Pain Med. 2014 Apr 14. doi: 10.1111/pme.12454. [Epub ahead of print] Vitamin D and Central Hypersensitivity in Patients with Chronic Pain. von Känel R1, Müller-Hartmannsgruber V, Kokinogenis G, Egloff N.
A recent study examining Vit D3 levels in 174 people with chronic pain found that almost all of them had either outright Vit D3 deficiency (<50 mg nmol/l-71%!) or insufficiency (<75 mg nmol/l – 21%). (Only 9% had adequate Vit. D levels).
When they checked their pain sensitivity (by putting them in pain :)) they found that every 25 nmol/l decrease in blood D3 levels resulted in an increase in pain sensitivity. Decreased Vit D3 levels were also strongly associated with increased symptom severity (p<.008) but not, oddly enough, with widespread pain or fibromyalgia. That symptom severity index with its inclusion of fatigue, waking unrefreshed, and cognitive symptoms, looked a lot like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
This suggests that low Vit D3 levels are associated with pain sensitivity but may not contribute to the widespread pain found in FM. They may however contribute to other symptoms such as fatigue, sleep and cognitive problems found in FM and ME/CFS.
Low Vit D3 levels appear to common in chronic pain, fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. (Dr. Bateman said she was shocked at how common D3 deficiencies were in ME/CFS) Vit D3 is not the answer, but it’s cheap and readily available.
Is there any reason we shouldn’t all be taking Vit D3?
is the low Vit D3 the cause of the pain sensitivity,
or a side-effect from long-term pain ?
I really don’t know but I think low Vit D3 are probably fairly common overall – with our low exposure to the sun…that’s my guess.
I have ME/CFS. Until recently, I would have said I do not really have “pain” but more muscle “aching.” That has changed. I now experience muscle pain, as well as allodynia (only on the left side of my body.) This winter, I decided to increase my dosage of Vitamin D3 from 2,000iu’s to 4,000iu’s. I cannot say I noticed a difference. This article may explain why.
I have a great deal of inflammation and this is also associated with low D levels. The skin hardly synthesises any D when you have high inflammation. So going out in the sun may make not that much difference. I find I get side effects from supplements. Even long term 1000iu with k2.
Could be disregulation of the receptors due to immune problems, but who knows? Nobody seems to understand ME let alone all about vitamin D, which of course is actually a hormone.
I like to think my body is intelligent, if it has nasty effects from taking supplements it knows why. I have tried a good few times to get my levels up with them but the result is just far too uncomfortable.
Interestingly enough, during the side effects, pain perception is hightened and I become very cowardly which isn’t like me.
I believe that it is something to do with the VDRs and Cortisol.
Keep investingating it is interesting 😀
Thanks. I didn’t know that inflammation interferes with skin absorption of D3..