Short Gut and Vitamin D

by Charlie
(Midlothian, VA)

I had the middle section of my small (17 ft) intestine removed and am in reasonably good health, but don't seem to be able to absorb Vit D. I take 5,000 units a day of an OTC product along with Ca, Glucosamine, Prilosec, and other daily pills.

My diet to varied and my weight stays reasonably level in the high 170's - I'm a male, 64 yr old.

I do take a shower a day and am fair skinned. My skin has not been the same since my surgeries 5 years ago, but is not extremely dry.

I live in the mid-altantic region and play tennis year 1-2 times a week, so I do get some sun.

Comments for Short Gut and Vitamin D

Click here to add your own comments

Why do you think that you don't absorb...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Charlie,

Can you tell me more about why you believe that you aren't absorbing the vitamin d well?

And also, since your skin is dry, tell me about your fat intake with your foods. How much, what kind, how often. You don't need to go into extensive detail, just a general overview.

How about magnesium? Are you taking any?

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

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

Short Gut and Vitamin D
by: Anonymous

I eat a varied diet - use Silk in lieu of milk, but do eat cheeses, pizza, etc. I eat burgers, steak, etc so I think I'm getting enough fat. I had taken Magonate, but am not currently.

My bloodwork shows my Vit D-2 levels at < 1.0 ng/mL and D-3 at 26 ng/mL.

I just started taking twice the Vit D I was... @8,800 units now and am due for my next bloodwork in December.

I also started taking testosterone mainly because my energy levels seemed lower - I've gone off and on that since my surgeries 5 years ago and started taking it to help build muscle & get my strength back following all my deconditioning from the extend hospital stay.

My skin is thinner than it used to be - bruise easily, etc - but it is only slightly dry. I associated that with age more than my lack of digestive track.

Current meds...
Niaspan 500 mg 1 x pm to increase HDL started 4/23/10 - tolerated, so RX to continue 8/23/10 switched to OTC (LDL is low already)
Alegra - 12 hr - started 4/10/10 - 2 x daily - stopped 5/3/10 - use as needed (seldom)
Glucosamine - 1 twice daily Stopped 8/21/09 Restarted 12/1/09
CharcoalPlus - 2 once a day in evening - started 6/26 or equal -
D3 2,000 Units- Increased to 1 - 2 x daily - started 3/6/09 (Total 4,800/day) 10/10/10 doubled
Florastor - 1 twice daily (Align [didn't help];
Dexilant (Kapidex) - 1 a.m. - started 6/23/09 (was Prilosec OTC, 2 - 1 x Daily )
20 oz Gatorade - G2/day - Avg one
Citracal 600 mg Ca citrate, D3 cholecalciferol 400 IU, 2 x Daily or equal
Testosterone CYP 200 mg/ml 2 cc injection 1st of each month - restarted 10/10

Thanks for your interest

Not that unusual...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Charlie,

Actually, if I'm getting the details right, you were taking 4400 IU's and have a vitamin d level of 26 on 4400 IU's a day. Is that correct?

If so, there's not likely to be anything wrong with your absorption, you just need more than you believe that you need.

4400 IU's is a maintenance dose for an average person, but everyone is a little different and, depending upon body size and whatever other reasons, some people simply need more than that.

And particularly if you were low before you were taking the 4400 IU's (you don't say if you were), then your level before you started on that dose could have been super low and therefore, your dose of 4400 IU's could have actually increased your level significantly.

One of the reasons that I always recommend that people get a level before starting therapy is to avoid these kinds of situations because nearly everyone who starts taking vitamin d and finds their level still low thinks that they aren't absorbing it, but that's rarely the case.

So, I think that taking 8800 IU's until your blood level in December is absolutely perfect and you can go from there. I'm betting you that your level will be significantly higher and you can begin to drop down to a maintenance dose of around 5000 IU's again.

That amount is actually perfectly normal in order to get blood levels up and it doesn't actually seem to me at this point that you are having trouble absorbing. Let me know if your level in December is low and we can take another look, but I'll bet it's much improved.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

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

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Vitamin D Absorption.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.


Search this Site
Custom Search


Vitamin D Fact Sheet
Free Vitamin D Fact Sheet by Getting
My Newsletter