One little known, but extremely common symptom of Vitamin D deficiency is Pain. From bone pain to muscle pain to back pain, any and all unexplained pain COULD have vitamin D deficiency as its cause. Unfortunately, most doctors do not recognize common pain issues as being from vitamin D deficiency, leaving thousands of chronic pain patients suffering for years with an easily treatable reason for their pain.
Vitamin D Deficiency has been called an epidemic. With up to 85% of people in the US Vitamin D deficient, it is a major unrecognized problem. Chronic Pain is ALSO an epidemic; with up to 30% of the population suffering from some sort of pain and with the vast majority of those people taking pain medication of some sort, chronic pain causes a HUGE amount of suffering and an amazing amount of financial loss for society. But these 2 seemingly entirely different epidemics may have more to do with each other than it appears on first glance. In fact, the epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency may be CAUSING the epidemic of chronic pain. As unlikely as it sounds, even mild vitamin D deficiency is an almost completely unrecognized reason for chronic pain of all kinds.
"Because osteomalacia is a known cause of persistent,
nonspecific musculoskeletal pain, screening all outpatients
with such pain for hypovitaminosis D should be
standard practice in clinical care."
Prevalence of Severe Hypovitaminosis D in Patients
With Persistent, Nonspecific Musculoskeletal Pain
While at first glance, it doesn't seem like Vitamin D deficiency could be a serious cause of pain, that's probably why so many doctors miss the diagnosis and why so many people are suffering needlessly from chronic pain- while at the same time being put at risk for the cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis that Vitamin D deficiency causes. Vitamin D Deficiency, however, is a very serious and very widespread cause of pain. Nearly every study that looked at the relationship between the two found vitamin D deficiency- often SEVERE deficiency- in up to 100% of people with chronic pain. Even more importantly, they found that TREATING this Vitamin D deficiency led to the decrease or even complete elimination of pain in the vast majority of studies that actually used enough vitamin D to correct the deficiency. Unfortunately even MILD vitamin D deficiency correlated with increased pain and many studies just simply did not use enough vitamin D to actually correct the deficiency- leaving the researchers and patients to incorrectly believe that a lack of vitamin D was NOT the cause of their problems.
Vitamin D deficiency is often missed in the diagnosis, also, because of the way different people get entirely different pains from vitamin D deficiency. Individual studies have shown pain to be relieved by treating vitamin D deficiency in as diverse pain syndromes as:
- Chronic Back Pain (VERY common to have vitamin D deficiency)
- Nerve Pain or Neuropathy
- Pain described as 'Bone Pain'
- Musculoskeletal Pain
- 'Inflammatory' Pain such as Irritable Bowel Disease and Crohn's Disease
"Vitamin D deficiency and osteomalacia should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with
musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or myositis."
'Vitamin D and Rehabilitation: Improving Functional Outcomes'
Interestingly, in several studies, even the chronic pain patients who did NOT have their pain relieved were found to use less narcotic pain medication than prior to the studies, showing that treating vitamin D deficiency in chronic pain patients could be of benefit even if their pain is NOT relieved. With pain being one of the most common reasons for a trip to the doctor or emergency room, AND with vitamin D deficiency being at epidemic levels, it could relieve an immense amount of both physical AND financial suffering in the world to simply check people with chronic pain for vitamin D deficiency. What a simple and inexpensive solution to such a widespread problem.