Is Kidney Soreness a side effect of Vitamin D?

I have just started taking Vit. D in a gel form & am experiencing a little kidney soreness.

Is that a possible side effect? I have also just started dissolving a B-12 under my tongue. Possible re-action?

Thank you for taking your time to answer these questions.

Comments for Is Kidney Soreness a side effect of Vitamin D?

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Doubt it..
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

We ALL get aches and pains once in a while and if it passes in a few days, then I wouldn't worry about it. If it becomes severe, then you should probably see a doctor.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

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

Vitamin D
by: Anonymous

I also get kidney pain from Vitamin D supplementation. I had this happen before and as soon as I quit taking Vitamin D, no more pain. I just tried to take it again, same reaction. I would appreciate any help to alleviate this side effect.

Kidney Soreness or Low Back Pain?
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

So, is your pain really 'kidney pain' or is it 'low back pain'? If you put your hands on your hips where your thumbs are is your LOW BACK, your kidneys are actually up quite a bit higher. If you put your hands under your RIBCAGE in the same way, that is where your KIDNEYS are.

Most people, even those who are having kidney stones or kidney infections do NOT feel 'kidney pain', but a referred pain somewhere else- even when their kidneys SHOULD hurt.

So, unless you correct me or KNOW that it is kidney pain, I am going on the assumption that you have 'Low Back Pain' when you take Vitamin D. If this is the case, this is VERY interesting and it COULD mean that you are VERY vitamin D deficient and that you ABSOLUTELY MUST get a vitamin D level!!!

I'll explain. For those who are very vitamin D deficient, the calcium in your bones gets leached out and contributes to osteoporosis. In other words, your bones are more 'porous' and spongy than they should be.

When a person with somewhat spongy bones takes vitamin d, it allows your body to absorb calcium quickly- and with that calcium fluids go into the bones too, just like a sponge. And when this happens, it actually can make your bones swell against the outer covering of your bones. And because this outer covering of your bones is not flexible, you can experience this swelling as pain.

SO...... if you truly get back pain when you take vitamin d, it MAY be because you are EXTREMELY vitamin D deficient and REALLY REALLY need to be getting this vitamin D.

So PLEASE get tested, and if you are deficient and you get back pain when you take the vitamin D, then I'm afraid you just need to suffer through it for a while until your bones adjust and stop swelling in a week or two.

PLEASE let me know what your Vitamin D Level is!!

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

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

Vitamin D deficiency
by: Donna

I'm currently on large doses of vitamin d due to a deficiency and have been experiencing what feels like lower back pain. It feels muscular to me and although it's usually in my back, I feel it in my upper legs and butt as well.

I am six weeks into a twelve week regimin and the discomfort started 2 1/2 weeks ago. It isn't constant and I often feel fine when I am in motion, walking, etc. I am not able to associate this discomfort with anything else, so I'm guessing it's due to the vitamin d. I am hoping for relief soon.

Back pain when you are on vitamin d
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

So, there are two possibilities for your back pain. The first option is that you are experiencing bone pain from being VERY vitamin d deficient and it is just temporary and will pass when your vitamin d deficiency has improved.

The second, and more likely problem, is that you are experiencing induced magnesium deficiency from taking the vitamin d. See my page on Vitamin D Side Effects to see why that would be.

Your best option to try to relieve this problem is to see my page on Magnesium Dosages and follow the instructions there.

Also, if you are taking 'high dose' vitamin d for 12 weeks, I'm assuming that you are taking a prescription?

If that's the case, please read my page on Prescription Vitamin D to see why that's not recommended- and taking Vitamin D3 Supplements instead.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

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


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My kidney pain is worsened by taking vitamins
by: Anonymous

I have unexplained kidney pain that has worsened over the years (definitely kidney and not muscle). Pain gets better after I urinate. It started on the right kidney and was occasional but has progressed to daily. ANY type of vitamin supplement increases the pain to 9 or 10; this is bad because I need them as I have very low levels of vitamins, especially D and B.

Doctors are baffled. I just had to respond to this post because it seems such an unusual problem and I'm desperate for answers. Doctors thought it was kidney stones but they have been ruled out on 2 CTs. There is blood and protein in the urine sometimes and bilirubin at least once that I'm aware of. CMP is fine and there is no indication of infection. The left kidney started hurting a few months ago. I think doctors are just now taking me seriously; I keep hearing vitamins can't make kidneys hurt... but they do for me.

Any thoughts are appreciated!

