Elevated Blood Calcium Levels
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from the food you eat. In fact, this is one of its most important roles.
However, if your vitamin D intake is excessive, your blood calcium may reach levels that can cause unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms.
The symptoms of vitamin D toxicity are primarily related to hypercalcemia, which means excessively high blood calcium levels (
Hypercalcemia typically develops after people take megadoses of vitamin D for a prolonged period of time.
For example, a 2015 case study reported that an older man with dementia who received 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily for 6 months was repeatedly hospitalized with symptoms related to high calcium levels .
In the 2020 case report mentioned earlier, the woman who took an average of 130,000 IU of vitamin D per day for 20 months was also hospitalized for symptoms related to hypercalcemia .
These included nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, and kidney injury. Her blood calcium levels were 3.23 mmol/L (
- poor appetite
However, not all people with hypercalcemia experience the exact same symptoms.
One woman experienced nausea and weight loss after taking a supplement that was later found to contain 78 times more vitamin D than stated on the label .
Importantly, these symptoms occurred in response to extremely high doses of vitamin D3, which led to calcium levels greater than 12 mg/dL.
When Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins
Always talk with your doctor before starting to take prenatal vitamins. If youre trying to conceive or are pregnant, your doctor will likely recommend that you take them.
While you can buy prenatal vitamins over the counter, doctors can prescribe them too. Women who are carrying multiples, pregnant teenagers, and pregnant women with a history of substance abuse have a higher risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Prenatal vitamins are particularly important for these women.
Doctors often recommend that women who are breastfeeding also continue taking prenatal vitamins after delivery. Prenatal vitamins can serve as a further supplement to lactating women who need plenty of nutrients to make breast milk.
Even if you arent trying to get pregnant, you still might want to take a folic acid supplement. Thats because half of the pregnancies in the United States arent planned. Because the brain and spinal cord are already forming at the early stages of pregnancy, folic acid is vital. Women of childbearing age could also eat more folate-rich foods as an alternative to taking a supplement.
Too Much Vitamin C Can Cause Kidney Stones
For many people, vitamin C conjures up the sweet, tangy taste of oranges whether as a cold juice or a vitamin gummy. As BBC News revealed, vitamin C was consumed by 18th century sailors to treat scurvy. Today, it continues to be used in the modern world to combat the common cold . However, it can have side effects.
As noted by WebMD, vitamin C or ascorbic acid can cause stomach issues ranging from cramps and heartburn to nausea and vomiting. Taking more than 2,000 milligrams per day can lead to severe diarrhea and kidney stones. And if you’ve already had a kidney stone, just taking more than 1,000 milligrams a day raises your chances of developing more.
While fresh fruits and vegetables can be good sources of vitamin C, citrus fruits are especially packed with it . So, the next time you put a lemon in your drink or add some lime slices to your water, keep in mind you’re also adding extra vitamin C to your diet. Granted, there’s only a small amount in one little fruit wedge, but if you already take a mega dose of the vitamin in supplement form, it’s worth keeping an eye on your intake.
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It’s ‘pointless’ Taking Supplements Your Body Doesn’t Need
Unless you are deficient in a certain nutrient, it’s “pointless” taking a supplement, Lambert said because, “the body will only take what it needs.”
Many people opt for multivitamin tablets, which can be counterproductive because the vitamins and minerals compete and it’s too much for the body to use in one go, Lambert said.
“It can really disrupt your digestive system,” she said.
Lambert said she often sees clients who are struggling with stomach cramps and think they have IBS, but once they stopping taking their multivitamin, the problem goes away.
Prenatal Vitamins Vs A Regular Multivitamin
Prenatals are tailored to the right quality and quantity for pregnant women and women trying to conceive. Certain vitamins are fat soluble and are stored for long periods of time. These stores can therefore be overloaded with normal multivitamins, and vitamin A for example, can actually be toxic to the baby at high levels. Prenatal supplements also contain specific ingredients to assist with the healthy development of a baby, for example Folic Acid.
Below is an example of some of the differences in nutrients you may find in a womens multivitamin compared with a prenatal vitamin:
|Vitamin or Mineral|
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Tips To Skip The Stomach Ache
DO take vitamins with food. If you have a hard time eating first thing in the morning, try taking your vitamins in the evening, with dinner, instead. Taking them with food enhances the bodys ability to absorb the vitamins and decreases your risk of experiencing nausea and upset stomach, Dr. Lee says.
DONT take thembefore exercising. Itll just slosh around in your stomach and inducegastric acid production, Dr. Lee points out. That could make heartburn orreflux even worse.
DO try easy-to-digest formats. Tablets tend to be harder to digest due to the binding agent used to hold them together, Dr. Lee explains. Dissolvable, chewable, powder or gummy vitamins tend to be easier to digest.
