Numerous research studies have found that people with chronic pain conditions tend to have higher rates of vitamin D deficiency than healthy individuals. This suggests that supplementation may be a key component of pain treatment.
Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption in the body; calcium is needed for bone and muscle health. Chronically low vitamin D levels can therefore lead to severe musculoskeletal pain. When sufficient amounts of calcium aren’t available in the body, parathyroid hormone (PTH) release increases to draw calcium out of bones and into muscles, which need it in order to contract. This interferes with the process of bone mineralization in which calcium and phosphorus are converted into hard bone. Instead, when PTH draws calcium away from bones, a
As we age, our skin changes. Most of the vitamin D we get comes from sunlight, but elderly people tend to be less able to absorb vitamin D through the skin. This means that it’s important for older people to supplement vitamin D in order to prevent muscle and bone problems.
A study was conducted to assess the effects of both oral supplementation and intramuscular injection of vitamin D on elderly patients with pain. The study found that both types of supplementation lowered levels of PTH, lowered pain scores and improved mobility significantly. The intramuscular form of supplementation had the added benefits of increased general health, mental health and social functioning scores. More on the study can be found at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
By supporting muscle and bone integrity, supplementation of Vitamin D is believed to reduce the risk of falls, osteoporosis, osteomalacia and chronic pain in the elderly. Supplementation is inexpensive and low-risk. Levels of vitamin D can also be increased by eating certain foods; this alone won’t likely resolve deficiency, since foods don’t contain a lot of vitamin D. But you can supplement your supplementation, so to speak, by eating more fatty fish (like mackerel and salmon), eggs, the yolks of which contain the vitamin and dairy products and cereals fortified with vitamin D.
See www.mayoclinic.com for information on how much vitamin D you should be taking in.
Taking a vitamin D supplement is an easy and natural way to assist your body as you age. Ensuring that your body has the nutrients it needs will help you maintain health into your later years.