Is Occasional Constipation a Side Effect of Vitamin D? Everything You Need to Know

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    Vitamin D is important for your health. But can it lead to occasional constipation? Read on to learn more.

    Vitamin D and constipation: what’s the relationship?

    There is indeed a potential relationship between vitamin D and occasional constipation. But, more often than not, the relationship has to do with vitamin D deficiency; in other words, people who are deficient in vitamin D can present with occasional constipation.. And vitamin D toxicity comes with its own potential side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and occasional constipation. Vitamin D deficiency is a major global public health issue and what is shocking is that most people who are deficient are asymptomatic meaning they do not present with any symptoms.

    Does low vitamin D cause occasional constipation?

    Vitamin D deficiencies are a common problem, affecting about 70% of people in the world. People at particular risk for this deficiency are:

    • Those with digestive issues that can make absorption more difficult
    • Those who spend an inordinate amount of time indoors or live in areas of high pollution; such people tend not to get enough vitamin D from the sun
    • Those with more melanin in their skin, which makes vitamin D absorption from the sun more challenging

    The daily recommended allowance of vitamin D is 15-20 mcg (600-800 IU). Since there are only a few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, supplementation is often recommended.

    Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiencies could be linked to cases of constipation from time to time in those with motility issues. If you’re experiencing constipation you should talk to your doctor about performing lab testing and measuring your vitamin D levels. A doctor can also help you determine whether there are additional underlying causes playing a role.

    What are some other causes of occasional constipation?

    Vitamin D deficiency may not be the only potential cause of occasional constipation. Some other more common causes include: lack of proper hydration, lack of sufficient fiber, and lack of movement of exercise. These areas are usually the first places to start increasing before testing your vitamin D levels.

    When it comes to hydration, doctors recommend you consume about half your body weight in ounces per day. For fiber intake, you should try to get about 25-30 g per day. Take a look at your diet: If your diet is low in fruits and vegetables, which are main sources of fiber, consider upping your intake. Regular movement and exercise is good for you for many reasons, including the possible alleviation of constipation.

    Can any other vitamins cause occasional constipation?

    Yes, there are other vitamins that can contribute to occasional constipation. In some cases, this depends on the form of supplement you’re taking.

    For example, iron (depending on the form and you can read more here) has been shown to contribute to digestive symptoms like occasional constipation in some people. However, Care/of’s iron comes in the bisglycinate form, which is chelated and easier for the body to absorb; ours is also combined with vitamin C, which boosts absorption. Before taking any iron supplement, it’s important to have a doctor measure your levels, as excess iron can be toxic.

    Calcium and folic acid, when taken in excess, can also contribute to occasional constipation and potential digestive issues. Be sure to keep track of the supplements you’re taking and discuss them with a doctor.

    Here at Care/of, every supplement is expertly formulated to ensure that the nutrients present fill nutrient gaps without causing you to take anything in excess.

    What other possible side effects does Vitamin D have?

    Vitamin D affects our bodies in myriad ways. On the plus side, vitamin D supports calcium absorption and bone health, while also helping boost our immune cells.

    The side effects you experience related to vitamin D depends on whether you’re vitamin D deficient or whether you’ve somehow taken vitamin D in excess. Some symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include: fatigue, poor sleep, and muscle weakness. Some symptoms of excess vitamin D include: excessive thirst, digestive issues, frequent urination, and loss of appetite. These symptoms are not exclusive to vitamin D deficiency so if you do experience any new symptoms be sure to talk to your doctor.

    Before deciding which course to take with regard to your vitamin D intake, it’s important to talk to a doctor about figuring out your levels and discussing symptoms and health concerns.

    Meet our Digestive Enzymes

    Digestive enzymes are proteins in your body that help your body break down the food you consume.

    Care/of offers digestive enzyme supplements that can aid in your body’s digestion, helping relieve gas and indigestion after meals. Our enzymes are made with a blend that breaks down dairy, gluten, fiber, and more. If you’re having digestive issues, our top-notch digestive enzymes might be right for you.

    Key takeaways

    Vitamin D is important for your health for a variety of reasons, supporting calcium absorption, bone health, and immune cell regulation.

    Despite its importance, vitamin D deficiency is surprisingly common. One associated symptom of such a deficiency can be occasional constipation however increasing your water intake, fiber, and exercise should be the first course of action to support your bowel movements. Any chronic issues or repeated bouts of constipation should be discussed with your doctor as it may be a sign of underlying issues. If you take vitamin D in excess – which, admittedly, is hard to do – you can end up experiencing other potential side effects. The key is to consume vitamin D at appropriate levels. Always talk to your doctor before adding any supplement. A doctor can help you determine your vitamin D levels and set you on a path that’s right for you.

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Our Editorial Staff
    Freelance Contributor
    The Care/of Editorial Team is made up of writers, experts, and health enthusiasts, all dedicated to giving you the information you need today. Our team is here to answer your biggest wellness questions, read the studies for you, and introduce you to your new favorite product, staying up to date on the latest research, trends, and science. Each article is written by one of our experts, reviewed both for editorial standards by an editor and medical standards by one of our naturopathic doctors, and updated regularly as new information becomes available.