If you're suffering from chronic pain because of fibromyalgia, taking vitamin D supplements might be good for you. A new study published in the journal Pain, suggests that taking Vitamin D supplements may ease chronic pain in people with fibromyalgia, who have low levels of the vitamin.
For the study, researchers assigned 30 patients with fibromyalgia, who have low levels of vitamin D, to take either vitamin D supplements or a placebo for 20 weeks. The researchers found that the subjects who took supplements experienced reduced pain over time while those on placebo didn't see change in their pain levels. The researchers also reported that subjects who took the supplements had less morning fatigue than those who were given placebo.
"We believe that the data presented in the present study are promising," said study researcher Florian Wepner, an orthopedist at the Orthopaedic Hospital Speising in Vienna, Australia.
Wepner also advised that vitamin D levels be monitored in fibromyalgia patients particularly during winter when the levels can be lower because people have less exposure to the sun. "Vitamin D levels should be monitored regularly in fibromyalgia patients, especially in the winter season, and raised appropriately," he said.
The researchers, however, pointed out that vitamin D is not a cure for the condition. Patients who received vitamin D supplements may have experienced pain reduction but the supplementation did nothing significant in their depression or anxiety symptoms.
"FMS is a very extensive symptom complex that cannot be explained by a vitamin D deficiency alone," Wepner said. "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."
Experts also warn of taking too much vitamin D as an overdose can be toxic and cause damage to the organs. "It is important to note that these patients were under the care of a physician during the [vitamin] repletion, and that it took months for the benefits to be shown," Houman Danesh, director of integrative pain management at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told HealthDay.
"Patients should consult their doctor if they think they are deficient or have their levels checked at their next physical," he advised.