Fibromyalgia patients are at risk of vitamin D deficiency according to a new study from Ireland. In the study, 36% of fibromyalgia patients had deficient levels of vitamin D and 62% had insufficient levels. That meant only 15% of patients were getting adequate levels of the vitamin.
The patients were mostly middle-aged women. Researchers pointed out that the women’s vitamin D levels may have been affected by the fact they live in seldom-sunny Ireland. When it is sunny, patients may still choose to stay indoors because of their disability and pain.
Low vitamin D levels can increase the risk of cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children, cancer, and more. Vitamin D helps the body maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. It also allows the body to absorb calcium to strengthen the bones.
Previous research has investigated the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and musculoskeletal pain with conflicting results. In some studies, fibromyalgia patients had low levels of the vitamin but in others their levels were no different than control participants. In one study vitamin D supplementation appeared to have no specific clinical benefits for fibromyalgia patients.
Still, there does appear to be link between vitamin D deficiency and muscle pain. While more research is needed to understand this link, vitamin D supplements could benefit the overall health of fibromyalgia patients.
Consult with your doctor to learn which vitamins are right for you.
Jan A, et al. “Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels in patients with fibromyalgia” BSR 2012; Abstract 231.
Walsh, Nancy. Medpage Today. Vitamin D May be Help in Fibromyalgia. May 3, 2012. Accessed May 10, 2012. http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/BSR/32497.
Photo by Bradley J via Creative Commons.