Vitaman B and my kidneys
by: Anonymous

I heard a radio commercial on the "good" affects of vitamin D , so I bought some and took 12,000 units.

And then another 4000 units and my kidneys started really hurting ...... I took another 4000 units before I put the two together.

It took 4 days for the pain to go completely away .... So, I really don't know what to make of this?

Any comments ?

vitamin d deficiency
by: uniongal

I have been diagnosed with a vitamin d deficiency, blood work indicated mine was at l2 - very low according to my doctor. He is starting me on a supplement today. I'd like to understand if there is also a connection to a recurrent kidney infection.

i have also recently just this week started on thyroid meds (synthroid) He has also proscribed vicodin for extremely painful side pains that have plagued me for a number of years, thought previously to be related to a potassium deficiency.

thank you

Back Pain from Vitamin D and Calcium
by: Robin

I was diagnosed a couple of years ago with low vitamin D. They put me on a supplement and it came up. Last year I started having the same symptoms as before so bought some vitamins from Walmart and just after two days of taking it, my lower back became extremely sore and didn't stop. I had to go to the hospital and they said I was passing a Kidney stone! I stopped the vitamin because my instincts told me that they caused it. Ok, later that year, decided to try it again because my D feels low... again I got kidney stones... 3 of them this time. I stopped it and my back was fine. Lately I've been having poor memory, tiredness and bone soreness but my back was fine... started the D with Calcium again and just after two days... LOWER BACK PAIN! SAME PLACE. I need the Vitamin D and Calcium but my kidneys don't want it.
What do you think?

It's not the vitamin d, it's lack of magnesium
by: Kerri Knox, Registered Nurse

Well, so several things are at issue here. First of all, you absolutely cannot develop kidney stones in two days. They take long periods of time to develop. They do not and cannot develop in 10 days. I don't doubt that you PASSED a kidney stone soon after you began taking vitamins, but it's not due to the vitamins despite that happening twice. It was simply too short of a time period. Maybe the vitamins had something to do with you PASSING them, but you develop kidney stones long before you pass them. You had been developing these kidney stones long before you took these vitamins.

Next, you say that you need 'Vitamin D and Calcium'. Why? You were low in vitamin d, so why would you need to take calcium? Was your calcium level low? If not, then why take calcium?

Taking calcium is one of the risk factors for the development of heart disease in women and has no relationship to osteoporosis. Excess calcium may even be one of the reasons why you are developing kidney stones in the first place.

What you actually almost certainly need is magnesium. Please see my page on Preventing Kidney Stones to see more about what I'm talking about. There is an epidemic of magnesium deficiency in western countries, not calcium deficiency. It's lack of magnesium that leads to kidney stones and osteoporosis. Westerners already have some of the highest intake of calcium in the world- and the highest rates of heart disease and osteoporosis. There IS a connection.

Then the next issue is "Why are you taking vitamins from WalMart"? Drug store vitamins are not fit for consumption. Some speculate that the chemicals and fillers and artificial crap are so bad for you that they actually use up more vitamins processing them than they actually give you in the end! Yipes. Get off of these crappy vitamins. They are not appropriate to take and should not be considered vitamins at all, in my opinion.

When you take vitamins, you should take high quality multivitamin and mineral supplements such as the ones that I carry on my site.

Kerri Knox, Registered Nurse

vitima d and kidney stones
by: Anonymous

I was taking vitiman D tablets for awhile it made
me very nauseated with extreme constipation, I was always bloated . I was told to try taking the D drops instead I tried, and had the same reaction .The Doctor's explained that it would be better, on the digestive system instead of the tablets. I had developed a kidney stone 6ml long in the centre of my kidney, don't know if this was caused from the vitamin D. Anyway I have had extreme back pain as well , so I stopped the vitamin D and I have even more back pain now, but I do need the D vitamin it is very low too.
I don't know what to do! I have to see a specialist for this problem I guess ,I have been suffering with pain in my back for awhile.Do you think Vitamin D will help me eventually or cause more problems with kidney stones?

Definite Kidney Pain from Vit D Supplements
by: Rich

My Vit D level was only 11ng/mL, so my doctor put me on weekly doses of 50,000IU's of Vit D. Every single time I take a Vit D supplement, my kidneys hurt like all-get-out. I am absolutely certain it is my kidneys and not muscular or bone pain. It hurts so bad I can point to exactly where my kidneys are! I know I have to keep taking these pills, but what can I do to stop the pain?

