Chronic-Pain Patients With Low Vitamin D Need More Narcotics

Posted by Admin on June 1, 2009

Among patients who need heavy-duty pain medication, those with low levels of vitamin D in their blood need nearly twice the dosage of narcotic drugs to manage their chronic pain, a recent study discovered.     On questionnaires, low vitamin D patients also reported a worse perception of their physical functioning and overall health than those with higher levels of the vitamin. Moreover, the research found that low vitamin D was associated with increased body mass index (a measure of overweight and obesity).

The study, which was published in the journal Pain Medicine, was performed by scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
   
Chronic pain is the foremost cause of disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To manage it, doctors often prescribe narcotic-type, addictive pain medications such as morphine, fentanyl or oxycodone.
   
“This is an important finding as we continue to investigate the causes of chronic pain,” said Michael Turner, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study. “Vitamin D is known to promote both bone and muscle strength. Conversely, deficiency is an under-recognized source of diffuse pain and impaired neuromuscular functioning. By recognizing it, physicians can significantly improve their patients’ pain, function and quality of life.”
   
In the study, the scientists studied data on 267 chronic pain patients evaluated at the Mayo Comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Center from February to December 2006. The researchers compared the patients’ blood vitamin D levels when they were admitted with factors such as how much narcotic pain medication they used and for how long; the patients’ self-evaluation of their pain levels, emotional distress, physical functioning and overall health; and demographic details such as gender, age, diagnosis and body mass index.

The bottom line, Turner said, is that inadequate vitamin D might play a role in creating or sustaining chronic pain.

“For example,” he said, “many patients who have been labeled with fibromyalgia are, in fact, suffering from symptomatic vitamin D inadequacy. Vigilance is especially required when risk factors are present such as obesity, darker pigmented skin or limited exposure to sunlight."

The scientists expect to conduct further research to investigate the effects of supplementing chronic pain sufferers with plentiful, inexpensive vitamin D.
   
Vitamin D not only helps strengthen muscles and bones, but, according to recent research, is a key factor in boosting immunity, fighting inflammation and suppressing some types of cancer.


Disclaimer

Subscribe to our newsletter

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new stories on Empowereddoctor.com

Featured Specialities:

Featured Doctors:

Keller Chiropractic

Dr. Melinda Keller, D.C.
Back Pain Brooklyn, NY

729 Wythe Ave.
Williamsburg, NY 11211

Call: 888-258-6297

Empire Physical Medicine & Pain Management

Dr. Steven S. Moalemi, M.D.
Herniated Disc Manhattan

551 5th Avenue Ste. 525
New York, NY 10176

Call: (888) 898-7795

 Associates in Family Chiropractic & Natural Health Care, P.C.
Integrative Medicine Connecticut

156 East Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851

Call: (203) 838-1555

MedWell Spine & Neuropathy Center

 MedWell, L.L.C.
Non Surgical Spinal Decompression in Bergen County New Jersey

33 Central Ave
Midland Park, NJ 07432

Call: (888) 820-2250

Ferraro Spine & Rehabilitation

Dr. Peter Ferraro, D.C.
Peripheral Neuropathy New Jersey

230 Midland Ave
Saddle Brook, NJ 07663

Call: 888-797-1692

Royal Medical Clinic

Dr. Daniel Royal
Fibromyalgia Treatment Las Vegas

9065 S. Pecos Rd., Ste. 250
Henderson, NV 89074

Call: 888-664-7161

Optimal Wellness Network

Dr. Pericles Lantz, MD
Stem Cell Therapy for Facelift

777 Terrace Avenue, 4th Floor
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

Call: 877-412-4838