Vitamin D deficiency related to chronic pain


Vitamin D deficiency amplifies chronic pain, according to a recent US study published in Pain Medicine , which found a correlation between inadequate levels of vitamin D and the amount of narcotic drug (such as morphine, fentanyl or oxycodone) taken by people with chronic pain.

Michael Turner and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic conducted this study with 267 people admitted to a pain clinic.Those who took a narcotic drug and had a vitamin D deficiency took doses almost twice as high. They also reported poorer overall physical functioning and considered themselves to be in poorer health. In addition, the lower their vitamin D levels, the more they were overweight.

Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized cause of chronic diffuse pain and neuromuscular dysfunction, the authors say. It would be important for vitamin D levels to be checked in people with chronic pain, according to Dr. Turner. For example, he says, many people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia actually suffer from symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

It is even more important to check the vitamin D level if there are factors often linked to a deficiency such as obesity, dark skin pigmentation or limited exposure to sunlight, he adds.


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