NOT taking Vitamin D causes pain
by: Dondi

I have the exact opposite problem as what people are stating on this site. I have had 8 stones over 20 years and last year I thought I had another. It never showed on CT and Dr's were baffled. After 3 months of debilitating pain my nephrologist suggested I take in more Vitamin D. To my surprise, the pain subsided (I was even out on disability at work the pain was so bad).

Now, and since, if I do not take the D I immediately (within a day or two) start feeling pain again.

Kidney pain
by: Anonymous

I am getting kidney pain in hip area after 2 weeks of vitamin d...even very small 800iu causing pain

Kidney Pain from taking vitamin D
by: Anonymous

There is no question that when I take vitamin D I get pain in my kidneys and not in my back it is on the side above my hips (around my waist area the soft area). I am thinking that either I am Magnesium deficient (I had 3.9mg/dl (RBC Mg) that is exacerbated also by vitamin D that draws on calcium that is an antagonist to magnesium .

Both (Mg and Ca) are fighting to enter the cell. I have been tested and have been in 35-45 mg/dl range. Coincidentally my tinnitus increases in its pitch quite significantly when I take vitamin D. I have done this enough times to know it is the culprit as well as the kidney pain.

Are there any better ways of increasing vitamin D if you live in the northeast where it is hard to get the rays...I also have cloudy urine...I am taking magnesium around 600-800 daily.
thank you

Kidney Pain
by: Anonymous

Why does it seem like nobody has answers. There is no doubt that the Vitamin D that I take causes KIDNEY pain. Also when I take Vitamin C. To the experts, please believe us and tell us more why this might happen? How else can we get our Vitamin D levels higher than just normal daylight exposure?

Kidney pain since taking 50000UI D2
by: Anonymous

I have to join the choir of those experiencing kidney aches. My blood results showed that I had been very low in Vitamin D, so my doctor prescribed 1.25 mg of Vitamin D2 for the next four weeks. I took my first one last night, I was unable to sleep, had cramps under my ribs, and had to urinate every 2 hours. All day today I had kidney pain.

I looked around and the connection between the two is indicated in most information pages about side effects of Vitamin D.

My question is: what do I do now? I am happy to stop taking vitamin D, but is there anything I can or should do to remedy the pain in my kidneys?

Thank you all for your comments. It is great to know that one is not alone with these troubles. Hope you all feel better soon with good levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin D + Kidney Pain/Stone = Mg deficiency
by: Sandy

It's very simple. Intake of Vitamin D + Kidney stone/pain = low magnesium!
Vitamin D requires Mg, low Mg = kidney stones!

Permanent lower back pain after using Vit. D suppl. in 2012
by: Nadi

I also used vitamin D on my own after reading about its benefits and being possibly deficient in 2012. After two to three weeks I suddenly felt intense pain at lower left back.

Since then my life is really in trouble, I have not been able to recover from this pain. I was checked for possible kidney problems in 2012 and 2013 but ultrasound and blood work did not show any stones or any disease of kidneys in my case.
In 2013 I was sent to a neurologist by my GP where I got some TENS vibration treatment which relieved my pain for some time. But somehow I feel this pain in the back often after eating various foods frequently such as lentils or cheese etc.

Recently I bought for the first time a maragarine that contained minor vitamin D added to it and within just two weaks I again started feeling pain in the same lower back area. It seems like now even small oral ingestion of Vitamin D present in Maragarine is also acting as potent agent in my case to trigger same lower back pain.
Could it be that in my case it is indeed muscular pain caused by Vitamin D by causing some kind of imbalance in calcium levels locally in the lower back muscle.

I have not used any Magnesium supplementation to see if it may reverse this back pain. I have a miserable life due to this low back pain now for more than 3 years.

Kidney pain
by: Lori

I also have kidney pain. I was prescribed 50000iu's of d2 once a week. I stopped taking it and the pain went away after a few days. I tried again and it came back. Someone recommended I take over the counter d3 2000iu's.

The same thing happens. I have chronic dry eye which is very painful but when I take vit d it eases the dry eye considerable so I am torn as what to do. Any advice will be appreciated.

Doctors Clueless
by: Anonymous

I have tested being on Vitamin D and off of it (drops and 50,000IU pills) over 6 times and EVERY time, within about 1-2 weeks, I get pain in my kidneys. I am NOT experiencing muscle pain in my back. I am an RN and have had 2 kidney stones before...and this is the exact same location as my kidneys.

I have asked my internist, my son's GP and my daughter's urologist about the connection between Vitamin D and experiencing kidney pain or stones, and they each look at me like I'm a bit crazy. They've never heard of such a thing. It doesn't seem that there are medical journals talking about this issue either, as I've searched and searched. It's good to know I'm not alone, yet I'm sorry many are struggling.