DO reduce your dosesize. Taking a smaller dose of a vitamin daily is always better than takinga large dose once a week or month, Dr. Lee says. If you take several vitaminseach day, try taking half with breakfast and half with dinner.
DO eat a diet rich in vitamins. Dr. Lee advises getting as much of your vitamins naturally through food as possible. Sardines, dairy products and leafy greens are great , for example. Shellfish, legumes, red meat and pumpkin seeds have ample amounts of iron. These real food sources are always preferred over taking a supplement.
DONT overdo it. You likely get a lot of vitamins and minerals from food dont forget to factor that into your daily intake. Taking too much of some vitamins can make you feel sick, so you dont want to overdo it with supplements.
When To See A Doctor
If you have frequent or chronic diarrhea, if might help to see a doctor. They can help you figure out if its linked with a food intolerance or a digestive system disorder.
Frequent diarrhea can be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome or another gastrointestinal issue that could be treated.
See a doctor if you notice the following:
- frequent or chronic diarrhea
- severe abdominal pain or cramping
- serious symptoms of dehydration
- stool that contains blood or pus
If you arent sure what foods are causing diarrhea or other digestive symptoms, you might benefit from trying an elimination diet.
To do this, you eliminate certain foods to see if your symptoms improve. This helps you work out how different foods are affecting your body.
If you have chronic or severe diarrhea, or other worrying symptoms, see a doctor for advice about its causes and treatments.
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Nutrients To Watch Out For
Multivitamins generally contain three categories of nutrients:
- Water-soluble vitamins. These can dissolve in water and dont usually accumulate in the body nor cause severe side effects if you take them in excess .
- Fat-soluble vitamins. These dissolve in fat and accumulate in the body, reaching toxic levels and potentially causing havoc if you take them in excess .
- Minerals. These are inorganic elements that can accumulate in the body and sometimes cause harmful effects if you take them in excess .
Some of these cause more side effects at higher dosages than others. The sections below highlight the nutrients from each category that may be particularly harmful if you take them at high doses.
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Making Prenatals Easier To Stomach
While its best to take prenatal vitamins on an empty stomach to increase iron absorption, if youre having stomach discomfort or nausea, take your vitamin with some food. The National Institutes of Health advises against taking iron with milk, high-fiber foods or caffeinated foods or beverages, because these can decrease iron absorption. You can also break your vitamin in half and take one half at different times during the day to reduce the amount of iron and DHA your body has to deal with in a single dose. Taking your vitamin just before you go to sleep can also help.
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Can I Take Vitamin C Tablets During Pregnancy
You can easily get the vitamin C you need from fruits and vegetables, and your prenatal vitamins also contain vitamin C. Its not a good idea to take large doses of vitamin C when youre pregnant. The maximum daily amount thats considered safe is 1800 mg for women 18 and younger and 2000 mg for women 19 and over.
Folic Acid Could Be Making You Sick And Cause Miscarriage
Another outdated recommendation is that all women should be supplementing with folic acid during pregnancy. Most prenatal vitamins contain folic acid . This is an especially common reason when its gummy vitamins making you sick as those never have iron.
The truth is folic acid is not used for anything in the body. Once you consume folic acid, your body turns it into another nutrient called folate. This new nutrient, folate, is then used in the structure of every single cell in your babys body and your own body. Yep, folate is pretty important.
But, there is a BIG problem with this. And that problem is that 40% of people cannot change folic acid into folate at the cellular level. For these people, folic acid builds up and becomes a toxin.
Too much folic acid can increase your risk for miscarriage, and breast cancer. Not only that, folic acid can build up in your liver and then you are at risk for other problems such as cholestasis.
Too much folic acid can also increase the risks of your baby developing asthma and some researchers are linking too much folic acid to increased risks of autism developing as well.
To learn more about why this is, check out Dr. Ben Lynchs book .
If your prenatal vitamin has folic acid and its making you feel sick in any way, you should replace it with one that has folate as soon as possible.
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Overdoing It On Manganese Can Cause A Condition Similar To Parkinson’s Disease
Though a trace mineral, manganese is found in some multivitamins and, thankfully, it’s not likely to cause you health concerns. As Medical News Today noted, the body cannot produce manganese and even foods like brown rice, pinto beans, pecans, sweet potatoes, and spinach only contain a small amount of it. Although it’s advised against, even if you overdo it on manganese supplements, it’s unlikely you will see any symptoms for years.
However, people in certain occupations, like welders, do have to worry about being exposed to high levels of manganese in the air, according to the publication. And because they are breathing it in rather than ingesting it, the dangers are greater because it goes straight from the nose to the brain. Over time, this overexposure can lead to tremors, problems walking, hallucinations, acute bronchitis, and a condition that is similar to Parkinson’s disease called manganism.
Although it is less likely to develop these symptoms from the manganese in multivitamins, supplements, food, and water, it’s more of a possibility for people with iron deficiencies and liver conditions . Children and newborns are also more at risk of having adverse reactions to manganese.
