Side Effects From Vitamin D/Pain Killer Blunts Empathy

Side Effects From Vitamin D

While there are countless symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, there are also a few symptoms of excess vitamin D. Let me modify that. These symptoms are not necessarily caused by too much vitamin D, but rather by another nutritional deficiency, exacerbated by ingesting vitamin D.

As I have mentioned elsewhere (in a previous newsletter), when some people start upping their dosage of vitamin D, they may experience leg cramps. This is due to vitamin D using up magnesium as a cofactor. Thus, if one had low magnesium levels, the extra amount depleted by the needs of the vitamin D, would be enough to trigger the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

Another sign of magnesium deficiency that can manifest when supplementing with vitamin D, is constipation. If you are getting constipated, after beginning to supplement with vitamin D, the odds are you were borderline magnesium-deficient.   Vitamin D and Constipation

Other symptoms of magnesium deficiency that can be triggered by supplementing with vitamin D include anxiety, jitteriness, hyperactivity, insomnia, and in extreme cases, mania.

The easy answer to treating all of these “side effects” is to start supplementing with magnesium. (Around 300 mg twice daily; more, if you are seeking a laxative effect.)

Remember, there are also two other cofactors required by vitamin D, these being vitamin K2 and vitamin A. So, if one still has side effects (after initiating vitamin D supplementation), not addressed by supplementing with magnesium, they should ensure they also get adequate amounts of these two nutrients.


Vitamin D is essential for pain management. In fact, studies have found those with severe pain issues, who are vitamin D deficient, will use twice the amount of opiates as those who have sufficient vitamin D in their bodies.

Now, those who have been deficient in vitamin D for a long period of time, often have a loss of calcium, and other minerals, from their bones. Usually these people will be diagnosed with osteopenia, or osteoporosis, however,  bone mineral loss can be an issue even if bone density appears normal on medical tests.

Those who experience new pains when they start taking vitamin D, may have low bone mineral status (regardless of what their bone density scans might indicate). Ingesting vitamin D, when the bones are seriously depleted of minerals, helps the body to start absorbing minerals and depositing them into the bone structure.

The reason new pains can occurs upon supplementing with vitamin D is thus: water always attaches to minerals, and as the bones begin to remineralize, they will also draw water with those minerals. There is a thin layer of tissue that surrounds bones, called the periosteum. When the extra water is drawn into this area, along with the minerals, the tissue can swell, causing pain in that area. Since this pain is actually part of the healing process, it is best to ride it out until the rebuilding of the bone structure has finished.    Pain and Vit D

This pain is technically temporary, though how long it may last can vary from individual to individual (from weeks to months). One solution is to reduce the vitamin D intake to low therapeutic, and gradually increase it over time, using pain levels as a feedback mechanism.

Another helpful approach is to include a full range of bone building minerals (including silica, boron, zinc, and manganese), along with vitamin K2.    Mineral Mix

Pain Killer Blunts Empathy

The active ingredient in Tylenol (acetaminophen) is responsible for about 450 deaths yearly (in the U.S.), as well as being that nation’s leading cause of acute liver failure. On top of that, “acetaminophen-associated overdoses account for about 50,000 emergency room visits and 25,000 hospitalizations yearly”.     Tylenol

The physical dangers of using Tylenol, and generic acetaminophen, is thus obvious, but it appears that there may be psychological side effects as well.

In a double-blind study, participants were given either 1,000 mg of acetaminophen, or a placebo.

Subjects waited 60 minutes, time enough to allow the drug to enter their brain, and then they were shown pictures depicting both positive and negative events (images from the International Affective Picture System). The purpose of this testing was to determine whether acetaminophen blunted individuals’ emotional reactions.

“Participants who took acetaminophen evaluated unpleasant stimuli less negatively and pleasant stimuli less positively, compared with participants who took a placebo. Participants in the acetaminophen condition also rated both negative and positive stimuli as less emotionally arousing than did participants in the placebo condition. These findings suggest that acetaminophen has a general blunting effect on individuals’ evaluative and emotional processing, irrespective of negative or positive valence.”     Tylenol Empathy Study

Given that our society is rapidly becoming less empathetic, and more narcissistic, due, in part,. to excessive social media use (mostly because technology tends to decrease face-to-face interaction), the last thing we need is to contribute further to that tendency.

Technology and Empathy

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