Can Vitamin D Help Fibromyalgia Pain?
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
If you happen to be an individual who struggles with chronic pain, then some recent research findings by the Mayo Clinic1 will certainly interest you. Individuals low in vitamin D need twice as much narcotic pain medication to get the same level of relief compared to someone with adequate vitamin D status.
“This is an important finding as we continue to investigate the causes of chronic pain,” says Michael Turner, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study. “Vitamin D is known to promote both bone and muscle strength. Conversely, deficiency is an under-recognized source of diffuse pain and impaired neuromuscular functioning. By recognizing it, physicians can significantly improve their patients’ pain, function and quality of life.”
“Physicians who care for patients with chronic, diffuse pain that seems musculoskeletal — and involves many areas of tenderness to palpation — should strongly consider checking a vitamin D level,” says Dr. Turner. “For example, many patients who have been labeled with fibromyalgia are, in fact, suffering from symptomatic vitamin D inadequacy. Vigilance is especially required when risk factors are present such as obesity, darker pigmented skin or limited exposure to sunlight.”
This is one more area where a lack of vitamin D may help solve an otherwise difficult problem. I will venture to guess that many people with milder aches and pains, especially during the winter months, may also have a lack of vitamin D as part of their problem. It is certainly a simple and inexpensive remedy to try – at least as part of an overall program for improvement.
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