Kidney pain from D3
by: Anonymous

Getting D from the sun actually makes my kidneys feel better (but do have to balance it with magnesium; I use magnesium oil on my skin). I have a real problem taking K2 (or any fermented food), which I know is needed for preventing bone loss. For kidney pain I use cordyceps, ginger, or tumeric.

Another kidney pain
by: VeggieTater

After trying to take D3 I also experienced kidney pain. I've had stones so I know what kidney pain vs back pain feels like. First time, I thought it was coincidence, second, I began to wonder, third, getting nervous, fourth, googling answers and found this.

Despite the supposed non-connection seems to me there are more than a few who are having the same issue, and magnesium is not an issue with me either, because I get plenty. Something is definitely amiss and it is definitely cause and effect.

Define 'plenty'
by: Kerri Knox, The Immune Queen

You say that you get 'plenty' of magnesium, but you are describing that you have a history of a condition known to be caused by magnesium deficiency.

Almost no one in the US gets 'plenty' of magnesium unless they supplement at high levels. Even most people who supplement get too little magnesium.

And magnesium blood levels do not tell you if you need magnesium, as I outline on that page. So, I seriously doubt you get 'plenty' of magnesium, despite you believing that you do.

If you have symptoms of magnesium deficiency, and kidney stones are one of them, then you are not getting enough magnesium regardless of how much you get or take.

Also in pain...
by: Anonymous

I also get terrible pain and soreness on my right rear side above my hip but below my rib cage (my right kidney area). It helps to lay on my left side while sleeping btw. Anyway, it gets much worse right after I take my vitD3 and lasts hours. I've had this vitD deficiency and kidney pain for years (10 to be exact). Thousands of $$$ and multiple doctors looking at me as if I'm crazy but I'm still hear in pain wondering if this is cancer and/or when this is going to kill me. It sure is debilitating and makes life miserable a times. I focus on it everyday and I'm not getting any better.
I wish someone would give me answers. Very happy to stumble upon this thread of comments... feeling less alone. I can attest though, this is most definitely not a pulled muscle and is directly related to taking vitD supplement. Please believe that.

Should I Continue or Worry?
by: RS

Hi Kerri,
I'm living in Egypt ... Sadly still experts on Vit. D deficiency are non-existent.
My D level is SEVERE deficiency at (3) ... My friend from abroad got me a full course that was prescribed to her.
Daily 5000 IU for 2 Weeks
Next Weekly 50000 IU for 10 Weeks
Next Daily 10000 IU for 2 Weeks
Re-Check My D Level before taking my last dose of 5000 IU daily for 3 month.

The thing is now I am at my 4th week of my 50,000 IU and my right kidney hurts, my urine is orange to dark orange so I am not sure whether I should continue or not (Afraid of having a kidney failure)
To me Vit. D is like a lamp lighting my brain and it had stopped my back & Muscle pain ... So I look forward to taking my pills (D3)

So should I stop & get tested for kidney functions again (I did before taking vit. D) or should I continue & see?

Thx in advance

Kidney pain with D3
by: Anonymous

Seems like nobody knows the answer. Whenever I take D3 I feel pain in my left kidney. When I stop taking it the pain stops.

Kiney pain here too
by: Kidney pain

Same here - strong pain/soreness in my left kidney after taking Vitamin D supplement. It started after I took Vit D supplementation for 3 days, 7,000 units per day. I had really strong pain in my left kindney for 7-10 days.

Now the soreness starts even if I take 800 units on a single day.

After I stop taking the supplementation, the soreness disappears in about 3-4 days.

Vitamin K 2
by: Super K Soup

Vitamin K2, not vit k in spinach for blood clotting... Dairy and eggs and fermented food vitamin K2 tells body where to put calcium. D may help calcium absorb, but taking calcium and d without Vitamin K2 is dangerous, becauae that is how calcium gets deposited in arteries and places it shouldn't be.
Thank you for all the confirmation on taking d making my kidney hurt though. I stopped taking all vitamins finally after more than a month of constant pain in right kidney, and I think now a few days after stopping pain is letting up. Low back hurts in addition sometimes like the morning and getting up after slouching on couch a while.
I'm going to start back on magnesium to see if that's ok. K2 suppliments may have been the change that started this pain (which I didn't doubt was muscular for at least the first half of pain month), but we do need all these vitamins and in propper amounts. Best to juat eat your veggies whenever you eat.

