Chronic pain and the levels of vitamin D

Relationship between vitamin D and chronic pain

Recently named the world's attention has an epidemic of poor vitamin D levels in much of the world population, especially children.

We have known for a long time that vitamin D is essential for bones and muscles, and now new research has shown its importance in the prevention of chronic diseases.

More recently, research at the Mayo Clinic have been showing a correlation between inadequate vitamin D and the amount of narcotic medication taken by patients who have chronic pain.

According to the CDC, chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and patients often end up taking strong medications like morphine, fentanyl or oxycodone. The Mayo Clinic study found that patients taking medications for chronic pain had low levels of vitamin D, and were taking much higher doses of pain medication - nearly twice that - that those with adequate levels. These patients had a poor physical condition and perception of general health was negative.

A correlation between increased body mass index (a measure of obesity) and decreasing levels of vitamin D. It turns out that a deficiency of vitamin D is a little recognized source of diffuse pain and impaired neuromuscular functioning. Physicians can significantly improve their patients' pain, function and quality of life by assessing and correcting deficiencies of vitamin D.

This study has important implications for both chronic pain patients and physicians. Patients suffering from chronic pain and using very strong drugs (narcotics) should consider the possibility of increasing levels of vitamin D. It is possible that many patients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia are, in fact, patients suffering from insufficient vitamin D. The evaluation and treatment are relatively simple and inexpensive. Levels can be evaluated by a simple blood test (25-hydroxyvitamin D [25 (OH) D]).

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