SHOULD be on a High Dose Sublingual Vitamin B 12 Supplement! So, you might want to ask your new doctor what their procedure is for treating B 12 deficiency!! Or just read my page on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Treatment and fix it yourself. There's no need to 'ask' your doctor for treatment of conditions that you can easily treat yourself.


So, what I would be worried about is the level of all of your OTHER vitamins that you have NOT been tested for. For example, doctors are not aware that there are tests to see if you are sufficient in:

Amino acids
Most other B vitamins
Antioxidant levels
Coenzyme q 10
Fatty acids

and much more. This test is called The Organix Profile and it tests for ALL of that and more.

Your doctor won't know about it, but check out the patient guide and see what you can find out about your health. It is really amazing.

So, what is your diet like? It sounds like you are not absorbing nutrients well and that you really need to be extraordinarily careful about your diet and you just can't afford to eat junky foods. And what about your multivitamins, are they even absorbable! Most multivitamins aren't, so check out Jigsaw Health's Essential Daily Packs and see why they are different than other multivitamins!

Let me know if you need any more help, I know that this is a lot of information.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Health Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Easy Immune Health.com

by: Jaime Connors

Thanks so much for the advise. I have printed it out and will fax it to my doctor. I know that there are liquid forms of vitamins, are those more absorbable than pill form?

More absorbably vitamin D...
by: Kerri Knox, RN-The Immune Health Queen!

As far as I know, a liquid vitamin d is no more absorbable than vitamins in pill form. But if you prefer a liquid, you can get a Liquid Vitamin D Spray here.

Since you are an educating force around there it seems, you can ALSO show your docs who still prescribe D2, this study on The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement. This was written in 2006 and the researchers state, with MANY references to back them, state,

"Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol,
should not be regarded as a nutrient
suitable for supplementation or

So, with the research behind this, any docs who are still using Prescription Vitamin D are doing so out of sheer habit and not because it is what is best for their patients!!

Yeah, thanks for being there and trying to help educate your docs. It makes a difference.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Health Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Easy Immune Health.com

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