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Can Vitamin D Cause Stomach Cramps?

by
author image Sylvie Tremblay, MSc
Sylvie Tremblay holds a Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology and has years of experience as a cancer researcher and neuroscientist. Based in Ontario, Canada, Tremblay is an experienced journalist and blogger specializing in nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, health and biotechnology, as well as real estate, agriculture and clean tech.
Can Vitamin D Cause Stomach Cramps?
Vitamin D overdose or deficiency might cause stomach cramps. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

The hormone vitamin D aids in the maintenance of several tissues: it maintains strong bones, helps maintain your body's electrolyte balance and aids in nerve function. Abnormally high or low levels of vitamin D can affect your health, leading to a number of side effects. Specifically, stomach cramps can develop due to abnormal levels of vitamin D in your body.

Effect of Vitamin D Toxicity

Consuming abnormally large amounts of vitamin D might lead to stomach cramps and pain. One of the major side effects of vitamin D toxicity is an upset of your body's natural fluid balance, and this imbalance can affect your digestive tract. Many patients with vitamin D toxicity develop constipation and dehydration, both of which can cause abdominal discomfort and bloating, which can lead to stabbing pain in your abdomen and stomach cramps. If you develop stomach cramps after taking a vitamin supplement containing vitamin D, stop taking the supplement and visit your doctor.

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Effect of Vitamin D Deficiency

A vitamin D deficiency might also cause stomach cramps. Muscle contraction relies on the presence of adequate levels of calcium, a mineral that interacts with contractile proteins within your muscle cells. A vitamin D deficiency can alter the levels of calcium within your body, potentially affecting your muscles, including the muscles within your abdomen. Though many patients with vitamin D deficiency develop muscle weakness and pain affecting their extremities, some people might also develop abdominal muscle pains and stomach cramps.

Recommended Vitamin D Intake

You can prevent both vitamin D toxicity and a deficiency by consuming a moderate amount of the vitamin daily. Your recommended intake varies according to your age: if you are age 51 or older, you require 800 IU daily, while adults aged 19 to 50 require 600 IU. You can consume vitamin D via fatty fish, or through fortified foods like milk. Alternatively, you can boost your vitamin D intake with vitamin supplements, but do so only under the supervision of a doctor.

Considerations

While abnormal levels of vitamin D in your body represent a possible cause of stomach cramps, abdominal pain can indicate the presence of a huge range of conditions. The cramps can develop due to eating new foods or due to serious diseases, such as nerve disorders or some types of cancer. Never assume that severe or persistent stomach cramps stem from a vitamin D overdose or deficiency; you must seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and rule out the possibility of a disease.

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