How Much Vitamin C Is Too Much
Since vitamin C is water-soluble and your body excretes excess amounts of it within a few hours after you consume it, its quite difficult to consume too much.
In fact, it is nearly impossible for you to get too much vitamin C from your diet alone. In healthy people, any extra vitamin C consumed above the recommended daily amount simply gets flushed out of the body .
To put it in perspective, you would need to consume 29 oranges or 13 bell peppers before your intake reached the tolerable upper limit (
All the adverse effects of vitamin C, including digestive distress and kidney stones, appear to occur when people take it in mega doses greater than 2,000 mg .
If you choose to take a vitamin C supplement, it is best to choose one that contains no more than 100% of your daily needs. Thats 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women .
Its nearly impossible to consume too much vitamin C from food. However, if youre supplementing with this vitamin, you can minimize your risk of getting too much by taking no more than 90 mg per day if youre a man, or 75 mg per day if youre a woman.
Vitamin C is generally safe for most people.
This is especially true if you get it from foods, rather than supplements.
Individuals who take vitamin C in supplement form are at greater risk of consuming too much of it and experiencing side effects, the most common of which are digestive symptoms.
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Too Much Copper In Your Multivitamin Can Cause Behavior Changes
Chances are when you hear the word “copper,” pennies and jewelry are more likely to come to mind than supplements. But copper a mineral essential for your bones, ligaments, and joints is commonly found in multivitamins. While normal copper blood levels range from 70 to 140 micrograms per deciliter , anything higher than that can lead to copper toxicity .
As Healthline explained, the side effects of too much copper can be physical, mental, and behavioral. Beyond headaches, fever, and black stool, copper poisoning can also cause jaundice yellowing of the skin and the white part of the eye. Someone with excessive copper levels may experience sudden mood changes, and become irritable, depressed, or overexcited. And in the long term, this type of poisoning can lead to heart and liver failure, brain damage, and death.
In addition to supplements, substantial amounts of copper can be found in such foods as quinoa, dark chocolate, soybeans, crabs, liver, and asparagus . Also, if your home uses copper pipes, you may have high levels of copper in your water supply. Pipe corrosion, industrial waste, and runoff from nearby farms can also increase the copper toxicity of your water.
How Can I Feel Better
Your rectal area may become sore because of all the bowel movements that diarrhea brings. You may have itching, burning, or pain when you go to the bathroom.
For relief, take a warm bath. Afterward, pat the area dry with a clean, soft towel. You may also try using a hemorrhoid cream or petroleum jelly on the affected area.
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Can Collagen Powder Cause Diarrhea
can collagen powder cause diarrhea?
The answer is yes. , a type of collagen, is a protein that is found in the lining of the small intestine. It is also found on the surface of your skin. When you eat collagen foods, it is absorbed into your bloodstream and is converted into a substance called collagen. This substance is then used to make your bodys own collagen fibers. The amount of this substance in your blood is determined by your level of protein in it. If you have a high level, your levels of gelatin will be higher than normal. However, if you are not eating enough collagen to produce enough of it, you will not be able to absorb it into the bloodstream. In addition, the amount that you absorb from your diet will also be lower than if your collagen was not there. So, when you consume collagen food, there is less of a chance that it will cause you to have diarrhea.
Can Supplements Cause Loose Stools
Certain foods, drinks, or supplements can increase the likelihood of loose stools or diarrhea occurring. Sometimes, the body can have problems digesting certain types of sugars, such as sugar alcohols and lactose. Sugar alcohols are found in a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and artificial flavorings.
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Continue Learning About Vitamins
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
Three Nutrients To Watch
Dwyer says vitamin D, calcium, and folic acid are three nutrients you may get too much of, especially through supplements.
Adults who regularly far exceed the 4,000 international units daily safe upper limit for vitamin D might may end up with serious heart problems.
Folic acid is added to enriched grain products — white flours, pasta, rice, breads, and cereals — to help prevent birth defects in babies due to folic acid deficiency in pregnant women. While folic acid fortification has cut the number of birth defects by 25% to 50%, it might have created other health concerns in people getting too much.
It’s not hard to get more than 1,000 micrograms of folic acid a day from fortified foods and supplements on a regular basis. Doing so might hide the signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency in older adults. Vitamin B12 deficiency can sometimes lead to permanent nerve damage if left untreated.
There’s no need to worry about foods that are naturally rich in folate.
“Most people can now get enough folic acid without having to rely on supplements,” Dwyer says.
In fact, she says, “most people have no problem if they start with food, which is the healthiest and safest way to get them.”
Johanna Dwyer, DSc, RD, senior nutrition scientist, Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health professor of medicine and community health, Tufts University School of Medicine.
NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, dietary supplement fact sheets.
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