|CHRONIC PAIN AND VITAMIN D|
Approximately 25% of patients who suffer from chronic pain also have inadequate blood levels of vitamin D, possibly contributing to their ongoing pain, according to a Sept. 26 2007 study released by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Patients lacking sufficient vitamin D also required higher doses of morphine for a longer period of time.
Researchers tracked the serum vitamin D levels of 267 adults undergoing outpatient treatment for chronic pain, as well as their pain medication (morphine) dose and duration of use, and physical and general health functioning.
Of the patients tested, 26% had vitamin D inadequacy. Among these patients, the morphine dose was nearly twice that of the group with adequate vitamin D levels. In addition, the vitamin D inadequacy group used morphine for an average of 71.1 months versus 43.8 months. The vitamin D deficient group also reported lower levels of physical functioning and had a poorer view of their overall health.
According to the study author, W. Michael Hooten, M.D, inadequate levels of vitamin D can cause pain and muscle weakness. Previous studies also have suggested that pain-related symptoms of vitamin D inadequacy respond poorly to pain medications.
However, "this is the first time that we have established the prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy among a diverse group of chronic pain patients," Dr. Hooten said.
In my experience, the laboratory reference range for Vitamin D deficiency is too high. Many more people have sub-optimum vitamin D levels based on current clinical experience. The time it takes to rectify this imbalance and establish and maintain optimum vitamin D levels is individual to each patient. Which is one of the reasons why it's so important to be tested (with the correct test).
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