Recent trials conducted over a period of 5 years have shown that a deficiency in the sunshine vitamin aka vitamin D deficiency could cause frequent urinary tract infections, especially in children. So if your child is having recurrent infections of the bladder, then it may be time to talk to your pediatrician about supplementing with vitamin D.
What are symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?
Adults 19 and above, need at least 600 IU of vitamin D per day whereas children need at least 400 IU. Unfortunately, due to all the sun block we are using, almost all kids today are deficient in this vitamin and especially children living in cold countries. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:
- Weak bones and teeth, poor dental health
- Hair loss
- Pain and inflammation
- Frequent infections
- Increased risk to certain cancers
- Crohn’s disease
- High cholesterol
- Weight gain/obesity
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Depletion of calcium through urine
Symptoms of urinary tract infections
UTIs can cause following symptoms
- Frequent urination but producing very little urine each time-straining may become necessary to produce urine
- Pain and burning during urination
- Abdominal cramps
- Back pain
- Cloudy and bloody urine
What vitamins are good for bladder infections?
Vitamin deficit bladder, kidneys and spleen are prone to frequent UTIs. You need to take Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin B complex to prevent such infections. All these vitamins are known to strengthen immune function and prevent the escheria coli bacterium from sticking to walls of the urinary tract. You also need calcium and magnesium to reduce bladder irritability. Doctors also recommend potassium which tends to get depleted owing to frequent urination. Frequent UTI sufferers also need Vitamin E in the form of d-alpha tocopherol as it helps combat infecting bacteria. Zinc is essential to repair tissues and build immunity. Always take zinc with copper.
Can vitamins cause UTI?
It is a myth that vitamins, in excess, cause bladder irritation and frequent urinary infections. In fact, a good multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement can improve immune function and prevent urinary infections. Bladder infection vitamin deficiency link, especially Vitamin D deficiency, has also been proven.
Can Vitamin D irritate the bladder?
Vitamin D, in the right amounts, is necessary for the body to prevent infections, including bladder infections. Some people wonder if, in large doses, this vitamin can cause irritation of the bladder and urethra. The answer is that vitamin D toxicity is not that common since the body throws out excess amount and prevents further absorption from the skin. However, if you are taking pills, then doses above 70,000 IU per day could cause toxicity.
Signs of overdose of vitamin D include elevated levels of calcium in urine. This can lead to abdominal pain as well as cloudy urine which could be confused with urinary tract infection.
Tests and Studies on Vitamin D and urinary infections
Tests have now established that vitamin D levels of less than 20 ng/ml were 3 to 4 times more likely to develop bladder infections. Likewise, a Norwegian study conducted over a period of 5 years on 511 pre-diabetic patients. At the end of this period, the researchers concluded that supplementation with 20,000 IU of vitamin D per week significantly reduced the incidences of urinary infections in pre-diabetic patients.
Vitamin D and interstitial cystitis
As per a blog by Dr. Richard Petty, MD, vitamin D3 supplementation may help frequent Interstitial cystitis sufferers. He believes that interstitial cystitis could also have links to fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue. Dr. Petty mentions a study conducted in Milan on using vitamin D3 supplementation which brings down inflammatory marker levels. He concludes that this is a promising study which shows that Vitamin D3 supplementation could have potential therapeutic use in prevention of interstitial cystitis.
Vitamin D deficiency and frequent urination
There are no studies to show the link between Vitamin D deficiency and frequent urination. However, as stated earlier, a deficiency of the sunshine vitamin could cause excess calcium to be secreted into the urine which, in turn, could be linked to frequent urination. A lack of vitamin b12 and folic acid deficiency could be linked to frequent urination as well. Likewise, deficiency of Vitamin D in menopausal women is linked to urinary incontinence.
Natural sources of vitamin D
Very few food sources are rich in this vitamin; you need to eat more animal products to get this vitamin. Liver is abundant with Vitamin D. Few plants contain it. Also fatty fish is rich in this vitamin. Exposure to early morning sunshine is the best way to get natural vitamin D, but it could increase risk of skin cancer. Shiitake mushrooms and almost all edible mushrooms contain Vitamin D. If you take a supplement, choose one with at least 600 IU or 15 mcg per day.