Vitamin D Reduces Fibromyalgia Pain

Vitamin D Reduces Fibromyalgia Pain

Vitamin D supplements significantly reduced pain in fibromyalgia patients who had low levels of the vitamin in their blood, according to the results of a small study in Austria published in the journal PAIN.

800px-500_mg_calcium_supplements_with_vitamin_DResearchers studied 30 fibromyalgia patients who had low levels of calcifediol — a prehormone produced in the liver that helps the body absorb the minerals calcium and phosphorus.  The concentration of calcifediol in the blood is considered the best indicator of vitamin D levels.

“Low blood levels of calcifediol are especially common in patients with severe pain and fibromyalgia. But although the role of calcifediol in the perception of chronic pain is a widely discussed subject, we lack clear evidence of the role of vitamin D supplementation in fibromyalgia patients,” says lead investigator Florian Wepner, MD, of the Department of Orthopaedic Pain Management at Orthopaedic Hospital Speising in Vienna, Austria.

“We therefore set out to determine whether raising the calcifediol levels in these patients would alleviate pain and cause a general improvement in concomitant disorders.”

The National Institutes of Health estimates that 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, a poorly understood disorder characterized by chronic deep tissue pain, fatigue, headaches, depression, anxiety, and lack of sleep. There is no known cure and the disorder is difficult to treat.

Participants in the study took Vitamin D supplements or a placebo for up to 25 weeks. The goal for the treatment group was to achieve serum calcifediol levels between 32 and 48ng/ml via oral cholecalciferol (Vitamin D) supplements.

When calcifediol levels were raised by supplementation, a marked reduction in the level of perceived pain occurred in the treatment group.

The treatment group also had a significant reduction in “morning fatigue” and their physical role functioning improved, while the placebo group remained unchanged. There were no significant changes in depression or anxiety symptoms.

“We believe that the data presented in the present study are promising. FMS (fibromyalgia) is a very extensive symptom complex that cannot be explained by a vitamin D deficiency alone. However, vitamin D supplementation may be regarded as a relatively safe and economical treatment for FMS patients and an extremely cost-effective alternative or adjunct to expensive pharmacological treatment as well as physical, behavioral, and multimodal therapies,” said Wepner.

“Vitamin D levels should be monitored regularly in FMS patients, especially in the winter season, and raised appropriately.”

Vitamin D – also known as the “sunshine vitamin” — is produced naturally by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D supplements are currently used to treat or prevent bone loss caused by osteoporosis.

Authored by: Pat Anson, Editor

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Becky at 2:49 pm

    This is an interesting article, but I’m curious; has anyone here looked into topical pain relief to fight fibro pain? It provides prescription strength pain relief without any pills or side effects. A family member of mine gets topical pain gels through a pharmacy in the midwest, A&R Pharmacy in Liberty, MO, and all he does is apply the gel whenever he’s in pain. He has had significant results since going this route and I highly recommend it for anyone struggling with pain and/or pills. I hope this helps!

  2. Sylvia Albertson at 10:27 am

    I take vitamin D, 5000 iu daily after being on 100, 000 iu for a year and reduced to 50, 000iu for 6 months, then now I take 5000 iu maintenance. Never noticed pain relief or lack of depression or anxiety level. Since no one knows what causes this invisible illness, it’s an experiment in supplements and meds. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. Hope the medical field keeps studying this illness as it affects our ability to function optimally at work and play. Quality of Life is greatly reduced.

  3. Judi Sandidge at 12:45 am

    My doctor put me on Vit D2 (ercocal) 1.25mg XP 50,000 U approximately 10 months ago. I noticed a difference in my pain level in less than two weeks. I still ache but the difference is incredible. I wish I had known about Vit D years ago.

  4. LisaK at 6:35 pm

    What is the optimum daily allowance for D 3? I was just at Gyno’s who recommended at least 2000.
    Also does the body store it or is what you don’t need expelled?
    Thank for sharing this.
    Lisa

  5. Stephen S. Rodrigues, MD at 1:10 pm

    My ears perk up when I see FM and all these little tidbits need to be put into context, because alone they are not as effective as in a “Complete Healing Equation” as in a recipe. Myofascial Release with Hands-on and needles(Chiropractors, massage and Acupuncture) + Wellness + Yoga/Meditation + Stretching + Sleep Hygiene + Walking/Internal heat source + External heat source + Work-Life balance + Forgiveness + Vitamin Minerals/Magnesium + Avoid toxins.

    >Nutrients; vitamins, mineral esp magnesium and trace elements.
    >Balance; life, work, social, family, fun, etc.
    >Movement; dancing, yoga, massage, acupuncture, trigger points release with hands and needles, chiropractic adjustment. etc
    >Heat; internal and external; Aerobics and hot tubs/sauna.
    >Sleep; for the human body to complete heal it requires restorative sleep.