|CHRONIC PAIN AND VITAMIN D|
26% of patients who suffer from chronic pain also have inadequate blood levels of vitamin D. This according to a new study at the American Society of Anesthesiologists 2007 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
267 adults undergoing outpatient treatment for chronic pain had their serum vitamin D levels recorded, as well as their pain medication (morphine) dose and duration of use, and physical and general health functioning. Of those 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.
These results shouldn't be that surprising as we know that inadequate levels of vitamin D can cause pain and muscle weakness. Previous studies have shown that pain-related symptoms of vitamin D inadequacy respond poorly to pain medications. "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, the study author said.
What's not defined here is what is meant by Vitamin D 'inadequacy'. In my experience the normal lab range for Vitamin D is too high. What these researchers are describing as 'inadequate' may be an actual deficiency. Good quality Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol is inexpensive and supplementation to optimum levels holds little risk.
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