Does vitamin D cause constipation?

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Vitamin D has a litany of uses and has been a staple of medical care since the early 20th century. Doctors initially used the supplement to help prevent rickets, and further research found additional benefits for bone and immune system health. But research has also found a connection between vitamin D and constipation.

Does vitamin D cause constipation?

Vitamin D is a helpful supplement to take, especially in the winter months when people can’t get it naturally.

NHS guidance state people should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D supplements per day.

Exceeding more than 100 micrograms could lead to health problems, among them constipation.

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Exceeding this will dramatically raise calcium levels in the blood, which causes a range of unpleasant digestive symptoms.

They include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea

The digestive symptoms are three of several potential symptoms of excessive vitamin D consumption.

Others can include vomiting, lack of appetite and issues with bone health.

While vitamin D overload causes constipation, the reverse is also true.

Studies have found chronic functional constipation is “strongly” linked to vitamin D deficiency.

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One study, conducted by a team of researchers from the Scientific Insitute for Digestive Disease and published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, said people with chronic constipation should have their vitamin D levels measured.

They said: “Vitamin D deficiency, anxiety and depression symptoms are commonly associated with chronic functional constipation induced by intestinal motility disorders.

“Vitamin D serum levels should be routinely measured in these patients.”

The researchers also reported a selection of other unpleasant side effects of Vitamin D deficiency.

They added vitamin D deficiency is also associated with “Severe impairment of quality of life”.

The team wrote: “Intestinal motility disorders, which are disabling conditions associated with chronic constipation, have been examined in only a few studies.

“Patients with intestinal motility disorders are frequently affected by vitamin D deficiency, which is strongly associated to anxiety, depression symptoms and to severe impairment of quality of life.

“These data suggest that vitamin D serum levels should be routinely measured, and its supplementation should be evaluated in patients with intestinal motility disorders.”

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