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Could growing pains in a child be a vitamin D deficiency – Sept 2010

Probably YES - but see also Magnesium

Is Your Child Suffering From "Growing Pains"?

News by The Pediatric Insider © 2010 Roy Benaroch, MD

Clipped out the following

Recent research has shown that vitamin D deficiency can contribute to night-time muscle and bone pains in some children. Parents of children with apparent growing pains may want to try a vitamin D supplement, 400 IU per day (that’s the usual concentration in most children’s vitamins.)

Other references on the internet

http://www.ped-rheum.com/content/5/1/5 Medical publication 2007
http://www.thevitamindcure.com/blog/?p=10 By Doctor Dowd author of the Vitamin D Cure
http://deliciouslivingmag.com/health/kids/1001-children-growing-pains/ Dr. Dowd again

A posted question about growing pains

answers included Calcium , vitamin deficiency, lack of vitamin D, too many clouds in the Pacific Northwest, Magnesium deficiency (which is related to vitamin D)

Wonder if 'growing pains' meets many of the criteria to indicate it is associated with vitamin D deficiency such as

  • more in winter
  • more when further from the equator
  • more if dark skin
  • more in cloudy areas

Note: As a child I had strong 'growing pains' living the Northern part of the US which has the most clouds = Western Washington

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94 percent of children with growing pains were low on vitamin D

Vitamin D levels in children with growing pains.

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2011 May;21(5):284-7.
Qamar S, Akbani S, Shamim S, Khan G.
Department of Paediatrics, Liaquat National Medical College and Hospital, Karachi.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the serum levels of vitamin D in children with growing pains and determine the relationship between serum vitamin D levels, parathormone and routine biochemical markers.

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: Department of Paediatrics, Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi, from October 2008 to September 2009.

METHODOLOGY: Hundred children, aged 5-12 years presenting in Paediatric Outpatient Department of Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi, with limb pains, fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of growing pains, were included. Children with any systemic illness, organic cause of pain, rheumatologic disorders and signs of rickets were excluded from the study. Children were investigated for serum total calcium, inorganic phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, vitamin D3 (25-hydroxecholecalciferol) and parathormone levels. On the basis of serum vitamin D3 level, patients were divided into 3 groups; group 1 with normal level of vitamin D3 (> 75 nmol/L), group 2 with vitamin D insufficiency (level between 50-75 nmol/L), and group 3 with vitamin D deficiency (level < 50 nmol/L). Significance of group proportions was determined using chi-square test with significance at p < 0.05.

RESULTS: The mean age of the participants was 8.05 years with the majority (59%) being females. Only 6% had normal vitamin D levels. Over 95% of the children with vitamin D insufficiency had normal alkaline phosphatase and parathormone levels.

CONCLUSION: Hypovitaminosis D may have a role in pathogenesis of growing pains. All children with unexplained limb pains without identifiable organic pathology should be tested for vitamin D status, and treated, if necessary. Routine biochemical markers alone are not sufficient to detect all cases of hypovitaminosis D.
PMID: 21575536

CLICK HERE for pdf if you are registered

Restless legs syndrome (Willis-Ekbom disease) and growing pains: are they the same thing?
A side-by-side comparison of the diagnostic criteria for both and recommendations for future research.

Sleep Med. 2013 Sep 26. pii: S1389-9457(13)01108-8. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2013.07.013. Epub ahead of print
Walters AS, Gabelia D, Frauscher B.
Department of Neurology, Sleep Division, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA. Arthur.Walters at Vanderbilt.edu.

There has been no previous side-by-side comparison of the diagnostic criteria for restless legs syndrome (RLS) (Willis-Ekbom disease) and growing pains. In our review, we explore this comparison emphasizing overlaps and disconnects, summarize recent literature exploring the relationship between the 2 entities, and make suggestions for future research.

There is considerable overlap in the diagnostic criteria for childhood RLS and growing pains.
The literature also indicates that RLS and growing pains more commonly occur together than one would expect based on chance alone, and the family histories of RLS and growing pains often are overlapping.
Leg rubbing to obtain relief from leg discomfort is common to both disorders, though walking to obtain relief seems unique to RLS.
Childhood RLS also has been reported to be painful in up to 45% of cases.
The development of standard diagnostic criteria is necessary to move forward in the field of growing pains research. A quantitative and validated rating scale for growing pains severity already exists. Because of the clinical and genetic similarity between RLS and growing pains, studies that parallel those previously performed in RLS patients are recommended for growing pains patients. For example, a genome wide association study in growing pains patients of all possible genes with particular attention to those identified as related to RLS and a therapeutic trial of medications known to be effective in RLS would be welcome. Abnormalities in vitamin D metabolism also may be common to both disorders.

Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PMID: 24157095
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See also VitaminDWiki