Be sure to take Vit K2 with D3
by: Jenn

To ensure that Calcium gets into your bones (and isn't left in the blood to form plaques or stones), take Vit K2 with Vit D3.

Pain in kidney area with vit D
by: Anonymous

I have experienced pain in numerous areas when taking vitamin D. Most recently, the pain has been excruciating in my right kidney area when taking the supplement. I was diagnosed with Medullary Sponge Kidney around age 40 and I’m now 46. It is a very rare congenital defect. My kidneys show up on X-rays like bone and I’m prone to numerous kidney stones. With this condition, I figured out as a child, that my kidneys could not handle artificial sweeteners. Even gum with artificial sweeteners made me very ill because my kidneys could not process like normal kidneys. I have been doing some research about vitamin d and kidney disease and have found numerous articles that say some kidney disease prevent vitamin D from being metabolized into an active form. My question is where does it go if the kidney is not able to metabolize? I need the vit D and calcium. I’ve been diagnosed with neck spinal stenosis that is even more painful than stones and quit debilitating. Trying to get doctors to connect the dots with supplement pain, kidney (the organ that metabolizes the supplement) pain, and bone density issues is very frustrating. I’m tired of being looked at like I’m out of my mind and need doctors that will research my rare condition and help. I thought I would share since everyone’s case is not the same and sometimes it might not be as simple as taking magnesium, but I will ask my doctors. Hopefully they got the memo.

Vitamin D and Kidney Stone Pain
by: Anonymous

I was taking 100,000 mg of vitamin D once a week and I would get pain in my kidneys also. I told my Dr. And he stopped the vitamin D and said that it does worsen my kidney stones due to the calcium deposits. I am now taking 2000-4000 mg a day and the pain is back. But I need the vitamin D so what can I do?

Try taking MK-7 (vit K2)
by: Anonymous

Try taking MK-7 (vitamin K2). This helps when taking vitamin D by helping calcium go to the bones instead of build-up in your kidneys or artery's. I've read that this helps quite quickly. Try taking the K2 with fish oil or some form of fats.

by: Tim

My vit d and b12 levels came back low in my blood work and my doctor told me to take d3 and b12 pills once a day. I started them and within a week developed massive right kidney pain that landed me in the ER. Turned out to be my first kidney stone- yoohoo. What a miserable, black-pain inducing problem. After 3 days of hell and i passed the 3mm stone. Then i became constipated from the oxy i took so just purged with magnesium citrate, which by the way is very high in magnesium. The pain in right kidney continued to flare daily in the afternoon for days after so i just stopped the vit d pills and b12 pills to see if that helps. Will let you know if that worked.

Bottom line is that there are a lot of similarities in these posts including a lot of the same symptoms. Every case is unique, i get it, but Twopossibilities i gather....
1. Low magnesium levels
2. Vit supplements are too much for kidneys to handle - which begs the question...are our kidneys weaker than the norm or more suseptible to long term issues?

Yes, Vit D causes bone aches
by: Anonymous

I too have bone and joint pain whenever I ingest vitamin D. It was horrible because was on a high dose D tab daily. My dr and radiologist both said I had osteoporosis after a bone density test and was given an IV drip of osteoporosis med 3 years in a row. I don't remember the name of the med but it was the first to be approved by the FDA. Finally, I went to an osteo researcher at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, for eval. He told me several things: 1) I didn't have osteo, in fact, I had the bones of a 30 year old although I was over 65 at the time. 2) The half life of the osteo meds is 10 years and should only be given once every 10 years 3) My bone and joint pain was coming from ingesting the Vit D and not to take it anymore because it potentially could be doing more damage than was known. I haven't ingested Vit D in 10 years and have to avoid all products that contain it - including milk and milk products, cereal, fish with bones in such as tuna, and a whole list of other products.

Kidney pain from vitamin D
by: Anonymous

I also get kidney pain from vitamin D. I was prescribed vitamin D2 gels. I am sure it’s in my kidneys and from the vitamin.

Left kidney pain
by: chenlan

I’ve been taking vit d3 8000iu daily and 4 weeks into my 12 week course, I have been getting left flank pain, mostly in my back. My vit d level was 30. I’ve been to the hospital twice and there are no symptoms of kidney stones ie blood in urine so I’m awaiting ct scan from gp which could take up to 6 weeks!!! The pain is consistently on the left side which has been leaving me anxious and unable to focus on anything else really. I stopped taking them yesterday so I hope the pain does go away. I thought I was loosing my mind thinking I was the only one going through this! I hope everyone finds a solution and feels beter x

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