By Kathy Tapley-Milton
Is Fibromyalgia a Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on your body where slight pressure causes pain. Fibromyalgia is more common in women than in men. Previously, fibromyalgia was known by other names such as fibrositis, chronic muscle pain syndrome, psychogenic rheumatism and tension myalgias.
Studies on vitamin D continue to show a direct association with chronic pain, poor immune function, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. These symptoms are all associated with fibromyalgia.
A study that appeared in Rheumatology shows that 62 of 75 fibromyalgia study participants were low in vitamin D. The subjects who were low in vitamin D reported more pain, depression, and fatigue.
According to the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Dec. 2003), vitamin D deficiency is one possible cause of persistent and vague musculoskeletal pain.
A University of Minnesota study of 150 children and adults suffering from vague musculoskeletal pain found that 93% were deficient in vitamin D. The worst vitamin D deficiencies were found in women of childbearing age.
Quite surprisingly I’m finding that many of my fibromyalgia patients are low in vitamin D, even in the sunny southeastern United States. Anyone with fibromyalgia should be tested for vitamin D deficiency. The test is inexpensive and vitamin D supplementation costs pennies.
The largest portion of vitamin D is produced by our own body with the aid of sunlight. Unfortunately, Americans often do not have enough exposure to sunlight for optimum health, according to physician Dr. James E. Dowd, author of the new book “The Vitamin Cure” (Wiley). Dr. Dowd says 55 percent of children and 60 percent of all people in the United States lack healthful levels of vitamin D.
Anyone with fibromyalgia or poor health, in general, should get their vitamin D levels tested. Quite surprisingly I’m finding that many of my patients are low in vitamin D, even in the sunny southeastern United States.
How much vitamin D does the average person need? In the summer, those with at least 15 minutes of sun exposure on their skin most days should take around 1,000 I.U.s of vitamin D3 each day. In the winter, those with dark skin, or those who have little sun exposure on their skin, should take up to 2,000-4,000 I.U.s each day. Those who have darker skin, are older, avoid sun exposure or live in the northern US should take the higher amounts, around 2,000 I.U.’s a day.
Vitamin D is remarkably safe; there have been no deaths caused by the vitamin. People consuming only government-recommended levels of 200-400 IU/day often have blood levels considerably below 50 ng/ml. This means the government’s recommendations are too low and should be raised for optimal health function. High Dose Vitamin D can be purchased at a number of health food or big-name drug stores.
About Dr. Murphree http://www.treatingandbeating.com
Dr. Murphree is a board-certified nutritional specialist and chiropractic physician who has been in private practice since 1990. He is the founder and past clinic director for a large integrated medical practice located on the campus of Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham Alabama. The clinic was staffed with medical doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, and massage therapists. The clinic combined prescription and natural medicines for acute and chronic illnesses. He is the author of 5 books for patients and doctors, including “Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” “Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You,” and “Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression with Orthomolecular Medicine.”
In 2002 Dr. Murphree sold his medical practice and now maintains a busy solo practice specializing in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, mood disorders, and other chronic illnesses. He can be reached toll-free 1-888-884-9577 or at 205-879-2383 For more information about fibromyalgia