The Benefits of Vitamin D for Fibromyalgia

by Laura

Vitamin Packaging

Can it Be.. My Vitamin D?

In the last several years my doctor has taken great care to watch my Vitamin D levels, and many times when they are low there seems to be a correlation to a heightened pain level as well. Consequently, I took some time to do a little research to find out just why vitamin D is so critical in keeping us healthy as chronic pain sufferers.

Recent Research

The role Vitamin D plays in our health has become far more important as recent nutritional research has emerged. The media has underscored reports that have caught the attention of individuals who might not otherwise supplement this nutrient in addition to a daily regimen. The reason for this is that in past years, people got plenty of sunshine, which is the primary source of D, but with the certainly well founded  fear of skins cancers, folks are just not out in the sun, or are using sunscreens. So wouldn’t you think this would have an affect on our vitamin D levels? You bet!! Vitamin D is responsible for many important functions in the body, like cell reproduction, insulin production, heart health, healthy bones and teeth,  and immune function

Research has shown that low vitamin D levels can cause muscle pain, depression, fatigue and weakness, and that 25% of those with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and ME, have low vitamin D levels. Supplementation may be extremely beneficial at lowering pain levels over time. One study showed that people low in vitamin D needed twice as much narcotic pain medication as those who were non deficient.

The observed improvement in the overall condition of fibromyalgia patients using vitamin D indicates a strong connection between the disease and the function of vitamin D in maintaining bone and muscular health. One theory I found was that the role of vitamin D in contributing to the development of fibromyalgia is thought to be rooted in its metabolic function. Vitamin D helps in the synthesis of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in the body. The parathyroid hormone serves to extract phosphates, especially calcium phosphate, from the bones. Combined with other factors, a failure to extract adequate amounts of phosphates from bones can lead to fibromyalgia. In case of vitamin D deficiency, the body is depleted in parathyroid hormone and hence an abnormal retention of phosphates in the bones may initiate a march toward symptoms of fibromyalgia.

It’s recommended to take at least 1000 iu per day for a normal dose.  It was originally the FDA recommendation of 400iu, that has been shown to be too low in many individuals. Your doctor can give you a simple blood test, called a “Vitamin D 25-OH Level” to see if you are deficient, and the number should be somewhere between 30 and 100. Just to give you an idea, when I’ve been at my worst in the winter, it can be as low as a 17, so I have to take a prescription for vitamin D to get  my levels up for a short time, and then I take 5000iu per day. Ask your doc what they suggest for you. Buy Vitamin D3, not plain “D” as it is much more potent and complete.

Creative Commons License photo credit: colindunn

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