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Blood tests back - Vitamin D and Calcium levels very low

jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Recovering from Surgery

Well, as my pain and various other symptoms in my arms, legs and back are getting progressively worse, my doctor decided to test just about everything with blood tests.

Got the results back today and I have very low Calcium and Vitamin D levels. I am now going to take tablets to rectify this and have another blood test done in 4 weeks. The doctor thinks it may take quite a while to get these levels back up again.

I really hope that this is what has been causing all my symptoms. It would be so much easier to deal with than if it is nerve pain from my neck or thoracic spine.

I am seeing a neurosurgeon about my neck MRI next week.
My GP today did say that she thought that at least some of my symptoms were being caused by my neck rather than my Calcium and Vitamin D problems.

Do other spineys have any stories to tell about low level Vitamin D and Calcium? Did taking a supplement help your symptoms?



  • Hubby has been faithfully taking vitamin d for several years now and he healed fairly quickly. He also is a huge dairy consumer, loves his milk,cheese and ice cream so he gets lots of calcium. I hope that this does alleviate some of your pain.
  • I have very low vitamin D and I do feel that this contributes to my pain-at least in part. I have C-spine issues as well as OA and other health problems, but most are pain related and not the heart/bp type that scare me more that hurt. I only added that because I sometimes wonder about pain & vitamin D and how they relate. In the cart before horse kind of thinking I wonder if the pain caused my low vitamin D, instead of the other way around.
  • Make sure your calcium supplement has all the co-factors for maximum absorption. Mine is calcium citrate with magnesium, manganese, boron, zinc horsetail, Vit D3 and Vit K1.

    I'm sure your GP is right when she said that some of your symptoms were being caused by your neck.

    If I remember, you're pretty good on healthy eating, but something I found out recently was that there are certain whole foods which inhibit calcium absorption, even though they're good for you. The article recommended that we eat in moderation - beet greens, bell peppers, chard, cranberries, eggplant, plums, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes.

    Silicon is essential for calcium utilisation and for increasing bone strength. Here's some of the foods which are high in it - apricots, brown rice, parsnips, carrots, celery, cucumber, whole grain oats and strawberries.

    Magnesium helps calcium go into the bones and some foods which are high in it are - dried seaweeds (I can't eat them), beans, whole grains, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds and chlorophyl rich foods - all greens and chlorella and spirulina.

    I know I've rambled on, but there might be some things which you can add to your diet which will help with your calcium and D3 levels.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • beaver, Robin and Trish,

    The supplement I have been prescribed is calcium carbonate and Vitamin D3. The tablet don't contain anything else. I do also take glucosamine sulphate and chrondroiten and Vitamin B complex.

    I do eat quite healthy although there are a couple of things that have me wondering.

    a) To control my weight, I always have a low fat diet, but since being diagnosed with gall stones last summer, I have been told by my doctor to have a fat free diet. I know that vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so wonder if that could have affected my levels.

    b) I take plant sterol drinks to control my cholesterol levels (it was high just after my surgery). I know that Vitamin D is made by our body using sunshine on the skin with cholesterol.

    None of the foods that you say inhibit calcium absorbtion, are things that I eat very frequently.

    Sounds like silicon would be useful for me, and I do eat carrots and whole grain oats very frequently (daily) and the other foods you mention quite often.

    I also eat almonds and green vegetables daily which should help my magnesium levels. I have also, in the past, taken Epsom salt baths to increase my absortion of magnesium, because I was getting cramps so often. I have slacked with that lately.

    We also have salmon each week, which seems to be the best source of Vitamin D via food.

    There you are, I have rambled on too. :-)
    Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge with me. >:D<

  • sorry to hear about your low Vit D & calcium, its good your PCP ran these tests as many do not look into the whole picture and often only run minimum blood work (CBC and such). I really hope that the vitamins help with your pain, like you said its best case scenerio vs nerve issues.

    I never took vitamins prior to my surgery. I eat healthy, but now take all sorts of supplements and I pray the make a difference... it does take time for them to build up in your system. I have not had a full blood profile for vitamins done but it is on my priority list. I do know that I have low B and have been doing weekly shots. B12 is another one that can cause nerve pain type symptoms. How is your B level?

    good luck at the NS next week.

  • Sorry to hear about the cancelled dr's appt and the calcium issues. Hopefully you'll increase your levels quickly and get in to see the DR. Just wanted to pop in and let you know I was thinking of you!

  • Virginia, I don't know how my Vitamin B levels are, as I don't think they were tested. I have been taking a supplement though, so hopefully they are fine.

    I suppose if I have to wait a while for my neurosurgeon appointment to be resheduled, that will give time to see if my symptoms will improve as my Vitamin D and Calcium levels rise.

    Does anyone know how long that is likely to take? The GP indicated that I may need to take the supplements for quite a while (whatever that means).

    Just knowing that there are friends out there thinking of me helps. Thanks. >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • Hi surgery twin.
    Just wanted to say, best of luck to ya, getting scheduled with a new doctor appt.
    Also hoping that these supplements get your body system's back to the levels they need to be to speed up your fusion.

  • Hi Jelly

    My understanding is that once we get older (yuk) we need to take a calcium supplement with Vit D for life because our bone density thins.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Being under fluoroscopy for surgery means they left the xray machine on to see in you for the procedure.

    I found a 1969 study on pigs talking about this. It says to take Zinc supplements too.

    Our bodies are just trying to regenerate from the radiation dose from the surgery.
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