How Vitamin D deficiency affects chronic pain?

Ever wondered what could be the possible connection between Vitamin D and chronic pain?

It is suggested by many that if you are suffering from chronic pain of any kind, you need to have your Vitamin D levels checked by your physician.

Vitamin D deficiency is increasingly becoming an epidemic over a period of time. A study in an issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care (SJPHC) adds to the list of publications on Vitamin D as a possible treatment for chronic pain. It describes a high prevalence of Hypovitaminosis D- deficiency of Vitamin D in patients with non-specific musculoskeletal pain, headache, and tiredness. The conclusion is that general practitioners should be aware of hypovitaminosis D in such patients. Chronic Pain is also an epidemic, with about one third of a population suffering from some sort of pain. The problem is that, that with the majority taking pain medication, chronic pain tends to cause an immense amount of unnecessary distress.

The community needs to be aware of the cause, conditions and solution to health problems. This may leave doctors working in general practice in an indeterminate state of how they should answer a patient who asks about Vitamin D deficiency as a possible explanation for chronic pain?

D deficiency is often accompanied by pain in limbs, scorching sensation in the feet, and difficulty with achieving the balance, making the conditions worse by giving rise to the conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic low back pain, knee pain, hip pain.Blog 4-B

Some of the chronic pains one might encounter:

  1. Musculoskeletal Pain – Majority of the group studies seemed to look at Vitamin D’s relationship to chronic musculoskeletal pain. In a study conducted with 670 adult patients from diverse age groups and ethnic backgrounds, an average of approximately 70% of patients with pain were found to be deficient in Vitamin D.
  2. Neuropathy – About 51 patients with type 2 diabetes who had painful diabetic neuropathy were kept on three months of supplementation with 2000 IU/day of Vitamin D. This resulted in nearly 50% reduction in pain, proving the relation between Vitamin D in alleviating chronic pain.
  3. Tenderness – Studies have exhibited that Vitamin D supplementation decreases pro-inflammatory cytokines and increases anti-inflammatory cytokines, proposing that Vitamin D might help to improve some painful chronic inflammatory autoimmune conditions like IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome).
  4. Migraine Disease – Studies have been organized and with the conclusion, relevant case reports have exhibited that two months of supplementation with Vitamin D combined with calcium reduced both the frequency and intensity of migraines.


What one can do to reduce the ill effects?

It is suggested to consult a doctor on how much and what kind of Vitamin D you should take on the basis of your blood Vitamin D levels. The most recent recommendation for replenishing Vitamin D is 5,000 IU per day.  A research with a couple of doctors and nutritionist agreed that they generally recommend that patients should take 50,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per week (approximately 7,000 IU per day) to replenish their levels.  However, it’s important that you talk with your personal physician before starting to take any supplements because, there are a number of things that can influence how effective Vitamin D will be in individual patients.

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What kind of relief does Vitamin D supplement give from chronic pain?

While it would not be wise to expect the results overnight, there have been reported cases of improvements in a week or two, but it’s more likely to take a few months.  Neuralgia and bone-related pain may take about three months to recover; and muscle pain, weakness and fatigue can easily take six months or longer.  It’s suggested that one allow six to nine months to fully evaluate how effective or ineffectual Vitamin D supplementation has been.

In most cases, it is unrealistic to expect a hundred percent pain relief.  Rather, the evidence suggests a range of potential improvements.  What you are more likely to experience is partial relief in pain relief, reduced pain intensity, less frequent pain, reduced soreness in muscle or stiffness, improvement in the effectiveness of pain medications, reduction in the amount of pain medications required, and/or improvement in overall quality of life.


Is it possible to take an overdose of Vitamin D?

Vitamin D in very high doses, particularly over a long period of time can be lethal.  Researchers have observed that a dosage of more than 10,000 IU of Vitamin D a day for six months was implied as being toxic.

Once again, it is very important to consult your doctor before taking doses of Vitamin D.  It is essential to be check over a period of time to make sure that you are not approaching toxic levels if you are consuming high doses of Vitamin D for a long period of time.


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