Vitamin D and Chronic Pain

Winter is coming and the lack of sunlight leads to low levels of vitamin D.  Low vitamin D levels have been associated with persistant, nonspecific, musculoskeletal pain.(fibromyalgia) and depression.  As more research is being done, low D levels are being implicated in thyroid disorders, autoimmune disease, diabetes and more.

A recent study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings tested 150 patients with chronic pain.  93% or 140 of them had low vitamin D levels.  An interesting finding was that 100% of all African American, East African, Hispanic and American Indians were deficient in Vitamin D.  The study concluded that “All patients with persistant, nonspecific musculoskeletal pain are at high risk for the consequences of unrecognized and untreated severe hypovitaminosis D.”

I talk about vitamin D a lot in my practice.  Too little vitamin D is common, especially in the Wisconsin climate.  Typically the symptoms of hypovitaminosis D are treated with drugs that don’t do anything to fix the problem and in fact can deplete the body even more.

I have found many patients that have severe vitamin D issues.  We get their vitamin D levels tested, base the corrective dose on those tests, and then follow up in three months to see if the problem is corrected.  Patients feel much better when their vitamin D level gets corrected.  I highly recommend testing and supplementation for everyone.