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Vitamin D Inadequacy May Exacerbate Chronic Pain

  [ 150 votes ]   [ 2 Comments ]
By American Society of Anesthesiologists • • December 3, 2007

Following is a release from the American Society of Anesthesiologists on a recent report by W. Michael Hooten, MD, medical director at the Mayo Comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Center in Rochester, Minnesota. The report was presented to the ASA's 2007 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, October 13-17, 2007.

SAN FRANCISCO Oct 15 - Approximately one in four patients who suffer from chronic pain also have inadequate blood levels of vitamin D, possibly contributing to their ongoing pain, according to a new study. Patients lacking sufficient vitamin D also required higher doses of morphine for a longer period of time.

Researchers recorded the serum vitamin D levels of 267 adults undergoing outpatient treatment for chronic pain, as well as their pain medication (morphine) dose and duration of use, and physical and general health functioning.

Of the patients tested, 26 percent had vitamin D inadequacy.

  • Among these patients, the morphine dose was nearly twice that of the group with adequate vitamin D levels.
  • In addition, the vitamin D inadequacy group used morphine for an average of 71.1 months versus 43.8 months.
  • The vitamin D deficient group also reported lower levels of physical functioning and had a poorer view of their overall health.
  • It has long been known that inadequate levels of vitamin D can cause pain and muscle weakness, according to the study author, W. Michael Hooten, MD, medical director, and anesthesiologist at Mayo Comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Center, Rochester, Minnesota. Previous studies also have suggested that pain-related symptoms of vitamin D inadequacy respond poorly to pain medications.

    However, “this is the first time that we have established the prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy among a diverse group of chronic pain patients,” Dr. Hooten said. “The implications are that in chronic pain patients, vitamin D inadequacy is not the principal cause of pain and muscle weakness, however, it could be a contributing but unrecognized factor,” Dr. Hooten said.

    Vitamin D inadequacy can be “easily and inexpensively” treated “with essentially no side effects” using a prescription supplement, once or twice a week for four to six weeks, Dr. Hooten said. Further study is needed to determine whether treating inadequate vitamin D levels will result in improvements to the overall general health for patients with chronic pain. n

    An abstract of the report – “Prevalence and Clinical Correlates of Vitamin D Inadequacy Among Patients with Chronic Pain” – is available at

    Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate, or cure any condition or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your personal healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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    Article Comments Post a Comment

    Completely Biased Study!!!!
    Posted by: akeel
    Jan 5, 2008
    Yes, I'm certain Vitamin D can attribute to some pain; however, Dr. Hooten is a total quack! His study was completely biased and based only on what HE wanted to get credit for a public study to be printed! I was at the Chronic Pain Rehab Center while his "study" was going on. This was all he was interested in was in gathering his data for a publication. He cared NOTHING for any of the 100 some patients that were in and out the doors while I was there. He is a heartless person. And, was telling us all that we had to pay for Vitamin D pills out of pocket in order to continue our reahab. My Vitamin level D was above fine in my test results!!!! I had no insufficient levels, and he still put me in this article as a participant. Believe me, no one got "better" by taking Vitamin D!!!!! Most of us are still homebound and in chronic pain after the therapy. Still on chronic pain meds and morphine to try and help us! Dr. Hooten is only looking for some fame and fortune with this article. He was fired from anethesiology, decided to become a MEDICAL director of a pain clinic. His knowledge and attitude was extremely arrogant. Don't believe a word he has to say! He has had numerous complaints filed against him for his work at the pain clinic. Including ME!!!! What a JERK! If you only knew what he put his patients through there. He will eventually be terminated. But, his paper got rave reviews. HA!
    Reply Reply

    Posted by: josiemax
    Aug 11, 2008
    Thank you for letting us all know about this jerk doctor.I have fibromyalgia,Rhumatiod Artheritis and i have been to so many doctors they have tried everything including morphine now they are telling me that Vitamen D is my problem,if so i'll be happy to take the suplements ,but please stop making the people who are suffering keep jumping through all these hoops we are desperate for help and all the home remedies in this world are not helping us,it is not fair to give us false hope in the time we most need hope.


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