Vitamin D and fibro another interesting article supporting vit d levels

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by fibrobutterfly, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Mayo Clinic pain study suggests "Many patients who have been labeled with Fibromyalgia are, in fact, suffering from symptomatic vitamin D inadequacy."
    by Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
    April 10, 2009

    “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.” – Michael K Turner, MD

    Mayo Clinic research shows a correlation between inadequate vitamin D levels and the amount of narcotic medication taken by patients who have chronic pain.

    This correlation is an important finding as researchers discover new ways to treat chronic pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States. These patients often end up taking narcotic-type pain medication such as morphine, fentanyl, or oxycodone.

    This study found that:

    • Patients who required narcotic pain medication, and who also had inadequate levels of vitamin D, were taking much higher doses of pain medication - nearly twice as much - as those who had adequate levels.

    • Similarly, these patients self-reported worse physical functioning and worse overall health perception.

    • In addition, a correlation was noted between increasing body mass index (a measure of obesity) and decreasing levels of vitamin D.

    Study results were published in a recent edition of Pain Medicine. [“Prevalence and Clinical Correlates of Vitamin D Inadequacy among Patients with Chronic Pain.”]

    "This is an important finding as we continue to investigate the causes of chronic pain," says Michael Turner, MD, 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."

    Researchers retrospectively studied 267 chronic pain patients admitted to the Mayo Comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Center in Rochester from February to December 2006. [Note: the Center offers three-week pain rehab programs for adults and for adolescents, and a two-day pain management education program.]

    Vitamin D levels at the time of admission were compared to other parameters such as:

    • The amount and duration of narcotic pain medication usage;

    • Self-reported levels of pain, emotional distress, physical functioning and health perception;

    • And demographic information such as gender, age, diagnosis and body mass index.

    Further research should document the effects of correcting deficient levels among these patients, researchers recommend.

    This study has important implications for both chronic pain patients and physicians.

    "Though preliminary, these results suggest that patients who suffer from chronic, diffuse pain and are on narcotics should consider getting their vitamin D levels checked. Inadequate levels may play a role in creating or sustaining their pain," says Dr. Turner.

    "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," he says.

    "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."

    Assessment and treatment are relatively simple and inexpensive. Levels can be assessed by a simple blood test (25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]). Under the guidance of a physician, an appropriate repletion regimen can then be devised. Because it is a natural substance and not a drug, vitamin D is readily available and inexpensive.

    In addition to the benefits of strong muscles and bones, emerging research demonstrates that vitamin D:

    • Plays important roles in the immune system,

    • Helps fight inflammation,

    • And helps fight certain types of cancer.
    Source: Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota), news release, Mar 20, 2009

    Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or prevent any illness, condition or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/15/2009]
  2. just thought someone may have missed this before, it sounds like more and more it is a misssing piece of the fibro puzzle. I found it interesting.
  3. satchya

    satchya New Member

    Thank you for posting this information. So many Americans live in pain and we all spend so much more time indoors and less time eating a healthy balanced diet than we used to. Could be connected? Or at least could trigger an underlying potential pain problem.

    My D was low last time it was tested, so I've joined a tanning salon, and also upped my milk and yogurt and fortified o.j. intake, which was just about nothing before I made the effort to up it. (Can you call it "upping" the amount if the amount was zero before? LOL)

    I can't say that I have noticed much difference in my "fibro" pain, but my joint pain (hands, wrists, knees, etc.) has completely cleared up.

    The main thing I wonder when I read this article, though, is if narcotic pain medicine in some way INHIBITS our absorption of Vitamin D? It seems like it's so obvious to me that that's a possibility given their findings (and I'm not a super literal person). Surely they took that into consideration?

    I also have a feeling that the (IMO) "fad" of slathering ourselves head to toe in sunscreen has anything to do with it also. Yes skin cancer is evil, but I'm still not convinced that only sun exposure is to blame for causing it. I think many things, including genetic predisposition, come into play. There is even evidence that Vitamin D (most easily gotten through sun exposure) protects against an increased chance of cancer.
  4. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I didn't have time to thoroughly read the article, but it is good that this info is getting out; however, I don't like the title at all, or the way it seems to sort of discount FM as a real illness again. I do not have Vit D deficiency and I definitely do have FM and ME.

    Also, tanning does increase Vit D levels. I researched that before in several places, and they all agreed that it does. I have a very good article saved somewhere that talks more about the benefits of tanning. I think I posted it awhile back, but if I have time and remember to look for it I will try to post it again tonight. It was written by a Dr, btw, and one I actually respect. It explains a lot, including the fact that people who work inside and spend a lot of time inside actually have higher rates of skin cancer than those who are in the sun a lot. It also explains why cancer rates have actually gone up since people started slathering on sunscreen. It does not say that getting too much sun is safe, but it does say that some regular exposure actually protects the skin, because of the Vit D it produces (this can be sun or a tanning bed - I think that is mentioned in this article, but it is definitely talked about by the same Dr and others in other places, as well). I realize that this sounds completely contrary to what has been drilled into everyone for a long time, but when you read it, and read about people who do not use sunscreen or never had it, it actually makes a lot of sense. (And sunscreen itself contains a lot of chemicals that are really bad. Even if the sun were so horrible, I think I'd rather risk it than sunscreen.)

    As to Vit D supplements, they are probably better than relying on food sources. When it comes to foods, though, yogurt was previously mentioned. Actually, most yogurts have little to no Vit D in them, even though they are a dairy product. I only realized that myself a few years ago. Milk gets its Vit D from being fortified, and many yogurts are not made with fortified milk.